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September 29, 2020

How Associations Can Build an Online Community to Retain Members

Now more than ever associations need to find a way to connect with their members. Peer support is an exclusive need that only your association can deliver for your professional or industry-based community. As we continue to wade through the effects of COVID-19, online community is one of the best ways to engage your membership.

3 Ways to Stay Connected

In today’s content-saturated environment, associations need to offer members online resources and designated spaces for dialogue. Some leverage tools such as LinkedIn or Facebook, and others host their own platform to bring members together. How can your association build the community it needs to retain members? Below are three easy ways to create a space for real relationships.

1) Host Online Events

Many large associations are having luck hosting online events in place of their in-person member events. These events can be topic-focused on issues that affect membership, or on tools that can move the association forward. Even small online events are beneficial so that participants can share and collaborate. Small groups can be organized by size, location or specialty. Instead of participants only listening to the host, they can engage with the each other to discuss their current situation and ideas.

Looking for guidance on which platform is best for you? Anders Technology can analyze your current technology setup to make sure you’re prepared to host seamless online events.

2) Ask for Testimonials

Take advantage of this time to ask your membership to submit testimonials. The best way to attract new members is by word-of-mouth, and they want to hear the experience of current members and the benefits of being part of your association. Make it easy for your members by creating a simple survey that asks about their involvement and understanding of why they are part of your association. This survey not only provides a testimonial but can double as valuable feedback to further improve your association.

3) Build an Online Resource Center

What are you offering members to draw them to your website or social media page? Do you have resources that can be easily accessed? While simply having a safe space for members to communicate is ideal, it’s not enough, they need to find valuable assets there as well. Make your online space a go-to destination for those seeking support and have designated ambassadors there to provide expertise and best practices. Create a consistent blog or reach out to industry thought leaders for targeted content.

In order for your online presence to grow, you must stay on brand and let your purpose drive your actions. Members want to be a part of an association that understands who they are and the industry represented.

Our Not-For-Profit advisors are ready to help your association make strategic decisions to move your organization forward. Contact an Anders advisor below to discuss financial and operational strategies for your association.

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