Social media can and should do more for membership than for any other association department. It provides additional ways to reach, understand, and engage members, helping to make your job easier and more fulfilling. There are responsibilities–for the vast majority of associations, it will be up to those in membership to map social media data to the membership database and make sense of how members are using social media. It’s something that everyone using social media in your organization needs, but if you don’t do it, no-one else will.
You need to own the data, but that’s a good thing! Being more plugged in to social data will not only help you in your daily work (streamlining renewals, retaining members, and more), it will also make you and inavluable resource to your colleagues because of all the ways your work will benefit others in your organization. You’ll be a Social CRM hero, and that could become very important to you career very quickly. So, given all of that what can the membership team actually DO with Social? What can YOU do to help your association get the most out of social? Everybody says you should be using social, but nobody tells you how. This is how.
Let’s start with Membership. Here’s just a taster:
1. Take charge of capturing your members’ social data. Are you recording your members’ social profiles in your AMS? Even if you don’t have an immediate use for the information, you will eventually. Are you updating your membership and renewal forms so that they ask for social information? What about conference registration forms? And how about your membership directory?
2. Track how members are using social tools to connect with your association. Besides knowing where your members are online, it’s also important to know which members are actively connecting with your association online. Understanding connectedness and online engagement can help you predict the likelihood of renewal and create more efficient renewal processes.
3. Track down member contacts. Once the groundwork is laid, social media can serve as a safety net and augmented customer relationship management system. Using LinkedIn as an example: Watch for members who change their current position on LinkedIn. If they are in transition, send them a message to help them land on their feet. If they land in a new position, send them a congratulations message with how to stay in touch.
4. Connect with new members so they’ll be more likely to renew. If the hypothesis that new members who are connected on social media renew at a higher rate is correct, then it makes sense to focus on getting new members connected right away. Update your welcome packet to invite new members to join the association’s LinkedIn group, like the Facebook page, and follow the Twitter account. Recruit members who are active in social networks into a new online membership committee. Provide them with a list of new members and ask them to connect with them online, either through public social networks or through the private online community.
It’s never too late to start applying social media to the work of retaining members. You may already be doing some of this. It’s not about flipping a switch so that everything is suddenly driven by social. Instead look for quick wins and small steps that can make everything you do more effective. Good luck, and have fun getting to know your members in all new ways.