Applying Social Media Concepts to Professional Relations

Applying Social Media Concepts to Professional Relations

By 911

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017 The American Marketing Association (AMA) Chicago chapter partnered with Association Forumto host an event called, “Get Noticed on Social media (without breaking the bank)!” 911’s own Allison Lundberg was one of two speakers on a panel that discussed how an organization can find its voice, get noticed on social media, and take it to the next level with social advertising. A handful of members from 911’s Professional Relations and Development (PRD) team, including Joey Maginot, Maddie Liesz, Dana D’Onofrio, and Zack Smith, attended this session at the AMA office in Chicago. The team shares key take-a-ways from the event, why they found them important and creative ways they’ve incorporated them into their work for PRD.

Brand Consistency

Brand consistency is vital to the success of an association. Any outreach done on behalf of the association needs to be consistent with the brand built by the marketing team. Service and account teams need to be on the same page when it comes to sending out any external content (i.e. eblasts, email signatures, LinkedIn posts, etc.). Even though I don’t always create the content that goes out to exhibitors, sponsors, and advertisers, I still have a hand in what is communicated to our customers. I am the last stop before any communication goes out to a sponsor or exhibitor. This meeting made me realize my responsibility in upholding an association’s brand.

-Dana D’Onofrio, PRD Administrator

Separating Audiences

In the association world, organizations have two distinct audiences they engage with on a regular basis that include members and the general public. Specifically, on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, it is important to have strategies to reach both. One way to do this is to have separate accounts with content that relates to that specific audience. For example, members may be more in tune with detailed topics related to their field or an upcoming conference, while the public may need something more general. Specifically, in PRD, we have to separate our audience into exhibitors and attendees. It’s important that we show exhibitors how important their presence is by providing them with attendee demographics, testimonials, and survey data. On the other hand, we need to provide attendees with quality exhibitors that are relevant to their profession and can provide them with helpful products and services. 

-Zack Smith, PRD Administrator


It’s important for the person managing social media to insert a little bit of their personality into their work so it doesn’t come off as “dry” or “dull” material. Inserting your personality shows people a real person is interacting and engaging with them. It’s about finding the right balance though, because too much of one personality can take away from the company/association you’re representing. Also, personality in posts should be sustainable in times of social media management turnover to maintain a smooth transition. The people behind your social may change, but the goals and mission of the organization do not. I try to use my personality to build better relationships with the customers I deal with especially with those who I really only deal with over the phone or via email. It’s more difficult to maintain a relationship when you don’t interact with someone face-to-face, so I try to have more personable conversations now when I’m talking to these customers over the phone.

-Joey Maginot, PRD Manager


When planning out social media posts, topics, and goals, it’s a good idea to follow a few guidelines, such as the Rule of Thirds and serializing your social media (both of which can go hand-in-hand). The Rule of Thirds is simple – when fostering your association’s presence on social media, content shared and posted should fall into one of three categories:

  • 1/3 of social content should promote your business, membership, and profits
  • 1/3 should share ideas and stories from leaders in your industry
  • 1/3 should be based on personal interactions to build a brand.

The Rule of Thirds helps to build content on a social media page, as well as a presence and personality of the association/brand. By remaining consistent and content-focused, the content will be well-followed and appreciated. The concept of serializing social media for an association/brand can also be a huge help to boosting social media presence and followers. When sharing and posting information over the span of a month (for example), stick to 3 or 4 specific topics. Once these topics are exhausted, switch out the content of your shares and posts for the next month to keep information and posts fresh. In PRD, we don’t have a hand in social media content or serializing it, we can still follow a similar structure when sending out communications to exhibitors, advertisers, and sponsors. When sending out promotions for conference opportunities, we focus on certain subject matter and work carefully not to overwhelm with messages. For example, if a client has monthly advertising, we can focus our search on the content of the printed piece. If an equipment feature for the month discusses lasers, for instance, we can promote to laser companies to advertise in that month’s issue.

-Maddie Liesz, PRD Administrator

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