Having good engagement from customers online is increasingly important, whether you’re looking at visits to your website, how many people open your emails or how many comments you get on a social media post. For membership organizations, it’s even more important.
Engagement is about more than having a good relationship or goodwill with people: it’s about prompting action. There are many ways for people to interact with organizations, and for most companies, their website will be the biggest opportunity.
As the primary online identity, it’s likely to be the first port of call for members or potential customers to learn about a business, so it must be user-friendly and easy to navigate. For membership organizations, it is also where members will go to manage their accounts, book events and so on, so it must be slick.
Membership software, available from companies like https://www.ofec.co.uk/web-and-software-development-services/Membership-Management-Systems.aspx, can help host resources, issue logins and ensure everything runs smoothly. It can also automate a lot of time-consuming administrative tasks, freeing up staff to create fresh and memorable content.
2. Online Communities
People have an increasingly short attention span, and businesses have a matter of seconds to grab attention before potential customers scroll past and the opportunity is gone. Fresh content and making two-way communication not only possible but easy and encouraged are vital.
Being more proactive with your content is important; rather than waiting for customers to chance upon it, take it to them through newsletters, blogs, and social media. Encourage comments, but also curate content in surveys and online forums, and ask questions.
3. Social Media
Social media is arguably the most ‘instant’ way to engage with members, and platforms are increasingly visual with imagery and video. Match your message to the right platform, like Pinterest for inspiration, Instagram for aspiration, and Twitter for conversation.
Tell stories and mix up the messages, though the main objectives will likely be sales and driving traffic to the website. Be clear about the message and what it’s trying to achieve upfront to ensure balance and to prevent social media channels becoming ‘samey’.
See the advice from Social Media Today to understand how to measure how engaged your members are.
Create a framework for building on each strand and you will continue to grow your membership through solid retention as well as attracting new members.