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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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Association Basics: How to Write a “Year in Review” Newsletter

Posted by Krissy Conant

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With 2018 around the corner, it’s important for your association to show what was accomplished in 2017. One of the easiest ways to do that is to write a newsletter to recap your association’s year. This newsletter should cover the big highlights of 2017 as well as include your association’s updates for 2018.

You might be asking yourself “But with such little time left in the year, what’s the point?” We think that this little newsletter can have a big impact. Take a look at the four categories you should include to knock your “Year in Review” newsletter out of the park!

1. Highlights from 2017 Events

We hope you saved your association’s photo collection from 2017 as it’s going to come in real handy! Your members are going to want to know that their dues are going toward something of benefit to them. What better way than to feature your association's events to provide visual feedback of real time value.

People, no matter their industry, enjoy seeing photos from events they’ve attended or heard of. Use this interest from members to your advantage by highlighting events that had great engagement accompanied by some basic stats, such as funds raised, highest number of attendees, etc.

2. Endorsing 2018 Events a.k.a. “Save the Dates”

Whenever it comes to member communication, one of your main concerns should be about how to create impactful engagement with your members. By reminding your members about upcoming events for the 2018 year (such as trade shows, annual conferences, webinars, luncheons, etc), you should be warming them up early to get those engagement levels up!

Make sure that you include the essential details to make it as easy as possible for your members. We recommend listing dates, locations, a basic summary of purpose, and (if possible) early bird specials for signing up early. Maybe even consider using the new year as a price change date to create a stronger sense of urgency.  

3. Member Spotlights / New Members

When it comes down to it, your members want to know that you see them as people, not cash flow. By including a couple of member spotlights as well as a list of new 2017 members, you’ll be enforcing that one of your association’s main purposes is to celebrate both new and veteran members that comprise your organization.

And don’t forget: This section won’t only help with engaging existing members but could boost interest from potential members who are curious to learn about your association’s roster. This “Year in Review” newsletter should be your association’s love letter to your industry about your members AND your benefits, so you might as well hit two birds with one stone.

4. Sign-Up Reminders

Last, but not least, this newsletter is one of your big chances to remind your members about why they joined your association (and why they should renew!). Translation? Make sure to provide clear links to your member renewal page, volunteer opportunity pages, and event registration pages.

You want to make it feel seamless for your members to renew or engage in additional activities for your association. Make sure your links vary in color from your regular text and that you include them throughout your newsletter as opposed to clumped together in one section.

Final tip: We recommend promoting this newsletter via email AND by posting it on your website to get the best traffic. Remember that potential members might not be signed up for your newsletter and will probably be researching by going to your home page directly.

Looking for other ways to increase the likelihood that your members will rejoin? Take a look at our guide, Don’t Let Them Get Away: Best Practices for Membership Renewals, to find out how you can do more for your renewal process than just sending the same ole’ emails.

Best Practices for Membership Renewals

Topics: association management, member engagement, member retention, Small Staff Chatter

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