The Modern Association Checklist
Many associations are under this misconception of this mandatory checklist to properly engage their members: responsive website, community, social media, and blog. Done. You should be fine right? Wrong. When tracking what is most effective to engage your members, associations need to anticipate what the members are looking for and how we, as an association, can adapt to the trends. The mentality needs to be, we are always looking to improve. Get in the habit of always changing the way you work these digital channels and figure out what works best to engage your members.
By far, one of your most effective engagement platforms for you association is your website, if done correctly. Associations have adapted to the need of a responsive web design and rightfully so… Statistics have shown that among the 5.6 hours we spend consuming media, 51% (2.8 hours) is spent on our mobile devices. To do this effectively, associations can either double their efforts and build another mobile compatible site, or double dip and create a responsive web design for both. Once you make your website responsive and compatible, the next step is creating a user friendly experience for your members that is rich in relevant content that your members can use and engage with, both online and in your association’s community.
Building an active community for your members is difficult, but with the ever increasing amount of alternatives to your association it is your job to come up with ways to keep them engaged and satisfied. Associations are now left with trying new ways to adjust the typical vision of the job board. With the use of tech you can create more opportunities for your members to engage. By utilizing technology to create new opportunities for your members, you are able to establish a relationship with them. Doing so will not only build credibility for your association, it can create a community for your members to network and engage.
Gamification is a newer strategy, but it allows your members to feel accomplished when they have reached the “next level.” It’s simple psychology, we like the small feelings of accomplishment and when you provide your members with that opportunity, it creates an atmosphere for them to interact and compete, adding value to your community. Statistics have shown that we corporations and businesses are estimated to spend $2.8 billion on gamification applications by the end of this year. Currently, some organizations are using gamification to run research tests on their members and figure out how to engage with them the most. They found that 79% of the participants said they would feel more motivated and productive if they were in a gamified environment.
Social Media & Blogs:
Being connected with you members is important. The content you provide, how you keep your members engaged on social media and your association’s blog is even more important. How then do you engage with your members through these outlets? And what is the most effective means? The answer is, it depends. 2016 statistics show that 42% of marketers found content marketing to be very effective and only 16% found it to be ineffective. What do we mean then by content marketing? You are trying to provide the best content to your consumer and spending more time and effort doing so. Instead of posting everyday on your blog, maybe now you are posting 3 days a week with amazing content. The goal is to to add value to the members in your association and make them feel like they are getting the best experience by engaging with you.
The bottom line when it comes to your website, community, social media, and blog, you have to unify them together to make them work. This imaginary checklist is not effective. Though you need the components to have successful exposure and engagement with your members, it is not enough to create it and leave it. You have to be willing to take that extra step and improve upon your website, community, social media, and blog often. Staying involved online and looking at what is out there is the best way to make sure that this imaginary checklist is not taking advantage of you and your association.