Maslow theorized in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”, and I agree, that people crave attention and a sense of belonging.
People need to know, and they need the world to know, that they are part of something bigger than themselves.
They need something that validates them. Something that they can point to, especially publicly, and say, “Yes, I am part of that group. I fit in there nicely. They like me, I like them.”
That urge to belong is one reason why chambers thrived so much for so long. Even if a member didn’t get a direct ROI, per se, they at least felt they were part of a group they were proud of, so they stayed a member.
I am a business person. I am a chamber member. I belong.
Today, that same small business person can join, sometimes for free and with a simple click of a button, a wide variety of online groups that fulfill this same need.
The edge for chambers is our visibility and position in the community.
We have the brand, we have the connections, we have the influence.
To maintain that edge, we must leverage those attributes and the reach of social media.
But here is a word of caution. Here is where chamber’s are making a mistake.
Our focus on social media can’t be inward, screaming “look at us, we are the chamber, here is what we are doing.”
It needs to be outward, saying, “Look at them, they are the chamber.”
The spotlight needs to be on the members, not the chamber.