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The MemberClicks Blog

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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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You Might Be Annoying Your Members If You Are…

Posted by Krissy Conant

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No one wants to be labeled as the “annoying” guy (or gal), whether it comes to friends, co-workers or new acquaintances. This sentiment can apply to your association too!

Wouldn’t you rather be delighting your members? Hopefully that was a resounding yes! Take a look below at the top three things you might be doing that will turn your members “off” your association.

1. Missing Your Deadlines

It’s simple enough. If your members can’t rely on you, then chances are high that they’ll leave your association. Think back on the last couple of months. Can you think of a time that you urged your members to be accountable to a certain date and you let it just slip on by? If this is a regular occurrence, then you might be bruising the mutual respect between you and your members.

Sounds annoying, right? You might need to re-evaluate how you’re spending your time at work. Are you overcommitting on too many projects? Take a second to prioritize top-down on your association’s top needs versus wants when it comes to deadlines. Once you’ve collected a solid (and realistic) list, start creating reminders on your work calendar. This will allow you to know when to start working on projects so you can coordinate important deadlines better.

2. Not Keeping Them In The Loop

No matter our level of involvement in a group, most people want to be kept informed of upcoming events and updates (especially if they are paying for it). If you’re not providing this regular communication, then your members are going to start getting frustrated. Some typical formats for this are:

This communication type will depend on your industry (and even more on your average member). So ask yourself: What format do you get the best engagement?

3. Too Slow With Responses

We’ve all been here. All you want is an answer to your (seemingly) basic question and instead it’s taking days to get a response. From experience, we can tell you that this is almost always annoying to everyone! So, as an association professional with little time and even less resources, how do you avoid this?

First things first, you need to be clear in what kind of response time your members should be expecting. This solution can look like an automated response email that goes to your members advising that you will get back to them within x hours (think 24 or 48 hour time spans). If you go this route, you MUST make sure to keep that deadline or you’ll be digging yourself a hole. Try giving yourself a scheduled time slot specifically for responses if you’re finding it’s hard to keep up.

Ultimately, you are the face of your association, so make sure you’re being thoughtful about your actions when it comes to interacting with your members. We all know it’s hard enough acquiring new members. Don’t make your job harder by “annoying” them away!

If you feel like you might be doing some of these no-nos, have you thought about using an AMS to help with your daily duties? Take a look at our guide, Why You Need an AMS, to see where you can start automating your daily duties to provide a better user experience for your members! 

Why You Need an AMS Guide

Topics: association management, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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