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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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New Year, New Website: Quick Hacks for Your Homepage

Posted by Krissy Conant

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With the arrival of the new year, you need to be ready for a rise in traffic to your website. Why? Most people in January often begin exploring what New Year’s Resolutions they want to take seriously and that very well might be joining your organization!

To make sure that you make a great impression for your organization, try including these five easy hacks on your homepage to boost your member acquisition.

1. An Eye-Catching Update 

When potential members get a first glimpse to your homepage, they’re trying to get a “screenshot” of what your organization provides your members. One of the first elements you want to showcase is how you’re keeping your organization fresh for your members. You can do this by highlighting an exciting update for that month front and center; think about your annual conference, an exciting webinar, or a fun upcoming luncheon.

If you go this route, however, you need to make sure that this update changes on a fairly regular basis. You’ll have some potential members who aren’t ready to jump on board immediately, so they’ll be checking in periodically. You want to make sure they see a variety of benefits from joining each month and not the same old material.

2. Sign-in Portal 

No matter your industry, existing and potential members alike want a seamless sign-in experience. Have you ever had to hunt down a login page for an organization after clicking through 3 pages? And let us guess: It probably didn’t foster any fond feelings about the organization, right?

Your homepage needs to include a clear login icon right off the bat. This small element will be a game changer for your homepage, as it allows your existing members to have quick access to their member landing page (a.k.a your organization’s benefits). Any time saved is a win, right?

3. Events Calendar

Have you ever looked at an organization’s event calendar and found it totally blank? This typically means either nothing is planned for your organization or nothing is listed - and frankly, neither of these are good! Keeping your calendar updated is one of the easiest ways to show your member base that your events are worth an investment of their personal time.

With all these new folks coming your way, this is an easy way to highlight the range of events your organization’s membership provides. While it doesn’t have to be the focus of your homepage, try to ensure that it’s within clear sight. We promise your members will love you more for it!

4. Clear Navigation Bar 

Too often, you’ll find that many organization’s homepages don’t include a basic navigation bar and it’s an immediate turn off for many potential members. So, what should you include on your menu? Think about...

  • About Us (Mission, Leadership, Initiatives…)
  • Membership (Benefits, Member Portal, Directory…)
  • Education / Events (CAE, Webinars, Conferences, Luncheons…)
  • Resources (Blog, Newsletter, Scholarships, Sponsorships…)

While your navigation bar may vary slightly depending on your industry, including these four categories is a must! You want to make sure the menu covers the spectrum of your topics without being unnecessarily long (looking at you, 11 menu categories…).

5. Search Bar

Last but not least, there will always be some material or content on your webpage that you can’t fit on your homepage. Now while this is for good reason (a cluttered homepage can be overwhelming to navigate), this isn’t going to provide a great user experience for potential members.

The easy fix? Provide a simple search bar that will allow your members to access the full spectrum of content available on your site. This small change will encourage users to remain on your site as opposed to click away. Also, it encourages your potential members to dig deeper into what interests them about your organization.

Ultimately, when you’re building out your homepage, you can’t think about what you want, but what your existing and potential members will want. If you’re trying to think of other ways to get potential members to your site for the new year, check out our new guide, Best Practices for Online Member Acquisition, to get going!

Best Practices for Online Member Acquisition

Topics: association management, Small Staff Chatter, association software

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