Associations often cite member engagement as a top challenge.
It may seem even more vexing in today’s digital world, but there are many effective ways to foster connections with and among your community. Here are four demonstrated tactics that can create value for your members and bolster their engagement.
Publish web content that keeps them coming back for more.
To deliver value and drive engagement, you’ll need digital content that’s fresh, current, easy to find, and targeted to your audience. For example, you might decide to include:
- Your calendar: What’s going on in the next month or two?
- Upcoming events: Consider creating teasers leading up to each event, showcasing it on the date that it occurs, and following up with a recap and interesting images
- Fundraising campaigns: Provide updates on financial goals and share moving stories about those who have been impacted by your organization’s efforts
- Issues and lobbying efforts: Post weekly or monthly updates about the most critical issues of the day and your organization’s efforts on behalf of them
- Member stories: Tell the tales that inspire other members or inform potential members about your organization and the good work you’re doing
Offer robust e-learning tools that help members advance in their professions.
A Learning Management System (LMS) allows you to offer up powerful educational opportunities that your members can enjoy from anywhere. These tools have never been more necessary and valuable than they are under our ‘new normal’. To ensure a positive member experience, your LMS should be easily navigable, allowing for seamless browsing of course offerings and descriptions, applicable credits, reporting, tutorials, and other relevant information. Include community forums for your e-learning programs to provide networking opportunities for those pursuing similar goals, paving the way for greater member retention and engagement.
Create a dialog through social media.
It’s become increasingly important to enable and promote two-way social media engagement with current and prospective members. To convert more of your social media followers into active members, engagement needs to be front and center. Start by focusing on the channels where your members are most active and considering the kinds of content they might be seeking. For instance, you may decide to post inspiring images that tell more about the work you do and create a “behind the scenes” vibe with special previews that are only accessible to your followers. Be sure to develop interactive content, too, so that members feel like they’re part of the discussion. Conducting polls on Facebook and asking questions on Twitter, for example, allow you to share information about your organization’s activities while involving your members in the conversation.
Nurture community collaboration with an accessible member directory.
Many people join associations with the primary goal of interacting with like-minded individuals and organizations, and an online member directory can seriously enhance these efforts. Include a searchable directory on the site that your members visit most frequently rather than sending them to a third-party site, which can be frustrating and confusing. Incorporate a message board that allows your members to communicate seamlessly, and include public online forums that they can contribute to, as well.
Member engagement is an ongoing initiative.
It’s definitely not a “one and done” deal. If you want to continue attracting new members and retaining existing ones, you’ll need to be creative and invested in your efforts. The more tactics you try, the more you’ll learn about your members and what they prefer. And as you become more successful in your engagement efforts, the more your membership organization will grow and thrive.
Is boosting member engagement in the digital realm a challenge for your association? IBC has the innovative software solutions and the depth of experience you need. If you’re ready to take your member engagement to new levels, please contact our helpful professionals today.
About IBC: At IBC, we have a deep understanding of the critical business needs and processes specific to associations, non-profits, and unions. We ‘get’ your culture, your goals, and what drives you, too. Focused exclusively on and dedicated to delivering the most effective AMS, LMS, and Virtual Event Solutions for our clients, we’re well-versed in identifying and applying the integration techniques that will save you time and money. Since 2001, our cutting-edge products, unparalleled responsiveness, and award-winning services have helped organizations like yours increase their operational and financial performance by leveraging best practices and proven solutions. For more information about IBC, please visit the website at www.ibconcepts.com or call 443.603.0215.