If your association is one with an online member community, you know you’re providing the best option possible to keep members engaged and communicating. But if you aren’t opening up this opportunity to new members, you may be keeping the door closed to even more member engagement.
Building up your association’s community is all about inclusivity. You want to make sure each and every member feels comfortable joining in on the online discussion, no matter how long they’ve been with your organization. It’s up to you to create that open connection for new members and show them what they’re missing out on if they don’t join in on your online member community.
You don’t want to let new members become an oversight when managing your online member community. So, here are just a few ways your association can extend an open invitation and introduce members to the amazing online tools you already provide!
1. Invest in marketing
Want to make a big statement to new members about the value of your online member community? Try investing some of your budget into impactful and measurable marketing campaigns.
Creating unique campaigns for your online member community can help drive home the “why” of your association’s efforts. Why are you putting in the time to create this platform for members? Why should members take this opportunity to come on board? These two questions can be used to branch out and create marketing campaigns that pack a punch.
But with these marketing campaigns, you want to make sure you’re measuring their effectiveness.
Be sure to set up marketing campaigns in ways that can be measured in terms of success and conversion rates. If your association is one that tracks campaigns using an analytics tool, you’re in the clear. If you’re looking to run ads on social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, you can use their easy to use interfaces. Tracking campaigns will give you a better idea of who you’re reaching and whether or not your efforts are effective.
2. Include your community in welcome materials
When onboarding new members to your association, you’re going to send out a lot of materials to get them started. Therefore, it only makes sense to include your online member community information within these materials.
Introducing your online member community early in your relationship with new members will give them incentive to check out what you have to offer and join right off the bat. It can be difficult to get new members onto a new habit of using a member portal if they aren’t directly introduced to it right away.
Include introductions and instructions on your online member portal within your association’s welcome packet. Show new members how to log in, what kinds of offers they should expect to find, and where they can connect with other members.
Getting new members started within your welcoming process is easy and can result in an increase in community members over time.
3. Provide content new members will love
Want to get new members excited to join your online member community? Give them content that appeals directly to them.
Your online member community should already be a host for valuable member content. But if you can find a way to tailor some of this content to new members’ needs, you’ll have a direct way to engage them in your member portal.
In order to do this, you’ll need to know what new members are looking for when joining your association. Are they young and in need of professional guidance? Do they want to learn more about lobbying and advocacy to make a change in their community? Are they just looking for the latest in industry news and updates?
Study your group of new members and see what appeals to them most. Then, create and market content around those interests to new members through the channel of your online member community. This way, you’re showing them true value lies in your member portal, giving them an incentive to come on board.
Providing new member-centric content will help you add value to your community while also increasing chance of engagement opportunities.
Extending a warm invite to your online member community to new members requires a few different things: Smart marketing tactics, quick response time, and targeted content. If you can provide all three of these things, you should have no problem convincing new members to join in the online member portal fun.