Association Social Media: ASCD
AUGUST 7, 2014
'In this series of interviews of Association Social Media Managers, you’ll be able to compare notes on what all of these fab organizations are doing with their social media management – from how they organize the roles and responsibilities, to how they manage content flow through the organization and out to social, to what campaigns they tried, to how they see the future of association social media. . ——————— . Meet Tina Byland, ASCD’s Social Media Specialist! 1. First things first - in what department in your organization does your role sit? Who do you report to? . My role as social media specialist sits on the communications team here at ASCD. I report to the communications manager. The communications team at ASCD is responsible for the association’s traditional and social media outreach, as well as our press room at our Annual Conference and Exhibit Show and the association’s Annual Report. 2. Describe your social/digital “ecosystem” – what social media sites do you (or the org as a whole) manage? Are they interlinked in specific ways? How do you decide what content to post where? Do they have different audiences? Here at ASCD, we’ve worked hard to develop our social media “ecosystem.” ASCD keeps an active presence on Twitter , Facebook , Pinterest , Instagram , Google+ , LinkedIn , and YouTube. It’s very important to us that we maintain a strong brand presence throughout these channels and keep a consistent look and feel so that they are easily recognizable. In that way, they are all very much interlinked. If you’ve been following us on Twitter for years, but just recently subscribed to our YouTube channel, we want to make sure the branding and organizational voice is familiar to you. Still, each of our social media channels has a different personality. We are constantly reviewing our data, tracking our audience, and researching trends to make sure that we are reaching the needs of each individual channel’s audience. In that way, you will find something a little bit different on each social media channel. For example, even though both Pinterest and Instagram are reliant on images, the content you will find on the channels can be extremely different. Our Instagram audience leans slightly more toward classroom teachers, so we tend to deliver content and photos that are helpful and relevant to their work. Also, since there’s nothing to click on in Instagram, our photos and captions never rely on extra information found through a link. On the other hand, our Pinterest audience is much broader, so we diversify our content to support not only teachers but also administrators, speech and language therapists, counselors, and even parents. Because Pinterest is very link heavy, our pins don’t need to be independently digestible pieces of information, so they are often samples or teasers of what you will find by clicking through the pin. Finally, we make sure we share content from across our entire association on our channels. We have units in ASCD dedicated to almost every area that impacts education: conferences and institutes, book publishing, magazines and newsletters, online courses and webinars, professional development consulting, public policy, and more. Our communications team keeps up to date on the happenings in each area so we can share comprehensive association news with followers on each social channel. 3. Can you describe the internal collaboration workflow with other areas of the association (e.g. are you part of a team that meets on a regular basis)? How do you manage content flow? How do you manage monitoring and responding across the organization? It is my role to personally oversee all of our social media channels and make sure that the channels are high quality and responsiveness is timely. But it takes a team to feed the hungry social media channels , and in that way, it is absolutely a collaborative team effort. The communications team divides up the responsibility of what we need to share with our social media audience so that no information falls through the cracks. In that way, we each become an “expert” on different internal content—for example, our publicist could be working on a whole child initiative action item, making sure the news is shared on our channels, while our communications specialist is ensuring a new book release is simultaneously being shared. We collaborate regularly with work group units in our association to make sure we know what is coming down their pipeline. Then, our team “expert” makes sure the information is distributed across social media in the ways our research has deemed most effective. It also helps that our communications team physically sits together, and we “meet” informally throughout the week right at our desks as questions or ideas arise (we’re certainly not the quietest team at ASCD). We also formally meet each Monday to run through what we are working on and how we can collaborate. The communications team also meets regularly with the marketing team to discuss upcoming promotions, determine each unit’s plan, and coordinate our efforts to maximize effectiveness. As for monitoring, our entire communications team pitches in during the workday and checks the channels regularly. I also check the channels after hours and on weekends. Since we don’t have an automated system to post Instagram photos, we share the after-hours Instagram duties on the evenings when the app is most used. Luckily, we are able to schedule posts on our other channels—all of our posts are generated by a member of the communications team and set for a specific time—so my responsibilities outside of traditional work hours consist of making sure content publishes as planned and our audience has no urgent concerns going unnoticed. 4. Describe a typical day for you – and any favorite tools you use regularly for anything related to social media. Social media never sleeps, so my typical day really depends on what’s happening over social media on a particular day. With that being said, once I get to the office, I’ll run through each channel to respond to Facebook messages, direct messages on Twitter, and all other correspondence we receive. We use Hootsuite (for Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn) and Curalate (for Pinterest and Instagram) to streamline our social media work. I keep Hootsuite up on my browser all day to check our Twitter feed in between meetings and projects, as does the rest of our team. I will also check our Facebook page periodically throughout the workday. Since my job also entails managing our blog, Inservice , a great portion of my day is also spent working on the blog’s editorial calendar. I always make sure that it reflects the promotions we are doing over social media. Other tools we use are Keyhole , Iconosquare , and Facebook Insights. After my work is done for the day, I’ll head out and keep an eye on our channels from home. Social media is constant, so we have to be, too! 5. Is community management (group moderation) part of your responsibilities? Please describe those activities. If you consider the amazing community of followers we have on our social media channels, then yes! However, group moderation in the formal sense isn’t a part of my responsibilities. 6. Have you done any social media campaigns? Can you share any success stories (or lessons learned)? We’ve done quite a few social media campaigns and I’ve loved every one. While each is different, one of my favorites was ASCD Arias™ Week back in May. We have an excellent series of short-format publications called ASCD Arias ™ that answer the questions that concern educators most. The ASCD Arias™ series is built around the question “What keeps you up at night?” and our publishing team was seeking new burning questions straight from educators. Well, who better to give us new ideas than our social media followers? The campaign was completely integrated, blanketing each of our social media channels and our Inservice blog with a week’s worth of content and a special giveaway. Here is a breakdown of how this campaign was executed: We started the week out with a blog post announcing that we’d be giving away a set of 13 ASCD Arias™ publications. Blog posts from ASCD Arias™ authors followed the rest of the week, as they shared insights from their publications and what “kept them up at night.”. On Twitter, we shared the message throughout the week, but especially Tuesday night during our monthly #ASCDL2L Twitter chat, which features ASCD authors and ASCD Emerging Leaders. The hour-long chat that month focused on the challenges, questions, and concerns educators have today. On Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and LinkedIn, the conversation continued around the question “What keeps you up at night?” all week. We collected responses from each channel and compiled them together for our publishing team. Because the campaign took place during Teacher Appreciation Week, we paired it with a teacher appreciation marketing campaign that offered a bundle of ASCD Arias publications at a discounted rate. This campaign demonstrated two important lessons. The first is that your engagement will be most successful when it’s authentic. We weren’t just asking people to answer questions so we could tally their responses and increase our follower count. We were asking because we wanted to hear their thoughts and concerns, and we were going to do something with them. We wanted to plan out new books to answer their questions and meet their most pressing needs. We needed them to be a partner in this and we had a specific goal in mind, which made this a successful campaign. The second lesson is to plan, plan, plan! Even when we thought we’d planned for every scenario, we found ourselves needing to plan more. Everyone on the team had specific responsibilities for channel monitoring, data collection, and reporting. We worked hard to answer every how , when , and where question we could before Monday morning. Even then, we had to be nimble and flexible once the campaign launched, because things naturally changed as the week went on. Organization was absolutely key to our success. Other examples: An example of how we have promoted one of our newest books, Carol Ann Tomlinson’s The Differentiated Classroom, 2 nd edition, over Twitter through a blog post: Our Pinterest boards illustrate how we support every part of ASCD with boards on our books, flagship magazine Educational Leadership , ed policy news, PD resources, and more. A pin created to highlight the discussion from our Whole Child Symposium event. (The link is here: [link]. During ASCD Arias Week campaign, we shared this image on Instagram. Our team travels to the ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show each year. This year, we were able to capture behind-the-scenes shots of the conference on Instagram for our audience. Here , two of our authors are having some fun in the exhibit hall. 7. What’s the hardest part of your job? What can become most difficult is that I enjoy each individual channel so much—and there’s so much we can do with each one— I could easily spend a full day working on just one channel if time permitted. I’ll gear up with excitement over a new Pinterest board or Twitter chat and, with seven channels to manage, I have to remain mindful to “touch” each channel every day. I know there are seven channels and a blog that need my love and attention, so I make a concerted effort to not let myself fall down any rabbit hole for too long! 8. Give us a glimpse into the future. If budget and resources were no object, what would you love to see in terms of your association’s social media presence in 3 years? ASCD’s mission is incredible and we try our best to illustrate that over social media. But in a world with unlimited resources, I can only imagine the story we could tell. Currently, we have several study tours worldwide, conferences and institutes, and professional development services (like ASCD Professional Learning Services ) that happen far, far away from our headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. If we could somehow capture and share everything our teams were working on across the globe. wow! The ASCD staff is extremely supportive of our desire to showcase these off-site happenings on social media, but nothing would be as strong as being on location sharing the stories live and in real time over our social media channels! ASCD’s social media sites: Twitter. Facebook. Pinterest. Instagram. Google+. LinkedIn. YouTube. Inservice. Questions? Connect with Tina! Tina Byland, social media specialist, email@example.com (and you can find our whole team on Twitter: @ASCD ). More like this. 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