Member-driven organizations are all about community. While events have been the mainstay of most member-driven organizations for years, online channels offer significant opportunities to keep members engaged, happy, and ready to renew year after year!
No matter the membership management software you’re using, you ought to be able to take advantage of the following tools to drive online engagement for all your members. While the tools might have different names depending on your software, the techniques are universally useful, so read on to discover the opportunity they offer:
Online workspaces are a fantastic tool to drive online member engagement, especially when you approach them strategically.
Creating workspaces centering around subject matter relevant to your membership audience not only keeps members engaged, but can be a fantastic support for your member acquisition efforts.
Like a workshop at a professional event, online workspaces can allow subject matter experts to invite interested individuals to a space dedicated to guided discussion and exploration of a given topic.
They can also act as a forum. Workspaces can offer a space online for interested individuals to gather and discuss freely, with Workspace administrators acting as forum moderators to ensure the conversation stays on-topic.
After logging into your member portal, do members land on the exact same page month after month?
If you were to log into a social network like Facebook or Twitter to see the same page every time, would you be likely to return?
Keeping your member portal experience fresh and new for members is a great way to passively cultivate online engagement. Posting notifications or memo’s for your members outlining everything new is a great way to ensure a consistently positive portal experience for your members. They come to learn that every time they log in, they’ll be able to find new information, events, programs, and more. Build this expectation in your members, and you can be sure they’ll log in and explore your member portal time and time again.
No matter what kind of organization you are, using your portal to provide your members with helpful resources is a sure bet to cultivate their consistent engagement.
Are you managing a professional organization? Consider uploading resources like whitepapers, guides, or e-books addressing subject matter relevant to your audience. Reach out to your membership and ask for resources they might be able to contribute. Professionals often have access to extremely useful content – you might be surprised what they can offer you for sharing via your member portal.
Are you running a gym, fitness club, or sport association? Consider offering your members fitness-related content on workouts, diets, techniques, and game strategy. These resources can offer a lot of value to your members, who will inevitably spread the word to their friends and encourage new sign-ups.
Members of community and home-owner associations ought to be able to turn to their member portal to find all kinds of information concerning community policies, building codes, recycling schedules, community program lists, park schedules, and more.
No matter what kind of organization you represent, there’s always some kind of resource you can offer your members to build community and drive engagement.
Members should be able to use your organization to find other members. Most member-driven organizations offer a directory, but not all consider the benefits of offering more than one.
Building directories around criteria like subject matter expertise, specific skills, professional background, etc. can draw members and non-members alike to your community. We’ve written about how you can drive member engagement with directories, and this is a core tactic!
Identify Your Champions
Among your membership, are you aware of your most active, most committed members?
Chances are, these individuals are already pillars of your membership community. They attend your events, are consistently logging into your portal, opening your emails, and contributing to the discussion.
Give them the ability to spread the word about your organization and refer new members, and you might be surprised to find out how effective they can be at helping to build community. They know everything there is to know about your organization, and are sure to sing your praises, so do everything you can to help them!
Let Your Community Build
Your members are the most capable individuals when it comes to building your community. As members, they know what their needs, wants, and expectations are – and they also know how to find others like them.
Understanding their needs, wants, and expectations and tailor their experience of your organization around it. Offer channels to share their feedback on their experience, and provide tools they can use to help you identify and capture more members!