Your group members aren’t paying attention. They don’t have time for your emails. They don’t visit your website or read your blog posts. How do you get them engaged?
This is a challenge for groups of all kinds. Chambers of Commerce, BIAs, business networking groups, service clubs, and other volunteer organizations all have the same problem. Member engagement levels never seem to be high enough.
Keeping members engaged is crucial. Here are some ideas on ways to increase interactions with your group members.
Don’t Just Personalize Email: Send Personal Email
People can tell the difference between a personalized bulk email and an email sent to them personally. If you’re planning to do member outreach via email, plan to do it on an individual basis. The whole point of the exercise is to start a conversation with someone who’s not engaged with your organization. To do that you’re going to need to be real and get personal.
Another thing to consider is that you can’t fully tweak a bulk mail message to look like it’s a personal email message. Most bulk mail systems require you to include unsubscribe links and other information. That stuff wouldn’t be in an email sent from directly from you to an individual member. If you want real engagement, be real yourself.
Ask the Right Questions
The point of being personal is to engage. That means opening a conversation. One of the best ways to open a conversation is to ask a question.
My suggestion is to demonstrate your desire to help the member. Ask members how your organization can help them right now. Then do your best to make it happen.
Systematically Monitor Members’ Social Media
Almost every business has a Facebook page, Twitter feed, or a LinkedIn page or profile. With a bit of organization, you can easily monitor your members’ social media feeds to see what’s new. Like, share, retweet, and comment on their posts. Your members will notice.
How to do it? There are probably a batch of SAAS tools you can use. My low-budget solution is to simply bookmark the Facebook pages and LinkedIn profiles of your members. Set up five bookmark folders for each work day and put 1/5 of your links in each day. Have 500 members? Each folder should have 100 bookmarks.
You may think looking at 100 Facebook pages per day is a lot of work. It could be less than you think. Not every business will post daily and you’re only looking for new posts that are like, comment, or share-worthy. If you take an average of 15 seconds per page, you’ll be done in 25 minutes or so. Spending a 1/2 hour every day to increase member engagement and promotions seems pretty reasonable to me.
There are dozens more ways to increase member engagement. If you’re not doing these three, consider them a place to start. As member engagement increases, I’m sure you’ll be presented with more opportunities to grow engagement further.
Just remember: increasing member engagement is a journey. Develop your strategy, put your systems in place and then get to it. Measure your results, then do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. With consistent effort over time, you should see improvement.
Did you like this article? Do you have any ideas on increasing member engagement that have worked for you? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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