Engaging your members throughout the year is hard enough. But throw in the holidays, and it often feels downright impossible.
Your members are on vacation, enjoying time with their loved ones, taking a much needed break from their jobs/professions - and rightfully so!
So how can your association or chamber still engage with members, even during the busy holiday season? Here are a few tips:
Cut back on the communications
Even if your members are taking time off for the holidays, chances are, they’ll still periodically be checking their email. (No one wants to return to 400+ emails.) So if you do email your members during or around the holidays, they’ll probably still see/read/scan your email, but the chances of them doing so are better if…
You consolidate your messaging - Your emails shouldn’t be as long (or as frequent) as they normally are. Only send out information your members really need - or messages you really want them to hear (e.g. Happy Holidays!). In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to create a November/December/January email calendar. Write out all the messages you absolutely need to communicate (your seasonal luncheon, your final webinar of 2018, etc.) and then figure out a way to either consolidate those messages (putting that information in one or two emails) or space them out enough to where your members don’t start tuning you out.
You embrace the holiday season - Your members are thinking about family, friends, food, holiday movies, seasonal shopping - all that fun stuff. If you want them to think about your association or chamber, go where their minds are. Embrace the holidays in your email communications! Try out a festive subject line or include a funny holiday GIF (see below). This is an opportunity for your association to connect with your members on a more personal level. Take advantage!
I mean, who wouldn’t want to see Clark Griswold in an email?
Stay active on social media
Your members may not be checking email a ton, but they’ll probably still be checking social media. To keep your association top of mind, be sure to keep the posts frequent - and fun! Post a pic of your staff wearing tacking holiday sweaters. Or swapping gifts during Secret Santa.
The more your members can relate to those posts (because hey, those are activities they’re likely participating in as well), the more likely they’ll be to engage with them (like, comment, share, etc.).
(For more social media content ideas, check out our post, Your Holiday Social Media Schedule Is Here!)
Rather than asking your members to do something new, ask them to reflect on what they’ve already done
Like we mentioned, the end of the year, for many, is a time to relax. So asking your members to do something new (register for something, attend something, etc.), well...doesn’t always generate the best results.
Instead, rather than asking your members to embark on a brand new initiative, ask them to reflect on some of the things they’ve already done with your association or chamber. Put together a blog post or a Facebook album with best moments from the year - award winners, trade show attendees, new members and volunteers, project completions, etc. You can even ask members to comment with their favorite memories from the past year. Not only does this allow you to see what your members enjoy the most (so you can recreate/repeat), but it gets your members excited for 2019 (which is especially important if you’re in the midst of dues renewal season).
Want more tips for engaging your members not just during the holidays, but throughout the entire year? Check out our free member engagement guide below!