With everything going on surrounding COVID-19, you may be having to rethink how you’re engaging your members. You may have already decided to take some of your in-person events virtual (as opposed to just outright cancelling them). Maybe you’ve even put together a COVID-19 resource page for your members.
But what are some other unique ways you can engage your members during this uncertain and challenging time? Below are just a few ideas:
Ask for content ideas
Maybe prior to all of this, you had somewhat of a social media playbook. You posted about upcoming events. You posted pictures from your events. You posted links to valuable blog posts and news articles.
But now, the “mood” has shifted. It’s not really “business as usual” — for anyone — so what kind of content should you post?
I’ve seen many companies and organizations acknowledge what’s going on in a social media post and directly ask their followers what kind of content they’d like to see. Would they like to see how the company/organization is responding to COVID-19? Would they like to see the type of content they’re used to seeing? Would they like to see uplifting and/or humorous content?
Ask what your followers want and need from you. Not only will you get engagement on that post, but you’ll then know how to better engage your members and followers moving forward.
Example from Drybar, a hair styling salon
As different as we all are — the jobs we do, the industries we work in, etc. — we’re pretty much ALL in the same boat. Many of us are working from home and “social distancing” even beyond that. To engage your members and followers, acknowledge that; play into that.
For example, the California Society of Association Executives started hosting “Couch Chats,” where their members can connect and converse via Zoom. They could’ve called those virtual meetings anything, but they chose “Couch Chats” because let’s get real...many of us are working from the comfort of our couch!
Another example (and you have to laugh at this one) comes from a local boutique (Riffraff) in Arkansas. Even though the business is closed, they’re still taking online orders. And to promote some of their new arrivals, they matched their outfits with different lysol bottles and scents. (And better yet, used the hashtag #powercouples.) It’s funny, it’s real, it makes people smile...it’s engaging content!
Share some tunes (And ask for recs!)
Music is one of the best ways to connect with people. Sure, this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your particular industry, but it is a way to engage your members and keep your organization top of mind.
Consider creating a Spotify playlist that you can share with your members and followers. My local yoga studio did this, and it’s a way for me to connect with them from afar. (Plus, it’s driven a lot of social media engagement, as people have commented with what songs they like most.)
Another example stems from a webinar we hosted last week, Member Value in Time of COVID-19. While we were waiting for attendees to join, our primary presenter, Lowell Aplebaum, asked people what songs should be on a “Responding in a Time of Crisis” playlist. As people joined, they immediately started dropping song ideas into the chat window...and let me tell you, they were clever! We later decided to create a Spotify playlist with those tunes and share it with all registrants post-webinar (along with the recording, of course).
Now the examples above are mostly fun and playful. They’re just easy (and creative) ways to engage your members online.
But what about finding unique ways to provide your members with value? Creating a Spotify playlist is fun...but it won’t necessarily be enough to convince your members to renew when the time comes. For ideas on how to provide your members with real value in time of COVID-19, check out the recording of the webinar we mentioned earlier. In it, 15 association executives share how they’re currently adding value for their members in new and creative ways.