Associations face the constant challenge of making decisions about how to efficiently meet their missions and member responsibilities. With limited resources, implementing and using administrative and online community tools born out of integrated software solutions accomplish your multiple goals all at once. Undoubtedly, this is a smart option in a world where relevancy to your members means organizational growth.
With such solutions, you can, among others:
- control the management of your social community.
- get greater visibility into member engagement.
- gain new insights into topics of interest to your community.
- remain a relevant source of content for your members.
Ultimately, you can partner with an expert to get the tools you need to meet your goals.
Look around you. Our society is accustomed to instantaneous information gathering and making connections. In order for your association to remain relevant and valuable, there’s no longer an option of whether or not you get involved in building a social community. The expectation is when.
Of course, there are multiple no-charge options available to become part of extraordinarily large communities. Consider Facebook and LinkedIn, for example. Maybe they work for you. But, perhaps you’re looking for something with more functionality.
Typically, your members are already part of these free communities. So, you don’t add value for your members when you set up a fan page and ask them to like it.
What adds value is unique content. But, if you upload content to these free sites, it belongs to those sites, not your association. Plus, you have little ability to gather important data about your fans. Whatever data is available to you may be marred by erroneous reporting of limited member profile data available to you through those social platforms.
Free communities are where the masses are. That leaves you with limitations from an organizational prospective. However, they can serve as a bridge, taking your audience to where you want them to be: Your private social community.
In your association’s private social community, your members are engaged in all of the same activities they usually enjoy on those other sites. Yet, you provide security, a spam-free environment and association expertise with features such as file libraries and personalized content. There are no apps that harvest their information and then spam others. It’s also a setting strictly focused on their professional and business development.
But, there’s more to a complete member-based online community than just social offerings.
Association management and administrative tools make up the backbone of your social community. It’s up to you to choose a solution to help you easily and effectively accomplish your endless administrative tasks. There’s a solution available to handle everything from association management to event planning to dues collection and management, and more.
You’ve worked hard to create a reputation and earn trust from your members. You’ve cultivated a brand. Don’t feel like you have to give it all up by placing your information on someone else’s look and feel. Association management software should enhance what you are—not replace it.
So, in your quest for relevancy and your desire to increase your member offerings, remember what’s made you important to your members in the first place. Make the choice to use the tools available to best capitalize on differentiating factors.