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Top 10 LinkedIn Dos and Don’ts

Posted by Kayla Jenkins on Jul 20, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Want to expand your network and cultivate new connections? LinkedIn is the perfect site for you! But be warned: LinkedIn can be a tricky road to navigate if you’re new to the platform or don’t know how to use it. Fact is, many people don’t have proper LinkedIn etiquette and it’s hindering their networking potential. Here are the Top 10 dos and don’ts of LinkedIn so you can have an All-Star account and grow your brand.

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Topics: Social Media, Career, Association Executives

What I Learned from My Peers

Posted by Rachel Daeger, CAE on Oct 8, 2014 12:00:00 PM

For nearly my entire career, I’ve worked as a communication department of one. That made brainstorming a little tough. When trying to explain my challenges to my co-workers, whether it was media relations, advertising buys or writer’s block, my questions were met with blank stares. This is one reason I became involved in professional associations early in my career, just so I could spend a few hours a month surrounded by my peers.

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Topics: Social Media, Communication, Association, Marketing, Learning, Associations, Career

Using Digital Technology to Your Advantage

Posted by Chris Wilkey on Sep 17, 2014 4:00:00 PM

In the world today, we have access to a plethora of digital technology to make our lives easier. There is an app for everything and we carry more technology around in our pockets than it took to get to the moon in 1969. When it comes to a business setting, we need to know how to use these tools to our advantage to increase productivity and efficiency.

Here are a few of the tools that can help any professional on a daily basis save time and accomplish more. 

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Topics: Social Media, Communication, Association, Marketing, Associations, digital technology

[New eBook] Social Storytelling: Planning Your Association's Social Media Strategy

Posted by ISAE on May 21, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Contemplating giving your corporate social media plan a strategic upgrade?

Although utilizing social media in your association may seem like a no-brainer today, the successes social can bring comes when you have a strategy in place.

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Topics: Social Media, Marketing, Associations, Content Marketing, social strategy

What Association Executives should know about Pinterest

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Nov 27, 2013 7:00:00 AM

Put the hours and hours of scrolling through Pinterest to good use for your association. Association executives can use Pinterest for a number of reasons. Keep reading for five must-haves for association executives when pinning for business.

Tip #1: Make Great Pinboards for your Association

Association executives should have well-organized pinboards so clients can see that the association has great ideas, great information and great resources they cannot get elsewhere. This should include types of things the association likes to do, what interests association members in and the association’s primary areas of expertise. A blank or boring Pinterest site may discourage potential members. An association’s page should portray the culture of the association or its local chapters. Some associations or chapters may find it fun to take photos of the office or other on-the-job moments to give followers an idea of what it is like to work at the association. Also, if you represent a specific chapter in a specific city, pin information and fun activities to do in that city. For example, an Indianapolis association can pin about the events going on in and around Indianapolis, as well as the types of resources associations and their members may find most useful in that city.

Tip #2: Be Socially Responsible

With the possibility of repinning, Pinterest is a must-have for the list of social media sites used for marketing.  During pinning, place your association’s logo or watermark on the image used and include your association’s name in the description where appropriate. Insert a Pinterest button in the contact information on your association’s website to lead to your boards. When setting up your Pinterest association page, make sure it is connected to your association’s Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. This way you can easily connect on Pinterest with the members you are connected with on other social media sites.

Tip #3: Harness the Power of Private Boards

One useful way for association executives to use Pinterest is creating private boards for specific events while in the planning process.  This is a helpful way to share ideas and build creativity with event planning committee members which may be scattered across the country at various chapters. It is much easier to develop an understanding of the direction of the event through images than through words.   Private boards add a level of security and surprise to help wow guests upon arrival at your next big national conference or regional event.

Tip #4: Share Great Pins from your Association Events

A key element in developing your association’s brand through Pinterest is creating boards based on your experience. Post images of events your association has planned at either the national or local level or both.  These images can link back to your association website with more details and advice, or to a specific chapter’s page if that’s more appropriate.  Showcase the events you have planned and the venues you use. Step-by-step photos of an event, instead of just the final product, may develop more appreciation for the work that was done.

Tip #5: Leave Room for Inspiration

Pinterest is a wonderful resource for brainstorming and coming up with new ideas. It’s not just about following other associations, but also event planners, venues, strategic partners, photographers and artists. Design aesthetics and ideas from these sources can inspire anyone. Finding inspiration on Pinterest for events is easy.  It can also be useful to follow members and key influencers. This provides a way to stay on trend and know what the average member (or prospect) may want from their association.

Pinterest is still growing and developing. Find out which way to use Pinterest works best for your individual association’s brand and image. Pin, repin, explore and inspire. The possibilities of Pinterest are limitless.

For more event planning tips and ideas, check out Snappening on FacebookTwitter and (of course) – Pinterest.

Author: Crystal Grave, Snappening

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE).

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Topics: Social Media, Association

Scaling the Social Media Mountain: A Trade Association Viewpoint

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Oct 9, 2013 12:01:00 PM

Why should trade associations attempt to scale the social media mountain? The short answer — beyond the mounds of metrics, statistics and analytics available — lies in the mantra of mountaineers: “Because it’s there.” Social media is there, it’s soaring ever higher, and it has become an expectation for businesses of all stripes, including trade associations.

If we aren’t already ascending up the social media mountain, we risk being overshadowed by our competitors who are. And yes, trade associations do have competitors. No matter how specific our niche, and regardless of whether we cater to organizations or individuals, trade associations compete daily for the time, attention and loyalty of members we serve.

Of course there are potential roadblocks. For trade associations, particularly for state trade groups, the social media concerns of security, messaging and logistics loom extra large against the backdrop of stretched-thin budgets and maxed-out staffs. The solution is to tackle social media as a mountaineer approaches a climb: with preparation and a plan.

And take heart that it is possible for state trade associations. In fact in Indiana, state trade groups are trekking along well. As of late September, the websites of 50 Indiana trade associations revealed that:

  • 34 offer Facebook;
  • 28 have Twitter accounts;
  • 11 are on LinkedIn;
  • Eight offer YouTube;
  • Three have Google+.

Additionally, myriad other social media options are available. Key to the social media ascent is that each social media pathway offers distinct messaging advantages. Picture-friendly Facebook, for example, can showcase community outreach, whereas quicksilver Twitter might attract the attention of reporters via pertinent information. Whichever avenues are chosen, it is important to chart a course for each by tailoring messages to the medium, based on each pathway’s vantage point. To retain focus, establish “like” and “follow” goals for each route, and take weekly compass breaks to track progress.

Following are some noteworthy samplings of social media approaches from the Indiana trade association community:

  1. Facebook – The Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging posts community-friendly information, such as tips for preventing falls and examples of corporate support of senior services.
  2. Twitter – The Association of Indiana Counties posts updates on newsy topics, such as gasoline taxes and road funding, of interest to a fairly wide audience.
  3. LinkedIn – The Indiana Commercial Board of REALTORS® hosts a LinkedIn group, providing members easy networking access.
  4. YouTube – The Indiana CPA Society has assembled a cache of videos, organized by topic for quick review and research.
  5. Google+ — The Indiana Society of Association Executives blends graphics with information on topics ranging from strategic planning to value propositions.

As for varying social media paths within a single organization, pardon the personal reference as I turn to the one Association I can speak for, the Indiana Bankers Association (IBA). At our organization, we differentiate social media channels as follows:

  • Facebook – IBA Facebook highlights member-bank community outreach.
  • Twitter – IBA Twitter shares financial literacy tips from the websites of member banks.
  • LinkedIn – IBA LinkedIn posts banking news and articles from associate members and member banks.
  • YouTube – IBA YouTube offers general tips, information and thoughts from members.
  • Blog – IBA Desktop blog publishes political issues, current events and commentary.

Each route is slightly different, but all aspire toward the common goal of focusing on members.

In the end, members are at the pinnacle of everything trade associations do, and social media gives us an ideal opportunity to engage more fully with them. Though at times social media may seem insurmountable, ultimately it is like climbing a mountain — one step at a time.

 Author:  Laura Wilson, Indiana Bankers Association
*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE).

About Laura Wilson

Laura Wilson is responsible for the Association's print and electronic communications, plus media outreach and public relations. She joined the IBA in 1987 as Hoosier Banker associate editor and business manager, after prior experience with local periodicals. Wilson has been active with the Indiana Society of Association Executives, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Bank On Indiana steering committee. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has served as a volunteer for New World Youth Symphony Orchestras and Boy Scouts of America.
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Topics: Social Media, Association

The #ISAE2013 Annual Convention Recap Tweet Style

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Aug 1, 2013 12:18:00 PM

There sure was a lot to tweet about at the 2013 ISAE Annual Convention this past July in Bloomington, Indiana where over 170 association professionals gathered for two full days of networking and education. The #ISAE2013 hashtag received plenty of use with shares and check-ins at some of the convention’s famous Bloomington venues. 

The excitement builds (Pre-Convention): Attendees were not shying away from pre-tweeting the event to show their excitement. From early promotions of the new schedule, to the anticipation of the “Bloomington experience” there was a lot to look forward to.

A warm welcome to Bloomington: The welcome party/reception at Nick’s English Hut was one of the first informal events to kick off convention. The Visit Bloomington staff welcomed over 50 early arrivers to the city.


Giving back to the Bloomington community (Day 1): The first full day of convention brought in valuable education with two deep dive sessions- one on membership engagement and a branding session with Willow Marketing. To follow, convention goers could opt to play golf at the new 9-hole outing…

or attend the community service project at Teacher’s Warehouse where over 20 attendees volunteered their time.

A reception anyone? The New Member, CAE and Opening Reception wrapped up the first full day of #ISAE2013.


It’s all about education and networking (Day 2):  The 20+ exhibitors were early to set up shop before a morning of education.

Attendees settled down into great education with keynotes by Caroline Dowd-Higgens and Dave Stevens. The takeaways were endless.

There were also nine different breakout sessions offered throughout the day.






Lunchtime Learning: During the interactive lunch with special interest group (SIG) tables attendees could sit with like professionals to share their bits of knowledge (and possibly their dessert).

Closing out convention: By the end of the full day of education, networking breaks, and lunch, attendees were sticking around to hear from a panel of CEO’s with their take on current trends in the industry.




All good things must come to an end: While the staff celebrated an end to another successsful year with record breaking attendance, others were able to enjoy all the swag that attendees brought home.

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Topics: Social Media, Conferences

Who’s In Your Network … and Why?

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on May 14, 2013 11:07:00 AM

As association professionals, we all have networks. And one of the value propositions for most (if not all) associations is a network for members.  With the technology tools available today, some of those networks are large – very large. Not like the old days before LinkedIn (2002) or Facebook(2004) when most of our networks were based on relationships that we had developed through personal, face-to-face contacts.  And those networks took years to cultivate.

I suppose that there are positive attributes to both kinds of networks. The smaller, more intimate network that is based on personal interaction and the larger networks facilitated through technology tools like the ones many (not all) of us use today. But with the social media tools available today, do you really KNOW the people in your network? Why are the people who are in your network, in fact, in your network? It’s so easy to send an invitation to be part of a network, and it’s even easier to say “yes” to letting someone in your network.

Did you ever step back and look at that network and say “why are these people (or that person) in my network?” What benefit do they seek to gain? Why? What benefit might I receive?  Do you seek referrals? Will you get those from people who you don’t know? Will you get those from people who don’t know you and know how well you perform in any particular circumstance? Do you hope to gain knowledge? How are you going to do that and how do you decide if the source can be trusted? Or do we simply not think about those sorts of things? I think we should.

We are all still limited by one significant common factor. Time. It really doesn’t make any difference how your network has developed. It takes time to nurture valuable relationships – business or personal. And if we don’t nurture those relationships, we really don’t have a network – we just have a list of contacts. It takes time and experience to develop trust.

So maybe we should focus on the quality of our network. Not the size of the network. A large network can add complexity to our lives and we certainly don’t need more complexity. Whatever your thoughts or your approach to networks, I think that we should all think about who is in our network, whose network we are in, and why.

About Sarah Rosenberger

Sarah is a marketing and communication professional for Raybourn Group International (RGI), an Indianapolis based accredited Association Management Company (AMC) who manages over 15 national and international associations. Currently, Sarah serves as the Director of Sponsorship for the Indianapolis Social Media (IndySM) Executive Board in addition to her responsibilities as the Communication, Marketing and Membership Coordinator for the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE). Sarah is also affiliated with the Indiana Junior Chamber (JCI Indianapolis), along with the American Marketing Association-Indiana Chapter. You can follow Sarah on twitter @SarahIndyGal.
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Topics: Social Media, Association, Networking

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