6 Digital Tactics to Keep Association Members Engaged

October 28, 2019
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In today’s world, associations are growing and evolving at a rapid pace. With advances in association management systems (AMS), associations are attracting millennials, as well as other high-priority groups of professionals.

While this is true, sometimes associations don’t take full advantage of the digital resources available to them and their membership rates suffer as a result. For that reason, we’ve outlined several ways you can use technology to keep your association members engaged and involved. These tactics include:

  1. Optimized Website
  2. Personalization
  3. Targeted Communication
  4. Event Management
  5. Social Media
  6. Virtual Events and Learning

When you take full advantage of the resources available to you, you can achieve a lot within your association and among your members. Are you ready to take a closer look at these strategies? Let’s get started.

1. Optimized Website

When it comes to keeping your association members engaged, the first step you should take is optimizing your website. Your website should not only be professional in appearance, but it should also allow your members and staff to engage with other people in the association’s community.

When building or revamping your association’s website, look for the following features:

  • AMS-CMS package deal. Your members want to have the ability to search for other members in your directory, and your staff needs to be able to contact your members with important updates and information. For that reason, search for an AMS solution that gives allows your staff to build an effective website for your members. You won’t have to pay for another platform, and your AMS and CMS will communicate seamlessly.
  • Mobile-responsive design. A majority of us spend most of our online time from our mobile devices these days, and your members are no exception. In order to keep your members engaged, your website should be mobile-responsive, meaning that it adapts to screens of all sizes. Choose a CMS that allows members to access what they need, such as the login to their member portal.
  • Easy-to-update interface. Choose a functional CMS that is easy for your team to keep updated, even if they have little to no coding experience. This will ensure your members are getting the most accurate and up-to-date information from your association when they visit your website.
  • Member portals/directories. Your website should also serve as a connection between your members and their portals, where they can log in to access communications and update their information. This will not only keep them engaged, but also ensure that you have accurate and updated information in your database.

Keeping your website up-to-date, professional in appearance, and fully functional will keep your members engaged, keep your information accurate, and continue this healthy cycle of uses for your website. If you’re looking for additional features you can use to keep your members engaged, check out Novi AMS’s guide to association website builders.

2. Personalization

In addition to being easy to build and kept up-to-date, your association’s website should serve as a digital homebase for your members and tell your organization’s story.

Personalization goes a long way toward engaging your members, so be sure that your CMS allows you to do the following:

  • Guide members to the information you want them to see.
  • Allow members to update their profiles, pay invoices, and view their online order history and event registrations.
  • Brand your website so it reflects your association’s look and feel.

When your website is personalized to your members’ needs and allows them to view and modify their own information, you’ll keep them engaged for longer and set up your website as their literal home base. Communicate the information you need to tell your association’s story and give members a reason to keep coming back.

3. Targeted Communication

Personalization is key to engaging your association members, and targeted communication goes right along with it. Associations should target their communications to smaller groups and use membership management software to help segment their membership. This way, you can create subsets (groups) of members so your staff can send communications to only those members who would be interested in it.

You can target communication based on:

  • Age
  • Interests
  • Years in the profession
  • Geography
  • Leadership roles
  • And more!

Select association management software that integrates with your current email automation software and lets you communicate with select groups so everyone receives the information they both need and want.

4. Event Management

Part of keeping your members engaged and interested in your association means hosting events from which they can benefit. But these events need to be accessible, meaning that they’re easy to find on your website and register for.

Give your members the tools and resources they need to grow within their profession with conferences, seminars, and other educational events that they can easily find through your association.

That’s why choosing an AMS with functional tools like an event management system can help you keep track of all of this. When searching for an AMS with event management capabilities, look for these features:

  • Master registration list for easy event sign-up.
  • Marketing emails for attendees and non-registered members.
  • Ticketing features so attendees can easily gain access to the event.
  • Event budget tracking options, which can be compared to actual attendance.
  • The ability to compare any two events to find areas where you can improve.

Keeping your event management process streamlined and easy for those on both ends (your staff and attendees) will give members a reason to attend your events and stay involved with your association.

5. Social Media

Social media gives your association additional ways to market and boost the number of ways you can communicate with your members. When it comes to member engagement, this is essential.

Your AMS can help you with this, too. It’s important to choose an AMS that offers social media integrations and allows you to meet your members on the platforms they already use. Choose a system that:

  • Links to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. Stay connected to your members by directing them to your social media accounts. These are great outlets to post updates and news about your association and share upcoming opportunities, like events they can register for.
  • Allows you to embed a social feed on your website. An automatic social feed will keep your website’s content updated and fresh, and your site visitors will be updated about any news shared about your association. This is also a great alternative source of information for members who may not spend as much time on social media.
  • Allows members to add their social media information to their profiles in your member directory. Your members can help keep your database updated by embedding their Facebook and Twitter feeds right into their profiles in your member directory.
  • Lets you embed videos throughout your website. If you want to create more engaging content on your website, consider incorporating videos throughout your website and also on your social media profiles. This can help get your site visitors’ attention and boost engagement within your association.

Social media is a great way to get involved with your members and keep them updated on events and other activities within your association. Having direct interaction with your members is always a positive thing and shouldn’t be overlooked. For more information about the types of integrations that can benefit your association, check out Novi AMS’s list of connections your association needs.

6. Virtual Events and Learning

Of course, one of the most effective digital tools you can use to grow your association is online event services. Part of running an association means acknowledging that you no longer need physical attendance at all events and learning sessions to be successful. You can engage your members virtually. Through virtual events and learning opportunities, you can boost your member engagement and help them excel in their field.

These virtual events include:

Keep your members growing their skill sets through any of these virtual events. When choosing an LMS, for example, look for something that offers a positive user experience and integrates with other platforms, like your AMS, so that you can easily have information flow from one source to the other, and keep your members engaged in the courses they’re taking.

Offering virtual events and learning opportunities is a surefire way to keep your members motivated and connected to your association. Give them the tools they need to grow within their professions, and you’ll establish your association as a necessary resource among its members.

Finding ways to keep your association members engaged can seem like a daunting task, but if you approach this from a digital standpoint, there’s a lot you can do to ensure your members are as invested as you are. Try out these tactics and see how your association grows!

If you’re looking for the right AMS for your association, check out this list of top solutions.

About the Author
Pete Zimek is the founder and CEO of Novi AMS. He has been an active participant in over a dozen associations, volunteering in roles ranging from committee chair through President.

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