Membership should be used. Much like joining a gym, becoming a member of an association offers you an enormous range of opportunities and benefits; if you actively use them. If you don’t hit the gym on a regular basis, you won’t see any results. That means that a healthy membership demands consistent and regular exercising by actively participating in your association to see the results.
So how can associations encourage this behavior?
1. Your members provide a powerful dynamic to connect, relate and collaborate, supporting a very personal engagement eco-system. Implementing a membership engagement cycle that includes opportunities to become active and involved through peer collaboration demonstrates that we value their thought leadership and subject matter expertise. At Shop! we have five different volunteer councils . Through face-to-face and virtual meetings, members work together to create new programs and initiatives that align to key goals within Shop’s strategic plan. Volunteer participation fosters opportunities for in-depth dialogue not just between the association and its members, but between the members themselves.
2. Shop! has also created an online platform of different communities that are based on similar interests, as well as industry segments. We drive interaction in these communities through sharing articles and toolkits, such as one that provides Shop! marketing and branding resources. We will often start the conversation with an industry question that is thought-provoking and conducive to interaction, intended to invite member responses.
3. Member volunteers can be utilized as influencers - or as we refer to them, as Shop! Ambassadors. Shop! has a vibrant Ambassador program through which enthusiastic volunteers work personally to welcome new members, assist with member-to-member connectivity at events, and if requested, serve as a mentor within their specific area of expertise.
Our goal is that by providing and promoting these opportunities for participation and interaction we have created within Shop! an engaged membership that is sustainable and self-perpetuating.
It takes hours, days and weeks to recruit new members. It only takes seconds to lose one. Let your already-invested members support you in making sure nobody gets lost.