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For associations, member engagement is everything. The more members engage, the closer you get to achieving your mission. The challenge is focusing the time, attention and energy from members and committees. Large public social networking platforms don’t provide the notification mechanisms, privacy and flexibility in control that you need to get your members fully engaged. This is why you need a private social networking platform that provides branding features, privacy options and the flexibility you need to shape member engagement that is natural for your members. Think accessing documents, starting discussions within groups, sharing status updates, sharing events, connecting with specific members, etc.

Below is a list of 5 ways that will help you optimize the way you engage members of your association through Social HubSite to demonstrate added value and to increase member retention:

1. Make sure proper groups are setup

Groups give you and your members the ability to focus communication that is relevant. Think of setting up groups around committees, members groups and board members. Within groups you have options to record and share videos, documents, links, photos, forums, events (w/ RSVP capabilities) and much more. The best part is email and phone notifications are available to notify group members of new activity. This is a great way to get your members back in the online community.

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2. Use Gamification to spark member activity

Gamification is simply a way to reward your members for completing certain activities inside of your online community through badges and acknowledgements. Inside of your Social HubSite, you have the option to award badges for just about any type of activity you can think of. For example, you can award a badge for a member that logs in and comments or posts a status update. You can apply quantities and prerequisites to each action and even apply points to each action. This will make members feel that their participation is appreciated. I always suggest tying badges earned to “real life” rewards. Maybe a $10 gift card for achieving a particular badge. The possibilities are endless. Be sure to have some fun with this. It will get your members talking and create a sense of competitiveness amongst each other.

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3. Post documents, documents and more documents inside of groups

What we’ve found in working with several associations using Social HubSite is that one of the best ways to engage your members inside of your online community is by posting documents inside groups. The reason why this works really well is because when you post a document inside of a group, automatic email/phone notifications are sent out to group members which triggers almost immediate interactivity inside of your community. The more documents you start posting in your community, the more your members build your online community into their culture. An even better approach is to ONLY post documents inside of your online community which forces members to participate.

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4. Create forum topics inside of groups

Forums inside of the context of a group is an excellent way to get your members to engage with each other as long as the topics are relevant. The reason why forums work better than status updates in a group is because of how it is formatted and shared. For example, when you share a forum topic with your Social HubSite, the system will automatically send an email/phone notification with the forum title as the subject line and direct the member right to the forum page where they can add their comments and ideas. Keeping your forum activity inside groups is smart because it naturally keeps engagement centered around relevant content to the members that are a part of that group. Oh, and don’t forget, you can award badges to members who post or comment on forum topics. Just another great way to trigger member engagement.

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5. Record and post videos to community members

We all know that the mode of communication we use to communicate is just as important as the content of what we are sharing. Inside of your Social HubSite you have the ability to record and share videos with ease. Because the system automatically converts your video for you, this process can literally take less than 2 minutes. What we’ve found very effective for associations is having leaders (committee leaders, executive management, etc.) share video content to the entire membership and specific groups within the online community. Think of a video that summarizes everything going on in organization. Maybe progress your association is making in a particular area. This is a great way to truly make an impact and show your members the real value your association provides assuring membership renewal year after year.

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These tactics are proven ways to make sure your association continues to grow, build trust with members and move closer to achieving your mission. As with anything in life, nothing will happen unless you take action. Click here to start your private online community for your association. You can start for free and one of our trained experts will help you along the way to make sure your private online community is up and running successfully so you can start seeing the benefits.

If you have questions or need help in getting your Social HubSite off the ground for your association, please feel free to contact us.

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