Social media is rapidly becoming one of the most powerful methods in the world to drive organization growth in the modern era.
It is a well-known fact that many followers eventually become members, and organizations that learn to harness the full potential of social media reap the dual benefits of increased member engagement and retention. But social media isn't just about creating a Facebook fan page or a Twitter account. In such a competitive market, organizations have to find innovative ways to grow their member base by recruiting new members that are outside of the group.
Most groups agree that the goal is to get new members to join the group and to keep them engaged, so that they renew their memberships. The question, then, is how to implement social media for member engagement.
1.) Create a virtual platform for members:
When you recruit a new member, you want to retain that member. One of the best ways to accomplish that is to get the member involved in the community. Creating an online forum can give your members opportunity to share educational resources, assist each other with technical issues and even give them direct contact with knowledge, experts and information brokers. Twitter lists are another tool that can be used to curate your potential prospects into one list, so you can hear everything that they have to say. Being able to monitor what your group members and potential group members have to say gives you the ability to alter any changes they experience. Google+ hangouts give group members a host of interactive activities. Here, your group members can chat face-to-face, host virtual meetings (up to ten people at a time) and, if they so desire, broadcast their conversation to the world.
2.) Know what your members and potential members are doing and what their social media hangouts are:
A good way to do this is to make good use of the survey and polling tools that are built into your online community software. These tools are perfect for finding out what they want to get out of their membership, how they prefer to communicate, why they joined and how they want to interact in the community. You can, in turn, use this data to find out where your group members and potential customers hangout, so that you can create groups there.
You can also use this information to shape your online communications to best fit your group members.
3.) Create educational content to promote your organization:
Using social media for member engagement includes presenting quality, educational content that people involved in your community find interesting. Many people use the internet to peruse educational content. These potential customers often have very specific questions that they want answered, so if you can create a group or forum that has the type of educational content that answers these questions, you won't have to search for new members, they'll come to you.
4.) Personalize their online experience:
When a potential member visits your website, they should be given a different set of content and navigation options than veteran members. More than likely, you only have a few days to get new members involved in your organization’s community. Otherwise, they could become an occasional browser, or even worse, leave for good.
Effective social media for member engagement incorporates personalized welcome emails, greeters and a welcome box.
You should tell new members how to become involved in your community; direct new members to the resources they need to become familiar with your organization; and how to fulfill their initial purpose for joining the group.