If you’re like most associations, the topic of member engagement is usually at the forefront of your mind. And this is for a very good reason – it is the key to attracting and keeping your members, especially at a time when direct contact is limited!
However, member engagement is not always easy to achieve. It is a bit of a ‘buzzword’ that in practice can be a little complicated. To help you get started, here’s some suggestions of ways to engage with your members online to help get you started!
Offer fresh and up-to-date content on your website. Sounds easy, but you’d be surprised how many websites don’t have recent posts. This could include blog posts, an image gallery, or postings of your activities, etc.
Use responsive website templates that are favorable to both desktop and mobile users. This is no longer considered to be just ‘nice to have’ – it’s an absolute must!
Stay active on your social media platforms. You don’t have to be on every social media site possible, but do focus on two or three that really make sense for your membership (Twitter, and LinkedIn are typically the most popular).
Use social communities and online forums as great additions to traditional social media sites. Remember that social communities do not try to compete with traditional social media sites, but they do offer a members-only forum for discussion, pictures and sharing of experiences.
Send your members a regular e-newsletter. Just make sure the content is absolutely relevant and valuable to them as a business.
Try to blog on a regular basis. Not only will this help showcase your organisation’s personality, but it will encourage members to revisit your website regularly to read what you have to say!
Send out member surveys. These are great for collecting member information and sourcing feedback on what you are doing. More importantly use this intelligence to tailor your membership value proposition and respond to your members’ needs.
Use website widgets. Website widgets generally help to boost member engagement by offering a richer website experience. Consider using widgets for Twitter or calendar widgets on your site.
Host industry-related webinars. These are becoming essential in the association space and for very good reason as face to face activities are not an option at the present time.
Publish a few, short YouTube videos. These don’t have to be anything complicated but do make sure they are very informative and relevant to your audience. Sincerity here is much more important than expertise. Of course you want your video to be professional, but it is about establishing a connection with the audience and talking about a cause that is important to you and your industry.
Host a live Q&A Session. If you’ve got an upcoming event, virtual or not, why not interview the speaker(s)? It’s a great way to market the event as well as generate engagement.
Build and publish a few simple infographics. Again, these don’t have to be anything complicated but can just be simple and informative to engage your more visual members.
If you want to learn more about any of these, then check out our online training programme here.