Member engagement is fundamental and vital to any association’s performance. With the use of smartphones and portable technologies on the rise, it is important that you meet your members where they are at, online. But how do we do that? How can associations get their members more engaged in their online community? By keeping your members center stage when developing your association’s community engagement strategy you create an online experience that organically foster’s engagement. Learning from your historic membership engagement trends can guide the tools and strategies to use for your community. So let’s break it down to 5 powerful ways you can supercharge your community engagement.
Cover All Your Corners
Exposure is important, and making sure you are on the right online platforms is even more important. Members like to feel like they are a part of the community. By meeting them both on their social platforms and on your community, you are able to develop a connected relationship. Figure out where your members are most active. If your members are all on Facebook or Instagram, it doesn’t help you to do a majority of your outreach on LinkedIn. This is just an example, but ensure that you are connecting with your membership not just on your ground, but also on theirs.
Stay Relevant, Stay Interesting
In order to get the engagement you are looking for in the online community space, you need to provide them with compelling content that is both interesting and unique. What is happening in your association’s industry? And what are you doing to make a difference? Talking about some hot topics in your industry and what you are doing to make an impact will give your members purpose to rally behind you.
Don’t be afraid to bring in people to speak on your podcast or webinar. You can bring anyone in whether it be a:
Any way you can find that will draw your members in and help them feel relevant is going to benefit your association and the community you are trying to create. With tying in these different people that relate to your members, you are also helping them to feel connected.
Promoting the Experience
Something we have been discussing consistently is the member experience, and what they are looking to get out of their membership. By selling the experience you are going to offer them, whether that be economically, helping them with their career, or giving back to their community, you are thereby giving them a sense of purpose. And as you are documenting these occurrences, don’t be afraid to promote this on your marketing material. Show your members and non-members online, what you and your members are doing in the community.
Exclusivity, though it may sound bad from a non-member perspective, is a great hook. Whether it be on your website or your member’s online communities, be sure to find a need and satisfy that need with some exclusive content for your members. If anyone can get your content, it makes it less compelling to get onboard and join. This content can be in the form of webinars, live-stream discussions, newsletters, or any other form of information you may find valuable to your members.
Develop, Measure, Repeat
You have heard of several different ways to get your online community engaged, now your association needs to figure out whether or not it worked. By developing a plan of action to create, analyze, and decide on whether or not your plan worked, you are maximizing the effectiveness of your efforts. This is a great open process to start your plan of action.
It is important to break down how you are going to approach engaging with your online community. This will offer your members that sense of purpose and a call-to-action to act on.