Increasing Member Engagement Through Technology Part 1

By Najla Brown • September 13, 2022

In the fast-paced environment we live in, creating engagement among your members through technology can be one of the most beneficial endeavors for an association.

After all, it’s your members who interact with your digital platforms every single day. They’re the ones who have the potential to spread the word about your association and help you get one step closer to your business goals. Without strong engagement with your members, it can often feel like an uphill battle to stay connected with them so that your association continues to thrive.

If you’re struggling to keep your members engaged and motivated to interact with your association, one key tool that you may need to leverage more effectively is technology.

More than just having a website or creating a presence on social media, there are a range of technological tools that can be used to maximize engagement and guarantee long-lasting success and efficiencies for your association.

Today, 89% of all companies have adopted a digital-first business strategy or plan to do so, which means that if you want to stay ahead, it’s time to get on board. 

In this two-part series, we’ll break down how you can use technology to increase member engagement.

Learn the Intricacies of Your Member Journey

Since your members are such an important part of your association, understanding how they discover and become interested in what you’re doing helps you get inside their minds, evaluate their needs, and deliver exceptional technological experiences.

Before you start looking for various engagement tools, take care to understand this journey and learn how technology can be used to complement your current efforts at each of the five stages:

  1. Attraction
  2. Engagement
  3. Career growth
  4. Retention
  5. Evangelization

Embrace Technology in All Aspects of Your Association

With the use of technology, your association has the potential to collect a significant amount of information and data on the people who visit your website, attend an event, or simply use an online search engine to job hunt.

If you want to cover all bases and engage with members in new, innovative ways, it’s important to adopt an integrated approach to your marketing efforts that utilize a range of resources and tools.

Some of the most common — and most effective — tools include:

  • Email automation. Email automation can make sending out information and messages to your members easier than ever before. Using this as a key marketing tactic can give you access to your members on a range of different channels.
  • Digital advertising. Digital banner ads can be used on e-newsletters, search engines, social media, and websites that allow associations to promote themselves to various audiences online.
  • Targeted advertising. If your target audience has certain traits or preferences, targeted advertising allows you to pin down specific demographics to promote products and services.
  • Social networks. From our 2022 Association Benchmarking Study, we found that only 32% of respondents viewed social media as a high priority for their association despite it being an excellent way to reach large audiences. Tools like Hootsuite can aid in automation and enhance the process of posting if you’re limited on time and resources.
  • Surveys. Surveys offer a chance to pose questions directly to your members or potential members about their experiences interacting with your association. From their answers, you can gather insights and valuable information to inform the rest of your overarching strategy — as long as you ensure the survey is specific and comprehensive.

New Methods of Digital Communication

Digital is an incredibly efficient mode of communicating with your members and is the predominant way of connecting with your audience. Digital communication tools allow associations to reach their target audiences wherever and whenever they choose. 

With the power of a smartphone or computer, your members can read important information or updates in real-time.

Some popular communication methods associations can use to engage with their members include:

  • Digital magazines. Published as frequently as you need, your digital magazine can share all of the most important updates, success stories and news from the previous week/month/quarter to your members. 
  • e-newsletters. Your promotional emails are short and snappy excerpts that provide your members with bite-sized chunks of information on things you think they will find important. By making sure your newsletters are on-brand, mobile-friendly and to the point, you can build valuable connections with your members.
  • AI-powered e-newsletters. AI can help you create and send out e-newsletters by optimizing each email for the individual recipient based on the open rate and interaction data it has collected.

Don’t Pass Up on Mobile Apps

As mobile phones get bigger and computers get smaller, your members are relying on the device in their pocket to serve them more than just phone calls and texting functionality.

If your platform isn’t mobile-friendly, it can create a significant barrier to users who want to engage with you. Association and event apps are examples of platforms that allow you to meet your members anytime, anywhere.

Stay tuned for part two, where we unpack AMS, online communities, career centers and more!

To learn more about how technology can transform your association, don’t hesitate to check out our free eBook.

About The Author

Najla Brown is a corporate marketing Specialist at Naylor Association Solutions. Reach her at [email protected].