The key to a long-lasting, successful, powerful association boils down to one simple element: member engagement. Either your members are engaged (and therefore keep renewing their memberships and supporting your events and causes), or they aren’t. What are some tried and true tips and tricks for improving member engagement and solidifying the success of your association?
1. Make Events Easy & Convenient for Your Members
Have you ever wanted to do something, but you thought about all the hassle involved and decided not to? For example, you really wanted to see that trade show downtown, but the parking is horrible. Perhaps you’d have loved to see a concert, but the venue of the performance is the most inconvenient place to drive to in town. The point is, the more obstacles you allow to stand in the way, the more reasons members will find for staying home or opting out. Make your enrollment processes, events, forums, and all other member engagement programs as easy and breezy as possible.
2. Make Your Events Unique
Another reason you’ve probably opted out of something you might have otherwise attended is that you are busy, tired or stressed, and you just decide you’ll catch “the next one.” But, what if there is no next one? Make your offerings wholly unique, so that members don’t opt out simply because they figure there will be another chance. Bill all your events (even online ones like podcasts and webinars) as can’t-miss, one-of-a-kind events. Then follow through with your promise. Make your events worth the time it takes to attend them.
3. Build a Thriving Online Community
People can become quite involved and engaged with the people they meet online. Gamers drive or fly thousands of miles to meet up with their online gaming friends. Similarly, people meet, fall in love with, and marry people they meet online. Don’t underestimate the power of a strong, thriving online community when it comes to convincing your members to make their way to your next event. If you can’t boost member engagement on your own, have your active online community of engaged and committed members do it for you!
4. Engage Members with Valuable Content
What do your members need that they can’t get elsewhere? Are they looking for solutions to critical professional problems? Information on upcoming industry regulations? Timely updates on newsworthy events? Vital statistics relevant to their business? Find out where those information gaps are and become the go-to source for that information. Member engagement will rise proportionately to the value of the content and information you deliver to them.
5. Develop a Strong Social Media Presence
Not everyone is into social media; that’s true. But those who are want to interact with the associations they believe to be vital to the causes they believe in. Social media is an excellent way to make announcements without having to issue a press release. Even those who don’t turn to social media as a source of news and information will have an easier time finding your online profiles if you are active on social. For those who are avid social users, nothing can boost member engagement like lively social media pages filled with announcements, quotes from industry leaders, funny industry-related cartoons, compelling blog posts, and intriguing images.
These are just a few of the best tips and tricks for getting member engagement where it should be in your association. But how can you tell where member engagement is so that you can measure it as it improves?