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Your members need inspiration and resources now more than ever. An online community can help.

Especially in rapidly changing times, your association’s online member community is a valuable resource for your members.

Michelle Schweitz, YourMembership Marketing Manager By Michelle Schweitz, Marketing Manager, Community Brands

Your members are dealing with all types of issues these days that they don’t normally face: business challenges, health concerns, cancelled travel and events. In times like these, an online community can be a particularly valuable resource for your members.

An online member community has the power to inspire and enable members to connect with each other, share ideas, and gain access to timely content. Offering an online community is an ideal way to encourage members to help each other. It also gives your association a place to share industry information and stay connected with members.

TECH TIP: YourMembership association management software (AMS) includes online community technology. It’s built in to help you increase social and community collaboration. It also allows you to connect members to personalized dynamic content, career and learning opportunities, and member benefits.

Here are three specific things your online community can provide members when they need to problem-solve:

1. A place to network, share, and discuss – An online community is an ideal place for members to discuss their challenges and successes with each other – when times are good and when times are tough. At a time when in-person events are at a minimum, this digital connection is more important than ever, allowing members to see useful information and participate in valuable discussions related to their specific interests and needs.

TECH TIP: YourMembership online community functionality allows you to automatically make suggested connections based on members’ similar interests.

2. A go-to source for information – One reason people join an organization is to stay in-the-know about what’s going on in their industry. You can share documents of all kinds on your online community, making it the go-to place for information. For example, store important content – such as the latest reports on industry best practices and new insights from industry thought leaders – in your online member community.

Giving your members this type of access to valuable content they can’t easily get anywhere else makes your community the go-to place for information while providing an environment in which you can encourage dialog around your content, get feedback, and keep members coming back for more.

3. A way to stay on top of what’s happening – You can use your online community’s quick announcement area to draw attention to important information in the community, such as breaking industry news and new educational activities. Another approach is to set up automated emails to alert members of trending posts, new events available to them, and any actions that need to be taken within the online community.

TECH TIP: By using the “Quick Announcement” area in YourMembership’s online community functionality, you can improve visibility of the latest news or resources, ensuring your members are the first to be in-the-know.

Offering an online member community is an important way to engage members and provide them with valuable information outside of in-person events. Even if your association is small, launching an online member community is easier than you might think.

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.