How engaged are your association members? Engaged members are the backbone of a successful association. As well as paying you their subscription fees, engaged members help to spread the word about your association, recruit new members, and support your initiatives and events. If the majority of your members are silent from one subscription date to the next, you could find your association fails to thrive. Here are five reasons your members aren't engaging, and what you can do about them.
- You're not meeting them where they are. Where do your association members spend their time? Where do they go online? If your members are highly mobile and spend a lot of time checking Facebook on their smartphones, go there. If they tend to gravitate towards particular industry events, go there. To encourage your members to engage, you need to meet them where they are instead of expecting them to come to you.
- Your member materials are boring. Are your Facebook updates dry and boring? Are your emails repetitive subscription invites? To keep your members engaged, take the time to craft messages and updates that are written in crisp, interesting language. Choose topics that are of interest to them – steer away from promoting your association in favor of providing something your members really want to hear.
- Lack of opportunity to engage. If you want your members to engage with you, make it easy for them to do so with simple and clear invitations, action steps, and suggestions. From sharing a status on Facebook to inviting other people to join your association, make sure your members know what opportunities they have to engage with you, and what you'd like them to do.
- The benefits of engagement aren't clear. To keep your members engaged, make sure they're clear on what the benefit to them is. How will staying engaged with your association help them in their lives and organizations? What work is your association doing on their behalf, and how will their engagement help support that work? Give your members a clear reason to retweet that status or sign up to that event.
- Engagement is too complicated. Your members have busy lives. To increase the chances of them taking time out of their busy day to connect with your association, make sure it's easy for them to do so. Materials that take ages to wade through, a complicated referral process, or a local meeting that is expensive and time consuming can be off putting. Think about how you can make engagement more straightforward for your members.
Active and connected members are a must for your association. If you're not seeing the engagement you want, it's time to take stock of where your engagement process is lacking, and make some changes.