6 Tips to Help Increase Your Member Engagement This Year
Time to boost membership engagement to the next level? Are all your old tricks becoming stale, overused, and simply ineffective? You're in luck. Here are this year's top strategies to increase member engagement like never before.
How do you measure engagement?
Download our Scoring Membership Engagement eBook to learn why engagement matters and how measuring it in a new way can have an immense impact on your association.
1. Establish Your Baseline Membership Engagement
How long has it been since you worked up the actual metrics for how much, often, and deeply members are currently engaging with your association? Remember, you can't improve until you know where you are now.
Aside from the basic renewal rates, new member applications, etc., set up a way to track how often your members respond to your emails, as well as whether or not those responses were positive or negative.
What are your members talking about on social media? What do they say on social media outside your own accounts? Establish a baseline for current engagement so you know where improvements need to be made.
2. Segment Members
You probably have a profile of your members—the generalized demographic information that makes up the average member of your association. Go deeper. Segment your members just like retailers segment their customers.
This will allow you to target them more effectively with content, messages, and through the channels they are most likely to respond to. For example, if your association is dedicated to environmental protection, you might have a young, upcoming demographic of college students, as well as an older, more mature set of members.
You won't reach both of these groups in the same ways with the same messages on the same channels. Diversify.
3. Determine the Right Social Media Outlets for Engaging Your Members
Too many associations set up a Facebook account and perhaps a Twitter and leave it at that. But there are tons of different social networks, and each one allows you to reach an entirely different demographic. For example, if your members are largely professional types, you can probably forego (or scale down) your Facebook activities and ramp up on LinkedIn.
Pinterest is a great way to reach crafty folks, DIYers, and a largely female demographic. Google Plus, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, and the others all have specific followings that might represent your members and potential members. There's no reason why you can't have them all—most will allow you to link your other feeds so that anything posted to one is automatically posted to the others.
Just remember the visual aspect of your posts. Posts look radically different on the various user interfaces, so what rocks on Facebook might flop on Twitter. Be smart about presentation.
4. Set Up & Manage Engaging Member Forums
Keep up the enthusiasm generated by your live event with an active, informative online forum group where they can discuss, debate, and interact to boost membership engagement.
Nothing is more engaging to members than giving them a forum to collaborate, brainstorm, help one another, solve problems, and transfer information. Create a strong user forum and keep it lively by initiating discussions, debates, and other engaging, thought-provoking content. You know your members and what enlivens them.
5. Use Responsive Web Design Practices
Is your website great looking on smartphones and tablets, or is it designed exclusively for desktops? The last thing you want is for your members to pop on with their phones while waiting for a train and having a horrible experience because the website isn't formatted properly for their screen. Build a responsive website that detects their device and delivers an experience optimized for it.
6. Delve into More Training & Education
Many members join and maintain memberships for the sole purpose of getting the training and education associations have to offer. Make sure you're offering training and learning opportunities that make their membership dues worthwhile. These can also be great forums for member engagement where people can share their thoughts, ideas, and what they've learned about your field of interest.
What does it take to to know if your engagement practices are working? It takes accurate measurement and the ability to view engagement over time. Download the Scoring Engagement eBook to discover the messages your members have been telling you all along, and how to use those messages to get those members engaged.
Which effective strategies are you currently using to increase member engagement? Let us know in the comments section below, and don't forget to download the Scoring Member Engagement eBook!
About Jennifer Barrell
As the Director of Content, Branding & Buzz at Aptify, Jen oversees the strategy and execution of brand management and content production across the organization’s global offices. She thrives on bringing compelling content and useful information to associations to help them grow and engage their membership. She's also an avid fan of mid-century modern design and all things science fiction.