Nonetheless, one form of software your association might be failing to utilize optimally is volunteer management tools. Some associations only use it for posting volunteer opportunities, approving applications, and other common tasks such as those. But, do you know there are creative ways in which it can be used?
Does your association issue awards to the best performing advocate? Why not use volunteer management tools to approve nominees? Consider posting an opportunity for members to nominate a distinguished member for an annual award. After reviewing the applications, the winner could be announced on membership websites or through email.
Rather than publishing volunteer opportunities, post advocacy opportunities so new members feel inspired to publicize the association on social channels or post positive reviews. For instance, if a member applies for an opportunity to write a review on membership websites, ask them to send a screenshot of the review first. Once you’re satisfied with a review, try awarding points to encourage them to keep promoting the association.
Naturally, most associations are already using volunteer management software in search of volunteers for the annual conference. Aside from that, consider using the tool to look for speakers and event managers. First, post opportunities related to this and use the software to accept applications.
In many associations, the bottom line is to be more creative with regard to using volunteer management tools. There are a variety of ways in which you can use the tools to not only make work easier but to also spare time and finances.
Firms have specific goals in mind when creating club websites and these goals are often similar to the vision of their business. Perhaps you created the online community to reduce customer support costs or to bring awareness to your products. Have you met those targets? Aside from that, the following two comparisons will help you identify the changes that are initiated by the community.
Metrics are an easy way to show the business impact of your community. All you need to do is compare your firm’s performance indicators (such as sales and customer support costs) prior to creating the community with those after the community. For example, if you would normally gain ten new members per month but now you’re gaining fifteen; that would be a 50% increase.
Joining club websites is usually optional so there are some people that may stay inactive even after they join the community. These types of customers never ask or answer questions and they never engage with the platform in any manner. Such customers are not affected by the community and should not be counted as having an impact on the business.
Utilize these metrics to illustrate how the online community is changing business by gathering company data that shows retention, support costs, sales, and other performance indicators. When engagement and metrics are compared, this data can be used to demonstrate to management how the business has improved since the online community was implemented.
Although this leads to the staff getting actively involved in the association, it can be counter-productive. Even if tasks are completed, there’s a strong possibility the quality may not be very good. That’s due to the time aspect, and of course, the fact that employees might not have the expertise to accomplish all tasks. The following services will lessen the burden while helping you save time and money.
One study from a reliable source has shown that over 90% of web browsers judge the trustworthiness of a website based on the design. Rather than taking the risk of having your association website designed by inexperienced people, hire a professional web designer. That way you can be sure your website design is responsive so visitors are more drawn to your association.
Take a look around and notice how many successful companies have an online community in some form. While membership management software helps run a community effectively, it won’t be very helpful if it’s operated by individuals that lack experience. A professional community manager will employ beta testing, content management, and strategize to boost retention and effectiveness.
You already know how important chapter events and annual conferences are in order to increase participation and bring in revenue. The problem is that planning these events consume a lot of time which members may not have. One other service you should consider is that of a professional photographer. Remember, images and videos are significantly more engaging than content that just has plain text. When choosing services, opt for the ones that compliment your staff and best suit your association!
In most organizations, managers are normally busy but there are ways you can have them participate without consuming much of their time. After they create a profile on the website, use it to post major announcements or blogs in order for members to take them seriously. Another option worth considering is to sign welcome emails using your managers’ profile.
Aside from that, hold meetings from time to time where managers directly answer questions from members in a span of 30 minutes to 1 hour. The questions may be about anything since these meetings only happen 3 or 4 times a year. That adds up to just 3 or 4 hours per year but it could be highly effective towards increasing the participation of members on the online community.
Some managers fail to participate because they’re not sure what they should be doing. Therefore, help them by creating a list of tasks they can accomplish such as answering questions and welcoming new members. Take it a step further and show them specific questions they should answer and where to find new members.
A number of managers view membership websites as a fancy addition instead of being a vital part of the organization. Show them the engagement rates of the online community and help them realize that high engagement leads to a higher retention of members.
As a result, numerous groups within the association may miss out on performance evaluations, as well as valuable information. This is due to the fact that aside from individuals, there are other groups in the association such as committees, professionals, and students. What advantage does useful data give your association?
Useful association data gives you a better idea of the activities and performance of different groups within the organization. Not only does it help you identify the most active members but it also shows which groups are growing and which ones are diminishing. Once you know that, allocate more time towards improving the activity of members and groups so the organization always maintains a high level of engagement.
The first step is to break the association down into small segments such as volunteers and trainers. Of course, segmenting will depend on the sort of data you want to collect but most people want to assess the effectiveness of various segments. In that case, the next step would be to collect useful data to help you determine what may have caused the loss or retention of members.
If you rely on events to raise funds, check which segments are organizing the most events and how much they collect in donations. After choosing the type of data you want to gather on segments, utilize membership software to collect information from club websites and display it in graphs and reports. Not only does this make data more useful but it can be used for decision-making regarding the entire association.
As an association, it is likely that you use more than just one tech solution. Perhaps you integrate membership management software, accounting solutions, and other software into one harmonious system. Prior to purchasing a new platform, consider what it brings to the table and if you really need it.
Make a list of the platforms you currently use and what they offer. If the existing solutions already cover the purpose of the new solution, then you know it’s an unnecessary purchase.
In most cases, particularly regarding membership management software, the greater the number of people using the platform means a higher cost. However, a significant number of vendors don’t base their pricing on how many people will be accessing the technology. If you have a limited budget, these are the vendors you need to work with so factor this into your decision.
If members are not informed in the technology you are purchasing, you have two options. Either look for an alternative or find out if the customer support of the platform is helpful. If the support team is always ready to help and your team members are willing to learn, it may be beneficial to choose new technology.
A great platform is one that maintains a fine balance between aspects like ease of use, functionality, and the needs of your team. Any tech solution worth investing in should provide remarkable value for your money while immensely improving the member experience!
Even so, some business people are a little skeptical to the extent of online communities improving customer satisfaction. Indeed, there are numerous organizations that have benefited from building flourishing communities where members network with others and get valuable information. The following are vital statistics illustrating precisely how online communities impact customer satisfaction.
Many people think they exercise sound judgment, but studies show that purchasing decisions are often driven by feelings. This has been reported by various sources and research institutions tend to agree. In most cases, how a consumer feels about a brand is directly connected to the manner in which they engage with it.
If they are highly engaged, they are more likely to make a purchase and seldom engagement typically results in fewer purchases. With regard to engagement, nearly nothing eclipses the effectiveness of a good online community as it’s a great opportunity to show customers how much you value them. Membership websites also allow your customers to publish posts about your products and these will be identified by prospective clients as being more authentic.
According to one source, more than 80% of community managers and brand advocates usually receive queries that customers would normally hesitate to ask directly. If your clients have questions but there’s nobody to address them to, it could lead to a looming dissatisfaction that causes many individuals to join a different membership. An online community provides them a convenient outlet to post trivial or sensitive queries and receive answers through email or a discussion forum.
The artificial intelligence you need to concern yourself with the most is the one Google adopts to organize search results. Club websites, as well as ecommerce websites, could potentially apply methods of content development to help them get favored by Google. The key takeaway here is that you should create relevant, engaging content in an ethical way or your organization may not see the growth you are anticipating for 2018.
Hackers should always be taken seriously as they are devising new ways of stealing information every day. In times where personal data is increasingly being stored on the web, especially with ecommerce websites, the risks are incredibly high. The European Union takes these matters seriously as they have created a set of regulations to protect their residents.
One of the trending tech topics today is Amazon’s artificially-intelligent personal assistant, Alexa. The software integrates into your devices and automates functions, thus creating more time for you to attend to other business. It can also generate to-do lists, set alarms, and provide weather updates which helps get you more organized.
The last tip to remember this year involves augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Although the world is not there yet, organizations might see more benefit from AR and VR sooner than first imagined. If you normally hold meetings with members of club websites, keep your eyes open to AR and VR opportunities or competitors could gain an advantage over you in the future.
The secret is to use membership management software that keeps track of the features that members use the most. Display the best part of your community where your members can see their favorite social networks. With relevant content, you’ll not only be able to draw existing members back but also attract new people to your community and keep them.
Is there an engaging discussion in your community that is popular among members? If so, there’s a good chance that the topic will be popular on social media as well. Employ the discussion to attract the attention of others and get them to visit your community so they can participate in the conversation.
Another idea worth trying is to turn popular topics into blog posts. This is an easy way of ensuring the content you’re sharing remains relevant and functions as an incentive for members to take part in discussions. Consider tagging your members when sharing these posts on social media. That encourages them to share the post which increases the possibility of getting noticed. Aside from that, what other form of content should you use?
Videos happen to be the most engaging type of content. Therefore, upload videos periodically to your community and display them on your social media channel. Make sure you include links to your community with a promise that there are more videos there. Ultimately, you want to create content with the aim of drawing attention to your community on social media. With membership management software, you increase the effectiveness of your efforts and see long-term results!
Maybe you don’t have to think about your online community’s position in the next 100 years, but it’s crucial to make considerations beyond your monthly or yearly targets. Have you thought about how you will set your community up for longevity and a good performance in the distant future?
Representatives create a win-win situation since your community prospers when they spread the word about your organization and bring in new members. It’s also a win for the ambassadors as they get to participate in a cause they care for and support. Often, club membership software makes it easier to manage ambassador programs and help the community evolve.
If your target is to retain younger members, you must offer them unique value they find beneficial such as a mentoring program. Similar to ambassador programs, mentoring programs are good for a variety of reasons. Youthful members are able to find value and benefit from the knowledge of seasoned members in your community.
This not only gives them a reason to stay but to return frequently and help others. The mentoring program may also empower seasoned business people in your community to find meaning in sharing what they know with the next generation.
Once you set up your program, implement tactics through club membership software that causes members to pair up so the community will see organic growth. In some cases, you may see positive results if you unlock particular zones of your community to non-members. Just make sure it’s done strategically so the community is given positive exposure while continuing to evolve at the same time.
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