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5 Out-of-the-Box Ways to Engage Members on Social Media

When I first joined Twitter in 2009, I was a 19-year-old concert junkie who thought it was the COOLEST thing to have a direct line to my favorite bands and their members. That summer, the Vans Warped Tour production team used the social media network to ask concert goers to volunteer for a couple of hours, in exchange for a spot on stage during the set of their choosing. Um, excuse me? 28-year-old me is still reeling over how cool that was. And without a tool like Twitter, it would’ve been nearly impossible to pull off.

Using social media as a way to engage an audience in unique and unexpected ways has been a no-brainer to me ever since. These platform’s very existence depend on interaction. And as a member-based organization, fostering a sense of community is in your roots. That will always be true, no matter how communication channels change over the years. The real-time, highly visible nature of social media is just what associations need to create meaningful and continuous member engagement.

Here are a few thought starters:

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3 Association Lessons from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

Posted by Callie Walker

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One of my favorite things to do during the month of December? Binge (and binge and binge) Christmas movies! “Christmas Vacation,” “Elf,” “The Holiday,” “Home Alone” - all classics that I enjoy year after year.

But this year, as I was watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (another classic), I realized, there are actually a lot of lessons association professionals can take away from that movie. Here are three, in particular:

1. Creativity can take you places!

When the Grinch starts scheming to take people’s presents (and food and decorations), he lands on a reindeer and a sleigh as his means of transportation. The only problem? He doesn’t actually HAVE a reindeer.

But what he does have? Max! His sweet (and let’s be honest, poor), dog. He plops some antlers on Max and voila - a reindeer to guide his sleigh!

The takeaway here? Never underestimate the power of creativity. You may have limited resources, particularly if you work for a small-staff association, but big initiatives ARE possible - you just have to get a little crafty!


2. No one likes “a Grinch”

The whole town of Whoville (with the exception of Cindy Lou Who) hated the Grinch - and honestly, for good reason. He was grumpy, manipulative, and overall, pretty mean-spirited. Not exactly the qualities of a person people WANT to be around.

That’s an important reminder as you interact with coworkers - and prospects, and members, and board members, etc. - on a day-to-day basis. Your attitude impacts other people. If you’re kind and positive, people will want to be around you. But if not, not only will people give you less of their time and energy, but they’ll ultimately hit the road (one that leads to a more pleasant work environment).

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3. Community trumps EVERYTHING

The Grinch had a goal to ruin Christmas, and you have to give it to him, he definitely tried. All that work in one night? You can’t call him a slacker.

But as you know, he didn’t succeed, and that’s because at the end of the day, Whoville cared more about the people around than the gifts under the tree. Let that sink in.

That’s a powerful reminder for your association, which represents an entire industry - and community - of people. As you plan for 2018, yes, what benefits you offer matter, but remember, that sense of community and the feeling of belonging are really what seal the deal. Don’t let that feeling get lost!


Speaking of 2018 planning, if you’re trying to bump up recruitment, engagement, non-dues revenue, and all that good stuff, check out our Ultimate Guide to Membership Management below! (We WANT to see you succeed!)

Happy Holidays, friends!

The Ultimate Guide to Membership Management

Topics: association management, association leadership, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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