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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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Should Your Association Create a “Villain” to Appeal to Potential Members?

Posted by Krissy Conant


While attending Hubspot’s Inbound17 Marketing Conference, I listened in on Katie Martell’s session Find an Enemy: How the Right Foe Can Motivate Your Buyers to Action. After her talk, I couldn’t help but think that this topic could easily integrate into any association’s membership recruitment campaign. Take a look below to see if your association should considering adding a villain to your next marketing efforts.

Wait, what? A villain - in the association industry?

Most marketing efforts, especially in the association industry, highlight your benefits (which you should be doing). It’s how you know as a member what to expect when joining a new association. However, what if you could find something more primal to spark the interest of your potential members?

When we talk about creating a “villain” for your association, we are not condoning pointing fingers at other organizations. Rather, Martell states “you should brainstorm about an abstract idea that goes against the mission or intent of your organization.” You can then use this villain as a call to action for your potential members to eagerly jump on board with your association.

But, what should this villain be?

Remember: Your goal with this endeavor isn’t to bully another organization but to inform your potential members about the kind of changes you can accomplish together if they join your association.

So, let’s take a fictitious example: Mars Law Society. If we had to guess, their mission would probably have to do with upholding the laws of Mars, right? Well, the enemy of teaching knowledge could be seen as the exploitation of another's lack of knowledge. In this example, you could have your enemy stand for false or inadequate knowledge being spread around to the public. Maybe you could have this representation be a cartoon of a Martian in a Neighborhood Watch outfit. Get creative!

The final word on villains

While this may not be a good fit for every association, using a villain as a call to action could empower your potential members to ask what they are willing to put up with in your industry. You never know if this ideology could push them to see your association as the solution to that problem. Most people want to be a part of a team, so make it crystal clear for what you stand for and hope that your statement helps you stand apart from the crowd.

Wondering what other actions you can take to bring in new members into your association? Worry no more! Take a look at our guide, Best Practices for Online Member Acquisition, to learn how to get those recruitment rates up!

Best Practices for Online Member Acquisition

Topics: association management, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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