5 Tips to Better Online Engagement at your Association

Member engagement isn’t everywhere

While member engagement is crucial to being a successful College or association, using every method out there on social media is the wrong direction to go. So you hear about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and the list goes on… Should you use all of them to reach the now younger members of your association? No.

There is a likely chance that you have some form of social media for personal use; majority of the time we use it to escape from work-related things. How many people do you know that try to keep their coworkers or colleagues away from his or her Facebook friendlist?

While finding your members and going where they are to engage sounds like a great idea, for example, starting Facebook discussion groups, it’s not the best way to reach everyone. On Facebook, even in a private group, your could be attracted people you don’t want, as well as missing members you do want. Having one place to log into, where you can expect quality answers and only quality people to be present, is part of why the online community is so beneficial. Today we’re going to be focusing on what your association website should provide for online member engagement.

1. Have a great platform

It’s every associations’ dream to have their website as the “hot spot” for their members. Imagine the feeling of seeing your members publishing questions, answers are filling up underneath it, and it’s just one happy community. This doesn’t just have to be a dream. Creating a useful resource where registrants and members can post topics, problems, or ask questions to veterans and other experienced people in their industry would be very valuable. Members could utilize it to not only find answers, but as a method to reach their mentor to get advice about furthering their careers. This resource would be a group discussion space on the organization’s website that members can log into at anytime, like a forum. Make sure it’s easy to navigate from laptops to mobile devices.

2. Credibility

One way to get members to see the value in your website is to encourage important people to use it. Finding industry influencers to use your website will increase its credibility. Encourage them to share content from your page on their social media. If members see credible people are utilizing the content the association is putting out there, they’re going to want to check it out.

3. More than online chatting

When it comes to forums, get members to use their real names. With real names, users will feel like they are “getting to know” fellow colleagues, even some they may have heard of prior to the association. This not only encourages online member engagement, but also a networking opportunity between professionals in the same industry and geographic location.

4. Encourage, encourage, encourage

If you want members to keep coming back to your online community, encourage some activity. If users aren’t being as participative as you’d like, the admin should post questions to encourage activity (use faqs or popular discussion topics from social media). Make sure all questions by members are answered.

5. Reward

If you notice some members are very active, reward them. Personally message them and let them know you appreciate his or her constant input. Also, ask them to post topics and questions that they feel will stir up discussion. Who else knows your audience better than your audience?


This is where social media comes back in. A great way to attract non-members or possible future members is to share blog posts or content, showing off the types of discussions your associations have. This would attract some outside perspectives to join in the conversation, via social media, as well as attract some professionals that might want to be a part of the action.

Thanks for checking out our blog! We post every Tuesday and Thursday morning. If you are currently in the market for association management or license management software, be sure to check out our software procurement checklist. You can use it to review any AMS out there!