Engagement marketing is a communication process that focuses on building relationships to ensure each side is receiving significant benefits. By its very nature, it requires two-way dialogue in order to ensure that members feel heard, supported and valued. Following are a few strategies that every member organization should pursue to support this powerful process:
Use social media to your advantage
Social media is no longer a “nice to have” medium—it’s become an expected part of any organization’s marketing plan. When used proactively and consistently, social media can be one of the most important tools your organization uses to keep members informed and engaged. It’s also an ideal forum to gauge your member’s interests and acknowledge their opinions about your organization and its offerings.
Respond quickly and positively to member comments
Whether a member is praising the quality of a conference through a survey, emailing you with a concern or bad-mouthing your organization on social media, it’s important that you handle these opinions with care. You will want to have a highly-trained service specialist follow up quickly on all of these comments—even those that require just a word of thanks.
Of course, this process is more difficult if a negative opinion is posted publically—such as on a blog or in social media platforms. However, rather than trying to stifle this communication, it’s critical that your organization recognize the feedback with a general acknowledgement and immediately follow up to determine the proper course of action. Simply let other members in the forum know that you will be working with the individual to resolve any issues—then reach out directly with this person to continue the dialogue privately.
Solicit member feedback through surveys
When used appropriately and carefully crafted, member surveys can help ensure that your organization is soliciting valuable opinions from members and using this insight to improve on the benefits and services you offer. (Learn simple tips for developing effective member surveys here.)
Acknowledge the expertise of your members
For example, one of the most popular features within most newsletters is the “member spotlight.” Leading associations and member organizations use this column to profile members and share their expertise and accomplishments with others. Members are typically honored to be part of this process and other individuals value the insight that can be gleaned from this member’s first-hand experience.
Reward their efforts on behalf of your organization
Whenever a member takes an action to further the cause of your organization—whether it’s through a refer-a-member campaign or speaking at a conference, etc.—it’s essential to recognize their efforts. This recognition could range from a simple thank you note and gift card to the offering of a highly sophisticated affinity program.
Two-way communication is the foundation of any effective member engagement effort. To learn about other member engagement strategies that can help you improve your retention efforts, download a copy of this new white paper.