What are other clubs using? The social media tools most popular among clubs are Facebook, Twitter and Yammer. Facebook is used by clubs to connect with members and keep them informed of upcoming events, promotions, etc. It is also used to post digital images of club events. The clubs I spoke with that are using Facebook, use a public account.

Twitter is used to notify members (in 140 characters or less) of upcoming events, reminders, course conditions, etc. “Tweets” can be sent to cell/smart phones as well as transmitted online.

Yammer is a Web-based service used to communicate with your internal staff. It provides a private site that can push communications to staff bypassing e-mail. Rather than sending club- specific e-mail to staffers’ in-boxes and risk them being lost in the clutter of other electronic communications, Yammer messages are sent to a site, are brief and are easily accessible by staff. This is also a way you can communicate with employees who do not have e-mail accounts at the club.

LinkedIn is a service best used to communicate with your colleagues and network. It is an excellent way to post discussion questions and ask for feedback. I know several managers who have used Linkedin effectively to find and/or land a new job.

Should your club venture into online social media? Do the research at your club to determine if it will be successful. If you plan to proceed, create an implementation plan that specifies what media will be used and who will create and manage it. Determine what information will be shared and how often it will be updated. Finally, put policies in place to specify how it will be used and managed, and then share these policies with all who will be contributing. Get buy-in from the board and any pertinent committees before proceeding, and then get the word out using existing channels such as e-mail, the club Web site, newsletters, etc.

Social media may enhance your current member and staff communications and generate interest in club events. Just be smart about it, and do your homework. If you have questions or want to share your social media club experience, please contact me at lisa@carrollquality.com. I will share your experience with other clubs through the LinkedIn group Social Media in Private Clubs which is a private group created for CMAA members to share ideas and best practices regarding social media. Speaking of social media, be sure and follow Kopplin and Kuebler on Twitter by clicking here and choosing the follow option. – LC

Lisa Carroll Lisa Carroll is Relationship Manager at Kopplin & Kuebler, LLC, The Most Trusted Names in Private Club Executive Placement(www.kkandw.com)and Owner of Carroll Quality Alliance, LLC, Promoting Quality of Business and Quality of Life through Technology and Communications Training (www.carrollquality.com). She facilitates workshops for CMAA Chapters and provides remote, webinar-based software training for Clubs and their staff.