5 Ways to Engage Members

Many association executives pose the question “How do I engage my members in a meaningful way?”  The following are five ways that are relatively inexpensive and not overly time-consuming to start implementing now:

  • Maintain a blog: Every association should have a blog that addresses key issues, provides opinions, and offers expert advice for their industry.  Your communications department likely works diligently to put together a newsletter monthly that is distributed to your membership.  But only those on the distribution list have the opportunity to read it, and the majority is likely not reading every installment.  What if you took your content created for the newsletter and repurposed it for your blog?

    Need contributors?  Look to your members and other stakeholders.  They are experts too.  Need to give them extra incentive?  Get a few members to commit to submitting a monthly piece, and as a thank you, offset some of their membership fees.

  • Show off the stars: Start a member of the month (or, week) program.  Advise your community about what they have done to earn the spot (through their volunteerism or research for the industry for example).  Have a spot on your website home page that showcases the member; and link it back to your blog for a full article.  Get your members involved once the program is up and running by starting an nomination process
  • Educate them: On their time.  In many cases, the professional development programming is solely focused around a big conference.  Keeping programming for your conference is OK, but many of your members will not be able to attend.  Having regular webinars to help increase the chances of your members gaining their required credits, or just news regarding your industry, is a great way to keep them informed.

    It can also be a new potential source of revenue for the organization – making them available on demand for purchase by your community can drive revenue to your organizations bottom line.

  • Push the envelope: After inviting your community to join you online in either a public social media platform or private online community, start posting questions to get people talking.  It is a great way to get your network talking to each other, sharing ideas, opinions and articles of relevance.
  • Use video: Everyone likes watching videos, and you could incorporate this into your engagement strategy for many aspects within your organization.  Your conference delegates, exhibitors and sponsors could be on video talking about your events and why they are a wonderful way to network and educate, your Executive Director could have a monthly vlog that is only available in the members-only section of your website (or, on a private online community).

Engaging your members is the ultimate goal for associations today; get the creative juices flowing within your organization to take the necessary steps to engage them NOW and in the future.

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