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Last week we held YourMembership’s November Thought Leadership webinar Social Media ROI in Dollars & Cents, with Ben Martin, CAE, noted speaker and Chief Engagement Officer for Online Community Results. In conjunction with the upcoming release of the second edition of Online Community Results’ Online Community Software Selection Guide, Ben joined us to tackle the interesting topic of how to build and identify the ROI on an association’s social media efforts.

During presentation we polled the attendees on their organization’s social networking maturity level. We learned:

  • Almost 90 percent conduct their social networking efforts via LinkedIn, Facebook and other outsourced offerings
  • 25 percent have a dedicated budget with staff to handle their social networking efforts
  • 20 percent rely on volunteers to administer their social media efforts

In another poll more than 90 percent agreed that to attract younger members they would need a strong social networking strategy. We also asked what they would consider to be a good indicator of a positive ROI for their social media strategies. Increased member engagement was identified by 60 percent as a good measure for their ROI.

I met with Ben Martin again this week for Ask the Thought Leader – Episode 9, to answer a few of the great questions that were submitted during the webinar that we could not answer due to time. Ben shared tips on building trust with the “bosses” to be able to implement the strategies covered during the webinar. We also talked about the influence of millennials and their expectations regarding an organization’s social media efforts. And we took a hard look at the limitations of outsourcing an organization’s social media efforts, as well as the competition Facebook and LinkedIn present to associations today. I think you’ll find this discussion interesting and valuable to your own social media efforts.

With the 2014 holiday season kicking off this week, I want to take a moment and thank everyone who has participated in YM’s Monthly Thought Leadership Webinars – both presenters and attendees. The monthly webinars have experienced incredible growth since we launched the series a year ago, and we know without your continued interest we would not be enjoying this amazing success.