Association executives who hire me usually want to know how they are comparing in their social media use to other organizations in their industry and in the association realm in general. We can make generalizations, but the only way you can know for sure how you compare is to take the time to look into the social media activities, web traffic, and estimated influence for all organizations in question.
Over time, collecting this data, some trends appeared indicating a usefulness in tracking associations in a variety of industries. We created the DelCor Association Social Media Index (DASMI) as a year-long initiative to watch how the outcomes of associations successfully1 active in social media compared to other associations in various stages of social media efforts.
Since launching the DASMI in November 2011, we have used it to estimate potential social media growth for clients and as a gauge for overall association social media activity. Identifying trends in online activity using the "DASMI Dozen" is somewhat similar to following the S&P 500. How much the DASMI indicators work to explain anything outside of social media activity for associations remains to be seen.
[The following is taken from our DASMI explanation on the DelCor website.]
The DASMI is calculated weekly and is based on three factors:
Engagement is critically important for associations, particularly those whose primary efforts involve lobbying, regulation, or otherwise advancing their industries in the eyes of the American public. According to ASAE, associations employed more than 1.6 million people in 2009, with a payroll of more than $47 billion.
How well are associations engaging constituents and legislators through social media? Are social mentions entirely self-generated, or are people actually talking about your association? We measure this engagement by tabulating social mentions using Vocus Social Media Software.
How well associations are communicating through social media can impact the perceptions of their many constituents and observers. No longer is the conversation limited to private meetings, coordinated lobbying efforts, and carefully planned press conferences. People are talking about your association online; gauging your participation in those conversations is a key measure of your online influence. We measure influence using published Klout scores.
Advancing your association requires action. Online, that commonly means more followers or more visits to your website, where you can initiate further involvement with your association – encouraging visitors to respond to action alerts, volunteer, or learn how your association advances America. We measure action based on Alexa analytics.
If you would like to see how your association can use the DASMI to rate your own activity, feel free to email me at email@example.com and I can find your DASMI score for your organization to track each week as the DASMI is updated.
1The DASMI is comprised of 12 national associations of all sizes, covering a wide variety of industries:
- American Health Lawyers Association
- American Medical Association
- Association for Manufacturing Technology
- Association of Zoos & Aquariums
- Independent Community Bankers of America
- Motion Picture Association of America
- National Association of Home Builders
- National Association of REALTORS®
- National Federation of Independent Business
- National School Boards Association
- Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society