Getting any chance to improve your association’s member engagement is something that should always be taken advantage of. But what if there was a way to engage members that also shared their stories and made them feel like a special part of your organization?
As an association, you want to do your best to reach out to truly understand the journey that each of your members are taking. From their professional struggles, to their experience with your association, and any positives in between, collecting your members stories to share with others is a must. And if you do it right, storytelling and member testimonials can actually help you build a bond with members that is thick as thieves.
With relationship strength and bonding always being an importance to your members, you want to be sure you’re providing them with enough opportunities and features to do just that.
So, let’s talk a little bit about how your association can use member testimonials to tell a story about your association’s impact- and engage your members while doing so. You have the chance to turn your members stories into something great for your association, so don’t let that opportunity slip through your fingers.
Collecting stories: How to get members talking
The hardest part of coming up with a great way to present your members stories starts with collecting them.
Getting members to take time out of their day is one struggle, but getting them to openly communicate with your association about their experience as a member is an entirely different struggle that only adds to your difficulty to collect testimonials.
Therefore, it’s important that you come up with a way to make your members feel comfortable opening up and sharing their stories.
One way to do this is to make time in your day to regularly reach out to members. Making sure your member satisfaction ratings are in good standing can give you a better chance of having members that are willing to open up, and checking in with members regularly will help you form a better relationship for when they feel ready to contribute their story to your testimonial collection.
You should also give members ample opportunities to open up and talk about whatever they’d like. If members don’t feel like they have a chance or outlet to communicate with your association, you won’t have any chance of collecting testimonials.
Therefore, giving members communication outlets like a 24/7 chatbot service, an open email inbox, and social media outlets that members can interact with is in your association’s best interest. Keeping open doors and available ears will allow you to have a better chance to speak directly to members and hear more of what they have to share.
What to do with testimonials
So you’ve gotten your hands on some member stories. Great! Now it’s time to figure out how to use them properly.
While there are many uses for member testimonials (for example, they make a great addition to any association website), there is one way to use your member stories that you may not have considered- and that could have high payoff as well.
Including your members’ stories and testimonials in your association’s meetings and events gives you a chance to feature your members and give them the spotlight. Curating different types of testimonials, from video messages to quotes and even social media posts, can give you a wide variety of positive experience content to showcase at your meetings and events.
But what does showcasing these stories do for members? Well, for those who had the chance to participate and share their story, it gives them an added sense of purpose with your organization. Seeing their own personal journeys being shared with others in order to build something bigger may inspire them to be a more active part in your association.
And for those onlookers taking in these positive stories, it has the potential impact to encourage them to engage with your association and make more of their time with you. Seeing the success that other members have had is only a motivator to strive towards more with your organization helping members every step of the way.
Collecting and sharing success stories from your own members can provide a great deal of value to your association if done right. Choose to connect and communicate more with members, and you could see an improvement in engagement in no time.