With US adults spending an average of 485 minutes engaging with digital media daily, it's safe to say that we live a significant portion of our lives online. Virtual and hybrid experiences have become the norm, which gives associations a unique opportunity to implement a strategy to maximize engagement among their members.
Your association members are used to navigating the digital world. Connecting with them virtually is one of the most effective ways to increase engagement and keep them satisfied.
When you engage your members virtually, you allow them to fit your association's events into their busy schedules, so they can connect from anywhere in the world.
"How do you engage association members virtually?" is something you might wonder when planning virtual events. Let’s answer that question here.
Get to Know Your Association Members’ Wants and Needs
According to a survey conducted by Marketing General, networking, professional development, educational opportunities, and access to specialized knowledge are among the primary reasons that people join associations.
You already have a general idea of your members' wants and needs, but to provide them with a personalized experience that encourages them to engage with your association, you'll need to dig deeper.
If you want to answer the question, "how do you engage association members virtually?" you should know what types of virtual experiences your members seek, so you can better tailor webinars, online classes, and other resources to meet their goals.
When new members join your organization, send them a questionnaire about their interests and expectations. Also, survey current members regularly to determine what types of activities would best help them meet their professional goals.
Your LMS is an ally in your mission to engage your members and provide them with the experiences that they want. For example, the reporting and analytics function can help you gather and analyze information about your members' activities and get a sense of what's working and what's not when engaging members virtually.
Establish an E-learning Program
Now you can put together an online learning program that will help your members meet their goals. An e-learning program is one of the most effective ways to engage association members virtually, as you can bring members together digitally when they wouldn't otherwise have been able to.
Your association's LMS plays a critical role in your learning program, giving members access to streaming events, webinars, webcasts, podcasts, and continuing education classes. Online educational programs give members the flexibility of studying on their own schedule, and they will have the tools necessary to excel in their careers.
When you offer courses that your members actually need, it keeps them motivated and connected to your association.
Optimize Your Association's Website
Your website is the face of your association and an easy way to connect with current and prospective members, so it should be well-designed. It should also be user friendly and have a clean layout that makes it easy for members to quickly find the information that they need.
Ensure that there’s relevant information to members based on the surveys that you've done. This could include links to white papers, videos, podcasts, and other useful information. You can also use your website to keep members informed of upcoming events. Doing these things will encourage members to engage with the content on your website.
Build an Online Community
Meeting like-minded people is another reason that people join associations. However, members may feel that this is only possible with in-person engagements. That's why building an online community for members is one of the best ways to engage with them virtually.
Associations can create a digital space where members can come together to learn, share ideas, and discuss current events related to their profession. Creating an online directory where members can upload their pictures, talk about themselves, and connect with peers can help everyone feel connected to the organization.
You can also use your association's LMS to host a discussion forum, where members can meet each other and share ideas. Post topics to further the conversation and keep everyone engaged.
Since your members likely spend at least part of their day on social media, hosting a private group on Facebook or another network is an effective way to encourage them to connect. Also, ask members to share content, thus empowering them to take on more active roles.
Use Social Media to Engage Association Members
Social media has become a part of most people's daily routine, with the average user spending 147 minutes on these networks every day. So, when the question, "how do you engage association members virtually?" is posed, it makes sense that these networks are part of the conversation.
Associations can take advantage of the broad penetration of social media to virtually engage these members on these platforms. Before you start, you should know which social media platforms your members use. The easiest way to gather this information is by surveying your members.
Also, strive to maintain accounts on the largest social media platforms, including Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. Use these to post updates and news about your association and share information about upcoming events.
Creating a hashtag that members can use to share information about your association's initiatives is also a great way to keep them engaged. Embed your social media feeds on your website so visitors can learn about your association's activities.
Social media is one of the most effective ways to keep members engaged and build long-lasting relationships with them.
As more of our lives move into the digital world, engaging your members virtually will be essential to your association's success. An effective virtual engagement strategy enables associations to strengthen their relationships with members and encourages members to interact with each other. Keeping everyone engaged virtually is an ongoing process that will pay dividends for years to come.
Here at Cadmium, we make it easy for association educators to deliver personalized learning to members to keep them better engaged and improve content satisfaction. To see how we can help you better engage your association members, reach out to our expert team today!