Leadership

Social Media Roundup: How to Explain Exactly What You Do

By Ernie Smith / Nov 19, 2012 (Photos.com/Getty Images/Thinkstock)
It’s not as easy as saying, “I’m a baker” or “I’m an architect”—even if your association represents bakers or architects.

How association execs can sidestep the question about what they do this Thanksgiving. Also: How Facebook’s news feed actually works.

Later this week, a yearly ritual will take place.

It involves a turkey, but really, it involves the conversation around the turkey. You’re going to share a meal with in-laws and cousins who you rarely, if ever, see. And, if you don’t see them very often, they’re going to have questions for you.

How do you explain your job as an association executive? It’s not as easy as saying, “I’m a baker” or “I’m an architect”—even if your association represents bakers or architects.

Instead of keeping your fingers crossed that your vegan-leaning second cousin provides conversation fodder by asking for Tofurky, follow this tip in our Social Media Roundup:

The Association Shuffle

“I live in acronym world.” If you need to explain to others what you do, follow Andrew Bronson’s advice and point them to this Wall Street Journal article, which breaks down the life of Fernley & Fernley’s Sarah Hagy. She works as the director of two separate associations (the International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association and the Water and Sewer Distributors of America) and as a management liaison to another (the North American Horticultural Supply Association). Association management is a busy world, but Hagy and other execs interviewed in the piece slow down just long enough to explain it to the average person. (ht @andrewbronson)

The Science of the News Feed

Speaking of things that are hard to explain … As we’ve pointed out (again and again), marketers are having a big kerfuffle with Facebook, noting decreased effectiveness of individual posts and an extremely high cost placed on making individual posts reach every Facebook fan. But the company says people are being unfair, and that it is simply trying to ensure that the feed is balanced. “The problem we face with the news feed is that people come to Facebook every day, but people don’t have enough time to check out absolutely everything that’s going on,” said the company’s news feed product manager, Will Cathcart. TechCrunch’s Josh Constine explains exactly how a Facebook page piece shows up on the news feed. Hint: The more users like your posts, the more likely they are to show up in the future. (ht @FrankKenny)

Seen any cool stuff online lately? Let us know in the comments.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now and a former newspaper guy. More »

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