Bringing you a broader perspective:
What’s Next in Association Law, Associations Now: September/October 2011
In this month’s magazine my “New Money” column has been replaced by a feature story based on a roundtable I recently organized and facilitated on potential legal pitfalls facing associations.
While a number of topics covered in the article are related to additional revenue such as the unrelated business income tax and joint ventures, the bulk of the article is intended to bring to your attention the key issues top legal experts think you should be aware of as we complete 2011 and head into 2012.
I want to send my special thanks to the legal experts who were kind enough to contribute their thoughts and time to this effort. They include, among others, Jeff Tennenbaum of Venable LLP and Jerry Jacobs of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP—both recognized as leading lights in the field, as well as Cindy Lewin, who is Exec VP and General Counsel for AARP.
Read More >>> Go under Articles and Text and click on the article: What’s Next in Association Law
Is anybody making measureable additional revenue from social media?
There are some topics I would love to write a “New Money” column about, and this particular question is right at the top of that list. Unfortunately, without a “net income” success story I cannot write about it for ASAE. However, since it may be a question on your mind, I am happy to share my research and results with you.
First of all, this is a question that I am asked on a regular basis and one that I regularly research, and the answer at this point still appears to be “no.” So if your association is thinking of investing in social media with a hoped-for “nickel-in-the-slot” return on its investment, I think you should keep your change in your pocket.
Which is not to say that an investment in social media is not common among associations, or a bad idea. Most often what I hear is that associations, and especially CEOs, are using Twitter to stay in touch with members and other interested parties, which is a valuable benefit in and of itself.
Reliance on Facebook can come closer to a return on investment in that it is a good place to promote upcoming activities and the like, presumably increasing revenue by boosting sales. Facebook groups are also regularly used by associations to provide a special “meeting place” for their members, with a byproduct of keeping some level of control.
As for LinkedIn, it has largely evolved into a place where individuals can connect professionally, and for some it substitutes as a Web site. If you have not yet established your LinkedIn account, you can check mine out at >>> http://www.linkedin.com/pub/andrew-lang/7/34b/549. From a broader perspective, I have yet to find associations trying to make money here, either.
The bottom line is that there does not yet appear to be a measurable monetary “bottom line” coming directly from social media. On the other hand, if you have a success story PLEASE let me know…perhaps then I will finally be able to write the column!
Is your association making net income in new or different ways? I am always looking for new stories for my column.
Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org