The holidays are quickly approaching, and while that’s exciting for many, it can also be a little overwhelming. The holiday season is a busy season - and not just for you, but for your members as well.
That said, it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about seasonal member engagement now. When your members are busy and/or out of the office, how can you keep those engagement levels up? Here are a few ideas:
1. Capitalize on social media
If social media engagement has been an issue for your organization, NOW is the time to get creative and dive in deep. The holidays present a multitude of social media opportunities - picture opportunities, in particular - and we strongly encourage you to take advantage.
A few ideas you may want to consider…
- Is your team dressing up for Halloween? Snap a pic and post it on social!
- Halloween means candy and candy *can mean* creativity. Can you spell out your organization’s acronym using small candy pieces? (Below is how MemberClicks did it for Valentine’s Day!)
- November is all about gratitude. To honor the season, consider featuring one outstanding volunteer a week on social media. (You could make this a #ThankfulThursday month-long initiative.)
- Is your organization hosting a Thanksgiving potluck or holiday party? Pictures, pictures, pictures!
- From wreaths and Santa Claus hats to candy canes and hot apple cider, December presents a TON of social media photo ops. Plan ahead and get creative. One idea: For the first day of winter (December 21), consider snapping a pic of your team bundled up and/or sipping on hot chocolate. (Example below.) The more your members can relate to you - on a personal level - the more engagement you’re likely to see.
2. Plan your email communications accordingly
It can be tricky communicating with your members (particularly via email) during the holidays. Many people are out of the office or preparing to be out of the office, meaning your emails can easily get overlooked.
To compensate for some of that craziness, it’s best to plan ahead (meaning...about now). First, think about the major messages you need to communicate in Q4. For example…
- Your organization’s monthly newsletter
- Your holiday luncheon or conference
- Your monthly or quarterly webinar
Then, whip out the calendar. Take a look at when the major holidays are and avoid those weeks if you can. For example, the week of Thanksgiving (November 20 - 24) - probably not the best time to remind your members of your upcoming holiday luncheon. The week before, however, would probably be pretty good. If you can plan for these things in advance - and create somewhat of an email calendar - you’ll prevent yourself from being in a pickle (low open/click-through rates) later on down the road.
3. Remember “the reason for the season”
Yes, it can be hard to engage your members during the holidays, but not if you keep in mind what the holidays are all about - friends, family, gratitude, and celebration. If you can tie those concepts into your organization’s messages - your emails, your blog posts, your social media posts, etc. - people are likely to be much more receptive.
Think about it: If it’s the week before Thanksgiving, which of these would interest you more:
- A blog post about a new Twitter feature
- A blog post titled, “12 Reasons to Be Thankful for Associations”
Probably the latter. That’s because it taps into emotion, and more importantly, where your head is at (you’re thinking about celebrating Thanksgiving next week). Your members are no different, so if possible, scale back on the “all business” and instead, remember the reason for the season. (Engagement will likely follow.)
Want more tips for engaging your members not just through the holidays, but throughout the year as well? Check out our free guide, Membership Engagement for Small-Staff Associations, below!