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4 Online Member Engagement Secrets Your Association Will Want to Hear

It's no secret that online member communities work, we've got a few secrets you may not be aware of that can take your online member community to the next level and engage even the most checked-out members.

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If you want to build a successful online community for your association’s members, you’ll want to be in on all of the top tips and secrets. Ever since the rise of technology, online communities have been a great source of member engagement for associations. A successful online community can do wonders for any association looking to get on their members radars once and for all. After all, with the right staff and tools behind your community, you’ll have member engagement down to a science.

However, if you’ve found your association struggling to increase online member engagement, you may want to brush up on some amazing tips that almost sound too good to be true. While it is no secret that online member communities work, there are a few secrets you may not be aware of that can take your online member community to the next level and engage even the most checked out members. So, let’s go over 4 online member engagement secrets your association will definitely want to know and try out in the future.

1. Focus on building relationships

If you want your online member community to thrive, you need to make sure your connections with members are at top shape. Oftentimes, associations get caught up on the logistics and technology support that they forget to nourish what matters the most- your online members. Developing that connection and showing empathy to those who actively participate in your online community can help you maintain a strong online presence and attract more members to your community in the future.

While your association’s community platform says a lot about your quality assurance, it’s the way you engage and interact with members that provides value. With that being said, you should always be focused on building up those relationships. Work on being an active player within your association’s community. Interact with members, weigh in on important topics of conversation, and do you part to communicate and learn more about those who are using your online platform. It will help you generate a strong connection that can make keeping members satisfied easier in the long run.

2. Know your audience

While we say it’s important to know your association's audience in every aspect of work you focus on, knowing your online audience takes the cake in terms of importance. If you aren’t sure who your online community platform is catering to, you could be enhancing and maintaining it entirely wrong. You may be trying to develop your online community around an audience demographic that doesn’t accurately represent the demographic you appeal to. What good is providing online content for Millennial members if your platform is made up of mostly older members?

Getting a sense of your demographic can help you when it comes time to crunch numbers and figure out metrics about your online member community. If you can better understand where your members are coming from, what their lives are like, and what they’re looking for within your association, you’ll have a much better shot at engagement.

3. Prioritize information exchange

No matter what industry your association deals with, chances are your members signed on to receive industry news, updates, and other important information. Therefore, prioritizing the push of informative content on your online community can skyrocket your member engagement rates. You should be focusing on producing and promoting your online content on your online member community. You can even create community exclusive content to add that extra value for members. This way, members feel like they’re gaining something extra by interacting online and being a part of your community.

You should also be encouraging industry related conversations between members. Consider creating chat forums for members to discuss professional topics and to network with one another. You’ll strengthen your membership, provide professional growth opportunities, and promote education and information exchange all at once.

4. Introduce new technology

Want an easy way to spruce up your member community? Try introducing brand new tech tools to the way you run things. Implementing innovative technology like artificial intelligence, chatbots, 24/7 customer service, or anything else that appeals to your organization can give you the edge up in terms of impressing members. Unsure what type of technology you should introduce to your online member community? Try turning to your members for advice. You can survey members on how they currently view your online platform as well as any updates or new features they’d like to see in the future. This way, you can gauge what tech tools you apply based on these answers.

While these secrets don’t seem very secretive, they can be used to save your online member community if you aren’t already implementing them. Consider trying out these 4 tips to create more online engagement for your association.