Member engagement is top-of-mind for most association professionals. But when it comes to actually making that happen, well, roadblocks often occur. Sometimes what we THINK will appeal to members and potential members doesn’t, and we’re left scratching our heads.
Engagement is tough - we get it. So to help you out, we’ve put together six online engagement hacks for association professionals:
1. Ask questions
Sometimes, the best way to get people to engage with you is by asking them direct questions. Social media sites are great for this - Twitter in particular. In fact, Twitter has a polling feature that actually allows you to conduct simple, online polls. (For more tips on what this is/how to use it, check out our post, 4 Ways to Use Twitter’s New Polling Feature.)
Not sure what types of questions to ask your members and potential members? Here are a few ideas:
- What type of swag would you like to see at our next event?
- What industry trend would you like to know more about?
- Favorite industry-related book or podcast? Go!
2. Utilize multimedia
It’s easy for communication to get stale, so to keep things fresh - and appeal to a large array of people - consider embracing multimedia. Blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts - just play around and see what works best for your association.
Note: It’s totally fine (and normal) for the subject matter of these pieces to overlap. Don’t think that just because you’ve written a blog post about something, you can’t also turn that into a video. You absolutely can - and should! Some people prefer video over text and vice versa. (And you want to cover all your bases.)
3. Make it a dialogue
Engagement always works bests (and lasts longer) when it’s a dialogue. When people comment on your Facebook page or write in your online social community, respond to them. Let them know that you’re thankful for their participation. If you do this regularly, they’ll feel more comfortable continuing that behavior in the future.
4. Post/update regularly
As with any new thing you start, engagement takes a while to get up and running. And it requires commitment. You won’t see off-the-chart results as soon as you start, but you will over time. So it’s crucial to make posting and responding a habit.
If you think this might be an issue for you (due to time constraints and what not), consider pre-scheduling posts on social media. (For most platforms, you can do this through the actual site.) People need to get used to seeing your content before they actually feel comfortable enough to engage with it.
5. Share the spotlight
It’s a common misconception that everything you post and share has to be about you. In fact, if you really want to drive engagement, share the spotlight with others! Highlight your members and share other organizations’ content (as it relates to your industry). Not only will those members and organizations likely engage with what you posted, but they may start to share your content on their pages - a double win when it comes to online member engagement.
6. Be YOU
People don’t necessarily want to engage with companies or organizations - they want to engage with people. That said, don’t be afraid to showcase a little personality. Post a few funny pictures or share a few funny memes. Not everything has to be a joke, but a little light-heartedness here and there never hurts.
Want more tips for boosting online member engagement? Check out our free guide, Member Engagement for Small-Staff Associations, below!