Do You Have an Online Strategy for Growing Membership?

Perhaps you’re thinking your association needs a stronger online presence. You see the potential, but maybe you’re confused as to what growing a presence exactly means.

The number of ways you can communicate with your audience can be overwhelming. Understanding a few fundamentals can help you get prepared and move forward.

“Liking” you is not enough

“If you build it, they will come” only worked in the movie. Just setting up a Twitter account or Facebook group page as standalone presences is a regressive strategy. If your association isn’t communicating its key messages, you won’t generate a following. Worse, owning these profiles with no activity or followers just looks bad and delivers the wrong message, as well.

Actively communicate your messages

The first mistake in messaging is trying to tell everything, to everyone, all the time. As an association, you know who your members are, and you know how your work benefits people on a broad scale. But like any marketing strategy, it’s not only critical to identify specific audiences, but also to deliver specific messages on how your work is directly addresses their needs.

Identify your target goals and encourage participation

Establish a timeline around key dates and planned announcements. Be sure to include locally planned events. By using your online platforms to deliver your messages, you’re encouraging participation through “re-tweets” and other forms of sharing. Invite your members to be part of the process – it gets them engaged as active stewards of your organization’s brand and mission.

Any successful online strategy is about building a presence that rewards you with more than your “15 minutes.” Crafted carefully, it will help you earn a deep, living leadership role in today’s marketplace.

Special thanks to Guest Blogger – Evan T. Howell, an independent public relations practitioner based in Durham, N.C.