The Strauss Blog

Association Technology Favourites

Every once in a while we all come in contact with a great find that we just have to share! My latest find is UberConference, a low cost, and high tech teleconference system. As an association management company our staff and clients spend a lot of time on conference calls. The cost for these calls really can add up!

For several years “free” teleconference services have existed, but the down side is that they all require callers to make a long distance call. UberConference operates similarly to these “free” services but charges $10 per month. What drew me into UberConference was the option of adding a toll-free number for an extra $10 per month. Adding the toll-free numbers allow volunteer leaders to call in without spending their own money to be part of a teleconference.

The $20 per month we are now spending for a line with UberConference is collectively saving our association management company and our association clients upwards of $500 per month! This article isn’t meant to be a sales pitch for UberConference, but I am an UberFan!

On top of the money savings for our firm and our clients, we are also using the unique benefit offered by UberConference of opting to not require a passcode to enter a teleconference meeting. This saves countless emails saying “what is the access code?” We are also making use of other features they include and are learning about other ways this system can save time and money.

On a different front the other tool we are finding very valuable is from Vancouver-based HootSuite. HootSuite has becoming the leading tool for managing multiple social media platforms for organizations. We are using HootSuite to manage social media communications on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Like with UberConference, HootSuite has many powerful tools and we are continuing to learn how we can best use them. We currently use HootSuite to track social media related to keywords impacting a legal matter relating to a client and their profession. The HootSuite dashboard makes it very easy for us see what is happening in the socialphere in a real-time basis. We are also using this tool to automatically schedule future tweets and posts.

Other technology tools that we are using with increasing frequency include Google Analytics and Campaign Monitor. Google Analytics assists us in monitoring which content on our clients’ websites and our own site are most popular, how long people are spending on a website and how they are getting there. We use Campaign Monitor for designing and sending email marketing campaigns. Campaign Monitor is not the least expensive tool amongst its competitors, but we find that it is easy to work with a lot of very powerful tools.

As someone who likes technology, I am always looking for the next tool to assist our company and our association clients. HootSuite and UberConference are two new tools that we are using and we’d like to hear about your favourite tools and how they are making you, and your organization more operationally efficient and cost effective. Send your favourites to me at jns@strauss.ca.