There’s a difference between “setting up” and “building” an online community – and the latter requires much more time, ongoing effort, and resources.

Private online communities have grown in popularity in the association world, and they can be a great tool for building engagement and connecting members.  But many resource-constrained membership organizations set them up only to find that it’s a lot harder to manage a community than they thought it would be.

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on 22 May 2017 6:11 PM
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Membership Development

Contributed by Mary Byers, CAE

Email marketing has long been the mainstay of an association’s marketing plan, but is it still effective? The popularity of smartphones and tablets has made email readily accessible but has also created some challenges. To be most effective you’ll need to do a little research to determine how and when your members read their email, and what type of content is most likely to engage them.

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on 19 May 2017 11:59 PM
  • Membership Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing

Member engagement doesn’t happen randomly. Associations with increases in overall membership are “also more likely to have a strategic initiative in place for increasing engagement,” according to the 2015 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report from Marketing General.

Those that have been most successful – according to this study – cite participation in public social networking as the engagement strategy that has been most effective for driving engagement – more than young professionals programs, webinar attendance, and members-only website areas.

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on 15 May 2017 11:40 PM
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Membership Development
  • Visionaries

You might say, “I already know my members – I am constantly talking to them and getting their feedback.” That’s a great start, and will definitely help you make an overall assessment of your members’ needs. However, there’s a danger in assuming that the select group of people you are talking to all share the same common attitudes and opinions.

You’ll need to draw on more quantitative, objective information for your analysis. The insights that come out of your analysis should form the basis of the decisions you make from then on.

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on 10 May 2017 7:07 PM
  • Visionaires
  • Membership Development
  • Event Management

You put your blood, sweat, and tears into your events. So when things don’t go to plan, it can be hard to swallow. You might be tempted to put it behind you and never look back – but that’s the worst thing you can do.

Even if you think you already know what worked and what didn’t, holding a post-event debrief meeting to review the event while it’s fresh in your mind is absolutely essential. Be systematic about it, and take notes on what you want to repeat at your next event, and what you would change.

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on 10 May 2017 7:04 PM
  • Strategy
  • Event Management