Social media is a new and sometimes scary concept for many of people, so I thought I'd give you a summary of what social media is and why AAPO has decided to embrace it. In future articles I'll talk about how and why you should be using it for your business and give you some tips and tricks to make it easier.
What is social media?
I like to think of social media as just another medium in which to communicate with people. Traditionally, we communicate face-to-face, on the phone, or using radio, print or TV. Now we can share the same content, but in a new way; instantly and online. Business has embraced social media as a new way of communicating with existing and potential clients – to promote products, get feedback, share information and provide customer service. Read more about the top brands using social media here: http://mashable.com/2009/01/21/best-twitter-brands/
Why is AAPO going to use it?
AAPO's overall vision is “To be internationally recognised as Australasia’s premier industry association for leading and developing Professional Organisers”. Social media is just one of many tools AAPO will use to achieve this objective. By regularly 'appearing' in social media sites, the profile of AAPO will be raised and more people will become aware of AAPO's existence. There are three benefits to this:
- aspiring Professional Organisers will be encouraged to join AAPO;
- existing members will be provided with information on the industry and on AAPO’s activities; and
- thousands of disorganised people out there will learn how Professional Organisers can help them.
What will AAPO talk about?
AAPO will "talk" about a variety of things related to the world of Professional Organising. Sometimes we'll send out tweets with links to new organising products that might be useful to you in your business. Other times we may send out organising tips aimed at the general public. Often we'll link to articles or research on decluttering, organising or hoarding. We'll send out information about upcoming meetings, seminars and conferences, or a link to minutes from AAPO meetings or the AGM. Basically, we'll "talk" about whatever we would talk about in real life.
There are a few things we won't "talk" about - we'll avoid sending out messages with any political, religious or otherwise controversial content. We will strive not to promote one of our members more than others. And we won't talk about anything to do with our industry that paints it in a negative light.
What will AAPO members get out of AAPO using social media?
There will be two main benefits for AAPO members:
- As you know, anything that raises the profile of the industry as a whole will have a positive effect on all members, including you. But to be more specific, we hope that you might even get some business from it. Here's an example of how this might happen:
Disorganised Dennis is an active user of Twitter, and has seen a few tweets from AAPO - mostly sending out useful articles, hints and tips on how to get organised. One day, after having a particularly disorganised day, Dennis decides to find out more about this organisation that keeps giving him these free tips. He navigates to the AAPO website through Twitter. On the front page of the AAPO website, Dennis sees yet more tips on how to get organised, some of them written by Organised Annie. "Annie sounds like she knows what she's talking about," thinks Dennis, and clicks through to Annie's site. Before you know it, Dennis has called Annie and is her newest client.
The best bit about this is that this kind of marketing is FREE! It just took Annie a few moments to come up with some tips, and send them to AAPO to be added to the site. The key here is that you need to be active on AAPO's new website (you have your profile up there and if possible you regularly add to the content of the site). That way, whenever prospective customers find themselves on the AAPO website, you'll be top of mind.
- Secondly, AAPO will send out specific information aimed at our members. Some of this information will also be included in the monthly newsletter (although not all of it), but if you're following AAPO’s social media content, you’ll get this information instantly.
How is AAPO going to use it?
Twitter and Facebook are the two most popular social media tools in use at the moment, and AAPO has an account with both. AAPO's Twitter handle (that's Twitter name to the rest of us!) is @AAPO_inc. If you're on Twitter and you're not already following AAPO, do it now. And you can find AAPO on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/aapoinc. If you're using Facebook, go and "Like" us now. If you follow us on Twitter and Facebook you'll soon see first hand exactly how AAPO will be use social media to achieve its objective of being internationally recognised as Australasia’s premier industry association for leading and developing Professional Organisers.
Twitter will be used to update followers with short, concise messages, often with links to other sites of interest, on a daily (or almost-daily) basis. Facebook will be used to interact with followers and to post entries that need a little more space.
Hopefully that answers some of your questions about AAPO and social media. Watch this space, as I'll be back to talk more about how social media could enhance your business offering.
Claire Lane, AAPO Social Media Coordinator