Importance of Modernising Your Membership to Attract and Attain Members
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. As of 8 April 2010, LinkedIn had more than 65 million registered users, spanning more than 200 countries and territories worldwide (taken from Wikipedia).
Using LinkedIn as a membership communication tool:
• A closed user group, (for members only), can be created to provide members with an exclusive opportunity to network with other members without revealing their personal contact details
• Groups can be used to communicate news from the membership organisation and to start and manage online discussions and debates
• For members with a particular interest, Recreation Ceu’s focused sub-groups can be set-up (named SIGs – Special Interest Groups)
• LinkedIn can be used to promote events very successfully
• Members of LinkedIn groups can upload photos, videos, create online polls, take part in forums, and receive email updates
Having a LinkedIn group that is limited to members also has the potential to attract new members. Alternatively, having an open group where anyone can join has the benefit of providing the membership organisation with of a list of prospects that may be suitable new customer targets.
Facebook states that a Facebook Page is a customisable presence for an organisation, product, or public personality to join the conversation with Facebook users. The page focuses on the stream of content posted by the page administrators.
By leveraging the real connections between friends on Facebook, a page lets fans become brand advocates. Posts by the page will start to appear in News Feeds, giving pages a stronger voice to reach their fans.
Using Facebook as a membership communication tool:
- Facebook pages can be used to promote events very successfully
- Owners of the Facebook page can upload photos, videos and take part in forums
- Page managers will also receive email updates on the level of engagement their page has with their members (known as fans)
- Facebook page status updates can be linked automatically to Twitter
- Organisations cannot moderate what is said, but they can make the group private, only inviting registered members
Facebook also offers unique opportunities such as targeting adverts s to fans, so there are opportunities to market to non-members who may be interested in an association’s products or services even if they don’t have the potential for membership.
Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers (taken from Wikipedia).
Using Twitter as a membership communication tool:
Twitter can be used to send out small, instant updates to individual or all members
• Membership organisations can use Twitter as a means to inform event delegates of the latest event updates or changes
• Organisations can post links to updated information, advice, tools and other resources on their own website
• The instant communication of an important message or a call to action is made easy through Twitter
• Members can subscribe to the Twitter feed via RSS or mobile for instant notification
Managing Social Media Channels
Social media is only an effective form of marketing and communication if it is managed properly. Social networks must be updated on a regular basis with fresh new content. Membership managers must also monitor these channels for membership activity, and ensure all questions or comments from members are responded to. It is not good enough to create a page or presence on these channels then leave them at that. Efforts must be made to nurture conversation and help to build the community.
Managing these channels can be made easier through the use of a Membership Management Solution. These software solutions enable membership managers to control all these channels without having to log in individually. Managing the accounts from a central platform ensures a cohesive and consistent message and helps to foster the high level of engagement between members and the membership organisation managing the social media channel.