When I was in elementary school (and no, this isn’t the tired plot of a B movie) I thought my parents were lucky. They could come home every night and not have to do homework. If only I had all the time they did. But I was unjustly saddled with hours of homework and they were responsibility free. Those of us who are adults are probably laughing at my short-sightedness. Of course they had hours of things to do — cooking, cleaning, running a household, bossing me around.
Our perception colors our reality. Take a moment to think of your member’s perception of you. Does your organization seem (to them) like you’re sitting around with nothing to do? Do they understand clearly what it is that you do for them or is it all behind the scenes work that you’re not getting credit for?
Your members don’t care if you’re spending countless hours and dollars (unless it increases their dues) on management tools to help you run your organization more efficiently. What they want is an experience. Call it social networking…call it increased connections..call it professional/career networking…they want so many things from you but it all boils down to engagement. They want to engage with you, other members, like-minded individuals with similar goals and interests. They want to post to walls, upload multimedia files, share, blog, read, learn, grow. But don’t feel like you have to provide these things — someone out there will if you won’t. Don’t worry.
Offering your members a social outlet on the Internet through an online community and other social networking features is a personal decision for you and your board. But finding a solution that harnesses all of that invaluable member data exchanged while they are connecting and engaging is reason alone to consider such offerings. Some membership management software features one-click reporting and a dashboard to monitor the online health of your organization. Larger, public networking communities do not offer such things. You may be surprised by the cost-effective solutions available and how they can actually make you more efficient. By selecting a company that offers both membership management software and social networking, you are empowering your members to do their own updating and offering of information. Say good-bye to slaving over member records and excel spreadsheet tracking. It’s like getting rid of your member-oriented homework forever! Membership management software and social networking are ideas that go together perfectly. They have a symbiotic relationship with one another.
Members interact with you and each other in your private online community.
They share information
(and that information is in real-time, entered by them and more likely to be honest than that provided on the larger, public networking sites).
You have the tools to process, store and mine this information. You can customize reports or use one-click, pre-built reporting.
You can use that information to tailor your content offerings, events, eCommerce, eMarketing…even organizational structure.
Using data to customize your offerings, in turn makes your offerings stronger/more interesting to members and thus increases engagement.
It’s just that easy!
If you’re considering membership management software anyway, why not consider a solution that takes both your members’ interests (social networking) and your needs for business intelligence (management software) into consideration in one user-friendly product?