Most web users are savvy consumers used to media-rich, online experiences. Your members are no different. Their varied Internet experiences can provide a wealth of information for developing your online community. In order to create a robust online community, you need to offer your members a valuable online experience. One great way to find out just what they’re looking for is to create a poll or survey. YourMembership.com’s member management software not only provides social networking opportunities and easy admin features but it allows you to customize a poll geared toward your members. Whether you ask them a simple question of how they like your site design to asking them for input on your next group event, allowing the membership to express their thoughts and opinions is one way to get them involved. Want to have a little fun with your online community? You can also draft a quiz for them to take. It could feature information from your most recent newsletter or ask questions about your yearly event. Make it a challenge and offer a free coffee mug for the winner.
In addition to creating polls and surveys on your member website, there are a number of other ways you can interact with your members. Try blogging. Post industry news, upcoming events, what happened on your way to work, or anything you’d like to share with your members. If allowed (you can assign rights), they can share their comments and interact with each other. Think of blogging as a conversation had standing around the virtual water cooler, a particularly enjoyable feat when your members are separated by miles — even oceans. Another option is message boards/forums, which allow your members to direct the content and the discussion. Enlist a couple of dedicated members to spend some time on the site and get the virtual “fires” of conversation stoked.
Explore boundless possibilities for energizing your online community with this robust software.