The Construction Financial Management Association is taking advantage of two great features on the CFMA Connection Café, its community site: polls and discussion groups. Most members probably consider responding to a poll as a one-time action. The same may be said for a certain discussion thread—they offer up their question or advice and perhaps let others take the lead. But CFMA’s Connection Café combined these actions to encourage even better engagement with their “Question of the Month” polls connected directly to popular discussions.
The most vibrant discussion groups have great content and even better “Best Answers.” CFMA now uses those active conversations to create a poll that’s easily accessed from the community’s home page, which links back to the ongoing threads on the discussion group. Members perusing the community for general news can find that month’s poll under the Participate tab, in the “Vote in our Polls!” Section, and will simultaneously get exposure to an interesting discussion group they may not have found otherwise.
There have been 14 polls created since October 2013, with a total 2,799 votes from community members. Some of CFMA’s polls have had nearly 500 responses. The more popular discussions (and corresponding polls) include how members prefer to receive CFMA education, how likely members would be to recommend CFMA, and companies’ employee outlooks for the upcoming year.
“CFMA members are a super engaged community and their Connection Café discussion topics are wide-ranging and intriguing,” says Fern Oram, Director of Content Marketing and Communications at CFMA. “It’s an exciting process to marry our members’ insights with a polling question, and then connect those results to future educational offerings, Conference sessions, and articles in CFMA
Data from the polls also better informs CFMA’s Connection Café. Poll results showed that 54% of respondents voted a “10” for the poll question, “How likely would you be to recommend CFMA membership to a friend or
colleague on a scale of 1-10 (10 being most likely)?” When asked which hot topics members would like to see addressed in the upcoming Financial Survey Online Questionnaire, most respondents voted for information on the Affordable Care Act and overcoming the shortage of skilled workers in the industry. Connection Café has found an informative and productive way to continue both engagement and continuing education.