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Struggling with cancelled events? Use these techniques to keep members connected. Read on for practical ways to engage members digitally – especially when events won’t work.

Despite recent health concerns and cancelled events, your association still needs to engage members with each other and with your organization. It’s time to employ virtual alternatives to in-person events.

But how do you connect your members with industry information as well as education, volunteer, and job opportunities when you can’t rely on face-to-face activities? Look to an online member community.

The power of an online community

An online member community goes beyond a one-time event. It has the power to inspire and enable members to connect with each other and gain access to relevant content year-round from the convenience of their home, office, or wherever they are.

Offering an online community is a great way to elevate and encourage networking among your association’s members. At the same time, it can make your association a part of your members’ daily social networking habits.

Four tips for engaging members through an online community
Here are four best practices for boosting member engagement through your online community:

  1. Keep your online community feed active.

Your members are accustomed to reading a continuous stream of information in their social platforms’ feeds, and your online community is no exception. Frequent updates entice users to visit the platform more often as well as soak up details and share what they like with others. Boost engagement by feeding members a steady supply of useful and relevant content, such as industry news, commentary, job tips, and career opportunities.

YourMembership association management software (AMS) includes a mobile responsive online community. It’s built in to help you increase social and community collaboration. It connects members to personalized dynamic content, career and learning opportunities, and member benefits.

2. Encourage connections.

There are many ways to encourage connections among your members. Use your online community technology to promote one-on-one connections and opportunities to network, all based on details you collect through the platform.

A YourMembership online community allows you to automatically connect new members with top volunteer ambassadors, or “buddies” to help new members get to know the organization and feel more welcome.

3. Make it fun.

Use gamification to reward members for completing various tasks through your online community platform. This includes racking up time on the community, asking questions, or providing relevant answers. Members can see a score of their activity levels and how much they are participating compared with others. Such scoring promotes a competitive, playful spirit.

In a YourMembership online community, you can acknowledge and reward active and engaged members. For example, display member activity and participation levels, encouraging members to return, share, and connect.

4. Go everywhere your members go.

Make sure your online community is mobile responsive. You can use it anytime to influence your members’ daily networking habits. For example, instead of relying only on email notifications, put information directly in front of your members with instant updates in the announcement area or activity feed. This makes it easier for members to have direct access to information without sifting through an inbox.

Even if your association is small, launching an online member community is easier than you might think. It’s also necessary as an additional means of member engagement beyond in-person events.

Take the next step
Learn more about how to launch an online member community for your association. Read The Small Association’s Guide to Getting Started with an Online Member Community