Whenever I get a call from the media to talk about a topic and I know I’m not the only person they have contacted – I’m curious to see how diverse the perspectives might be in the final story. In this case Shannon Moneo (local business writer) was interviewing those of us in various construction related associations about how we use social media to meet our organizational objectives. It is becoming increasingly important for the industry especially to communicate with potential employees and to monitor/manage public opinion. This excerpt is my interview followed by the link to the full article. Let me know what you think about industry use of social media.

Journal of Commerce – July 10, 2015 Associations Embracing Social Media – Shannon Moneo

The Vancouver Island Construction Association’s (VICA) manager of education and communications is keenly aware of social medias’ shelf life.

“If potential members are doing their due diligence, they look at our profile. If our last Twitter post was six months ago, they’ll go ‘Blah,'” said Robyn Quinn.

Dated material isn’t very inspiring, she added.

Since joining VICA almost two years ago, Quinn, a social media expert, has set the tone for online activity.

“Social media for me is a communications tool. It takes the tethers off how we communicate,” she said.

Initially, VICA members thought they should be everywhere.

“I said no. You have to be selective,” she said.

Determining your audience is key.

VICA’s main audience is members, potential members and corporate sponsors.

Twitter (VICA has 1,000 followers) is heavily used to recognize businesses, members and supporters.

Visuals are regularly used to break up the feed, with members’ photos often shared.

As well, information about new construction trends or even road closures is posted.

The Twitter tone is conversational, helpful and friendly, she said.

LinkedIn is used more formally to address the construction industry and examine what’s happening on Vancouver Island.

The tone is of a trusted authority or industry leader.

All VICA staff have LinkedIn profiles.

And, as the “voice” of VICA, when president Greg Baynton posts to Twitter or LinkedIn, it’s about matters of significance, Quinn said.

VICA also uses YouTube. For example, when Baynton gives a speech, the video will be uploaded.

And at a recent AGM, board candidates were recorded so that members who weren’t present could evaluate the candidates.  The YouTube presence is described as informative and friendly.

As well, podcasts of Baynton’s radio or speaking appearances are uploaded to the VICA website.

The association also uses Flickr to share photos, almost exclusively from social gatherings.

To keep VICA’s online presence current, Quinn devotes about 40 minutes daily. end of excerpt

So that’s my blurb – here is the link to read the full story – how diverse are we in our approaches to social media? My advice to any organization exploring the channels out there – be strategic and find someone on your team who is passionate about communications. Just read an article about developing the equivalent of a TV show runner on the corporate team. Very, very exciting concept.

http://journalofcommerce.com/Associations/News/2015/7/Associations-embracing-social-media-to-reach-their-members-1008794W/

Full disclosure update: Although I am no longer with VICA I believe the organization will continue using social media rather than fall back to their old ways.