Tips that Encourage Member Engagement

After writing the recent blog post about making your College a leader in its industry, we’ve received some questions about how to increase member engagement. As a vendor for association management software and regulatory body software, we’re concerned about member engagement from the perspectives of our clients, Using tools to engage with our own clients, suck as this blog, our helpdesk software, email, etc. is a critical component of our business. It’s not about what’s convenient for your organization, it’s what is convenient for your clients…or in our clients’ cases, their members. Engagement means that the members want to interact with the college. If you were a member, what would be a reason you’d want to interact with your College?

The more engagement a College or association has, the more effective they will be. Having a large group of people that don’t engage will do way less than having a small group of members that communicate with each other and the College. If you’re a large College, this should be more of a reason to get engagement going with all your members! Think of how much change could be made!

Why Aren’t Members Engaging?

It’s not your College that is pushing people away, it’s the new world that has more amazing things to offer! Times have definitely changed from how member engagement took place from the previous generation to now. Some of the most interactive members may be getting older and retiring.

Besides a license, members are no longer valuing or seeing the effectiveness of what a College has to offer. Social media also gives members the freedom to interact with other members or the members of other Colleges and associations without having to attend an event or actually use the College or association’s website. How can you prove to your members that your organization is all about their success? It’s about the members, are you demonstrating this?

Your Regulatory Body Online

What is your College doing online to benefit your members? One thing could be to provide really useful information about how to make sure your members are doing their job as effectively as possible. We consume new information everyday, so why not be a source of that information for members to rely on? Now a days, we can use Google to find any information we need, but it takes time to search through all the pages. New rules, regulations, blog posts, and even stories that showcase other members will be interesting to read. By providing this info directly to your members, they will not have to scroll through pages of irrelevant websites.

Blogs are an excellent way to share useful information with members. You don’t always have to create all the content that you share, you can also curate content from other sources and share it in your blog, of course giving credit to the author(s). You can also create interesting videos or info graphics that your members can relate to.

Using the latest technology that applies to your College will keep today’s members’ constant demand for the “fastest and newest everything” filled and keep them coming back to your College’s resources. This doesn’t just mean you have to have the latest of everything, but find out how majority of your members prefer to be communicated with and use it. If it’s email, use email, if it’s social media, use social media, etc. Also, if they use tablets and smart phones more than laptops, make sure you website is mobile or responsive. Adapt to your member’s needs!

Who Matters

Like mentioned earlier, give your members the recognition they deserve for their achievements. Perhaps create a page dedicated to extraordinary members of your College. Speaking of members, ask them for input on things that the College is looking to implement. Will members use it? If you know they will, maybe they have a better way to do it. This could create discussion and also help promote any future implementations. An easy way is to have a survey and some incentive to answer it!

A College that interacts with its members regularly tends to also get more renewals and likely better word-of-mouth traffic. Starting an Engagement Committee would be an excellent way for a College to have primarily members responsible for thinking of ways to provide information to their members. Our group management tool allows your College to create groups and communicate effortlessly.

Inviting people who are well-known leaders in the the industry to sit on your College’s board would also be a great way to spark interests in members to engage with the College. When members look up to people, they will seek advice, ask questions, and learn from them. Leaders and veterans of the industry can use storytelling as a method to connect with members. Discover what matters most to your members and make it available to them.

What About Events?

Most regulatory bodies will have an Annual General Meeting (AGM) and depending on the size of the College, they can have a large or small attendance. How is your College planning this meeting?

Getting feedback from a previous general meeting and also taking ideas from successful general meetings of other organizations could help improve yours. You also don’t want to be just fixing last years issues. Try to be innovative and think ahead of the game. What people wanted last year is not what they want this year.

Try to use pre-meeting engagement through some sort of social media. Create some hype, post about special guest speakers, mention if there is going to be any food sponsors, prizes, and hint at any important content they will be exclusively seeing at the meeting. It could be a controversial discussion on something new and exciting in the industry!

If your College gives continuing competence credits for attending the AGM, make sure you let your members know. This provides more incentive to attend!

Also, let members and future members (if they attend as well) that it is an excellent opportunity for networking. People often get excited when they find out specific people they’d like to meet in person are attending.

Results of Member Engagement

What are the results of member engagement? It results in changes in the profession that help your members in their practice, therefore improving the protection of the public. A result that benefits the College is higher data quality. If members are using the College portal more regularly, it is more likely that they are keeping their profile data up to date. If you have any more tips or advice for increasing and encouraging member engagement, please put them in the comment section them below! Have a great day!