Notes from our Meeting with the Social Media Pros

The Gang @smchi plus a few who opted out of photoFirst, I would like to thank everyone for your understanding about our desire to hold a “professionals only” meeting this month. It was a very useful and informed discussion, and I believe everyone will be a beneficiary from our collective meeting and clearing of the minds!

I launched our Hawaii chapter in October 2008, public meetings launched in March, 2009. We have over 400 on our email list, and spent 6 months in 2009 shepherding a non-profit from web 1.0 to a full social media presence ont the web. ( Our early meetings were 101, so others could follow along as we created the social assets for our nonprofit. We had, BTW, 14 who applied to the program.

What Matters Now:

  • Our meetings have done a superb job at attracting Hawaii organizations (for profit and nonprofit) to come and learn about social media. But we are not attracting or supporting the practitioners, as is our main goal. This meeting discussed that in detail along with the requirements and advantages of becoming an Official Chapter of the Social Media Club. You can see the attendees here.
  • Official Chapter status for Social Media Club: It requires a minimum of 10 paid pProfessional Members ($100 per professional membership; nonprofits may join for $50 and students for $25.) There are numerous benefits you can read about here, however the main one IMO is that we can fall under their nonprofit status and they will handle all bookkeeping, legal, and insurance for us. This gives us a tremendous amount of flexibility to actually accomplish things in support of our local community and organizations. Overall consensus appeared to be in favor of seeking this. Join the Social Media Club here.

These are the key points we distilled:

  • There is interest in having practitioners-only meetings where we can talk at a high level about solving problems and using social media tools. This is professional development and peer-to-peer support, where we can talk openly in a mutually respectful manner. Non-members could be invited to attend one or two times to check it out.
  • There is interest in continuing to hold educational outreach meetings for the business/nonprofit community at large.
  • The amount of time required to convene these meetings is a concern. We are looking at having monthly meetings for the official, paid members and quarterly or semi-annual public events on a larger scale, possibly even another Podcamp-type event.
  • Rox has been carrying the load for 2 years and wants a break.
  • The name, “with “Club” in it, is confusing for people. It sounds private but it’s really very open. That has been a communication challenge.
  • Like most groups, we have way more ideas than we can execute.

Specific Goals:

  • Help promote the members so they can attract clients looking for professional social media services.
  • Create a local Speaker’s Directory so other associations and organizations can find speakers fluent in the social web.
  • Work with the SMCEDU group nationwide in develop related curricula.
  • Develop special interest groups within our larger group who can meet at different times on specific topics (think Facebook, blogging, video, etc.)
  • Connect more directly and more often with neighbor island members. Mahalo a nui to Peter Liu who came from Maui!
  • Share more case studies and real life examples of solving problems with social media tools and strategy.
  • Collaborate more specifically with related groups, such as PRSA, IABC, SMEI, etc.
  • Consider changing to the 4th Tuesday to avoid conflicts with KanuHawaii and SMEI; after work for now, though prefer venue with easy parking. (We are looking in to this at several places.)
  • Segment our email list so we can communicate more directly and respectfully with our audience.
  • Use the email newsletter to feature members each month.

Let’s continue the conversation here and let us know how this group can serve you and what you can contribute to it. And be sure to join our email list so get the announcements and updates!

About Roxanne Darling

Roxanne is a founding member of the global parent organization, Social Media Club, and the founder of the Hawaii chapter. She is also a partner at Bare Feet Studios, a digital publisher and internet strategy firm. She can be found walking the beach on her web TV program, Beach Walks with Rox, and is a popular speaker. You can follow her on Twitter @roxannedarling. You can also visit her personal blog here.

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