Many of you are using Facebook to promote your association. Up until now, you have thought of Facebook as a valuable tool to give your members and prospects another channel to connect and share. We now know that Facebook is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to gather data on unsuspecting members. Now we learn that Facebook is launching a platform that will allow anyone to create paid subscription groups. This mean that your competitors now have a convenient portal to attract your members while creating revenue for themselves and Facebook.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

What this means in simple terms is that Facebook is coming after the association space by making it easier for competitors to launch, in hopes of using AI to monitor and leverage the data of subscribers.

We anticipate that associations that continue to use social media to post proprietary content will soon experience their audiences being targeted through AI to join other subscription based groups. These groups will no doubt offer content that will be of interest to your members – putting them at risk of questioning their membership with you.

Why would Facebook do this?

It’s all about the revenue. The more people that join paid subscription based groups, the more success these groups will have and the more groups will be formed. It’s a nice mousetrap.

The problem is that your association may be the ill-fated mouse that couldn’t resist the social media cheese.

We need to get association CEOs to understand that social media is their competitor. Social media still has a place to promote content, but that content should live on your website behind a wall that only your members can access. By allowing Facebook and other social platforms to have free reign of your content, you are asking them to gather data on your members and then steer them to competitors to feed their insatiable revenue machine.

It’s not too late to start thinking differently about your social strategy.  But time is running out.

Please take a moment to learn more about Facebook’s new subscription model by clicking here to read this article published in Association Now.

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Dan Stevens is President of WorkerBee.TV and is a sought after speaker on association trends.