How to Bring Your Association Closer to Your Members (and Your Revenue Goals!)
In order to get the most out of their offerings, events, and communications, associations need one thing above all else: engaged members!
Engagement leads to greater member participation, involvement, loyalty–it can even have a considerable impact on revenue. After all, engaged members convert more easily and renew their memberships more readily.
Getting members to such a high level of engagement, however, takes effort.
The truth is, there really is no silver bullet solution here.
For the best results, associations need to use all of the tools at their disposal and provide members with an unmatched experience. You need a solid plan and even better execution. Thankfully, today’s article should help get you and your association started on your way!
1. Take Advantage of Social Media
For most associations, social media is essential for driving engagement with current and future members. The medium is, after all, a powerful resource for extending an association’s reach, expanding its marketing, and connecting with its audience.
To use social media to its fullest potential, you need to employ the proper strategy and effort. Associations should dedicate time to making meaningful connections with people on social media; try inspiring (and joining!) discussions with your members. Then, you can use what you learn to improve your association’s direction.
You’ll also want to mix up the type of content you post. Posting only self-serving content and advertisements generates negativity, both in terms of reception and ranking on social media feeds. You want to be a source of information for your members, not an ad bot!
You can also post in different formats–like video, which typically receives more than two times the comments that other posts receive! You may also want to try carousel posts and infographics. Experiment, experiment, experiment!
2. Make Continuing Education a Strength
More members join associations for continuing education than for any other reason.
Members can upgrade their skills, acquire certifications, and stay industry-compliant thanks to their association’s resources, making memberships very worthwhile investments. To enhance these benefits even further, consider taking your continuing education to the next level!
First, try building career development roadmaps for your members. You can leverage the power of a quality LMS to learn about your users and guide them to their desired outcomes by recommending relevant or requisite training. Additionally, you can identify areas of weakness and offer support.
To keep on top of your competition, be sure to maintain updated content and be aware of any and all industry trends and changes. With an effective CE system in place, associations can vastly boost their membership value and member loyalty.
3. Interact with Your Members
It may seem obvious, but interaction is a major key for member engagement.
Interaction needs to come from many different angles if you want to reach all of your members.
On social media, your association needs to drum up meaningful interactions with members and followers. Start conversations on your pages and join other conversations relevant to your industry.
Make sure to ask members for feedback; you can use polls and email campaigns to drum up responses. After that? Make sure to use the information you gain to improve your services. This type of response proves to members that their voices are heard and considered–meaning they’ll be more likely to engage in events and operations in the future.
Commit to providing quality customer service, and your member engagement will soon be on the rise!
4. Personalize Your Communications
Developing a sense of personalization for members can help an association build better relationships with them, leading to a boost in engagement.
For smaller associations, the opportunities for personalization are many–it’s one of the advantages of running a smaller organization–but larger associations aren’t without options!
First, group your members into different segments. These can include factors like:
From here, you can send targeted ads and personalized messages to each group.
You can take this further by building member profiles, using members’ activities and histories to flesh them out. You can then use this information to offer useful and relevant services or products.
Use the analytics resources your LMS and other technology offer to identify if member activity dwindles or if they stop engaging with emails and promotions in the same manner they once did. If you discover these issues early enough (as well as their underlying reasons), you can head the problem off before it grows unmanageable–or worse, unfixable!
5. Build a Community
While associations can create community through their events and on social media, building an online community on your association’s own platform should be explored.
A healthy online community will position your association as a hotspot for members.
You can start by creating an online forum–try hosting one on your LMS! Not only can this serve as a landing spot for members, but it can help transform your system into a social learning platform as well!
Your association can help stimulate discussion by showcasing industry news or starting conversation threads on its forum. You can also create a digital badging system to let members show off their achievements–while advertising your training at the same time!
Over time, these social platforms will grow to be as meaningful and important to member growth and engagement as every other communication outlet your association employs.
6. Incorporate Technology
By itself, more or better technology doesn’t guarantee engagement, but it can bring fresh benefits to your members and offer them features they would otherwise lose out on.
Take events, for example: your association can livestream these and host them online.
This not only accommodates members who would otherwise miss your event because of travel, time, or money restrictions, but it also adds additional opportunities for members to engage with other members.
Conference apps and live streams often also allow online event attendees to chat with in-person participants (and sometimes even the speakers and hosts!) in real-time.
Explore your options and soon, you’ll be engaging your members more than ever before!
Bringing your association closer to your members and growing your revenue should be a top priority. And, while this can be a daunting task, there are many ways to make it easier.
To keep your members engaged, take advantage of social media, make continuing education a strength, interact with your members, personalize your communications, build a community, and incorporate technology.
Ensure your association remains connected and growing–start boosting your engagement today!