Your organization exists to serve and connect your members. Building a community is an important part of maintaining that connection. Members need a place to share ideas, values, and tips that help them succeed in the industry. Nowadays, it is imperative to make sure there is an online destination for the community to exist.
In this post, we will go over some tips on how to build an online community to help keep your members connected.
- Make sure it fits with your members’ needs: You need to find a way to attract members to your online community. It has to include things that make them want to go through the effort of creating an account. Higher Logic says that they found most people join online communities because they want to learn and gain a sense of belonging, so you might consider offering resources on your platform that further education.
- Set some ground rules: Peer Board emphasizes the importance of making sure your online platform is used for its intended purpose. To do this, you may need to set some rules that prohibit profanity or self-promotion. While you want to encourage open discussion, sometimes adding guidelines can ensure a thriving conversation.
- Think about getting a community advocate: Harvard Business Review discusses the case of author Ryan Levesque, whose community gained over 2,000 participants. He hired one advocate for every 400 members in order to help moderate conversation, keep the momentum going, and provide assistance. Having someone who can consistently help keep the community alive can grow your community.
- Set goals to measure the community’s success: When embarking on a new project, it is important to set guidelines for how you will measure the success of that project. For an online community, this may be the number of users or certain level of engagement on the platform. Setting these goals will help you continue to grow your online platform. Higher Logic suggests that the goals should be attainable but challenging.
- Be involved: Harvard Business Review reminds readers not to underestimate the time it takes to grow a successful online community. Your organization is the central being in the community, so make sure your presence is known. Do this by initiating conversation and offering yourself as a resource.
We are all seeking connection. Building a successful online community will not just help your members, but it will also help your organization gain interaction and attention.
Members are associations’ best asset. The people who make up and represent your organization bring it purpose and life. While recruiting is important, keeping your members around is just as crucial. On average, it costs 7 to 10 times more to win a new member than to keep an existing member. In this post, we will go over some tips on how associations can retain their members.
- Conduct surveys: People want to be heard, and if you’re a great leader, you certainly want to hear from your members. Short surveys can be a great way to get a feel for what your members want and how they are feeling as part of the organization. The Membership Guys recommend sending out regular surveys so that you are not playing guessing games about what your members want.
- Provide a content calendar: Your organization’s content and events are great pull factors for potential members and great reasons to stick around for those who are already members. Reminding members what you offer and what they can take part in will show them how they benefit from staying in the organization. The Membership Guys explain that even if they cannot attend an event on the calendar, it creates the “fear of missing out” if they leave.
- Pay attention to engagement levels: Catch lack of engagement early. It’s so important to keep tabs on social media engagement, newsletter opens, and event registrations to see how much your members are engaging with your organization. If you see it start to fall off, check in with your team and see how you can get things back on track before it is too late. Member Clicks suggests reaching out to members individually and seeing what they think would help get them more engaged with the organization.
- Emphasize member benefits: Let people know you are the only organization that can provide the benefits that you offer. Glue Up recommends consistently promoting your offerings to remind them of the resources they have. This will remind them of your association’s value.
- Be open to communication from members: Your association was made for your members, so it is very important to remain open to suggestions from members. Member Clicks explains that every member should feel comfortable giving feedback to the organization. Make it clear that you are open and ready to hear feedback — and make it easy for members to stay in touch.
Your association was built around your members. Putting time and care into the people who are part of it will help them stick around and grow your organization even more.