BY DAVID JAMES GROUP

19 Tips to Connect with Your Association Members During COVID-19

Posted: 3 months ago
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We’re a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic and we’ve learned how to approach our personal and professional lives in ways we wouldn’t have foreseen at the start of this year. What constitutes “business as usual” these days is definitely unusual. But, business does go on, including the business of serving the members of your association and keeping them engaged.
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    We’ve put together a list of 19 tips that can help you connect with your association members and show them that while the way your organization is working has changed, your commitment to your members and your mission has not.

    1. engagementDesign and execute an email marketing campaign that continues to remind your members of ALL of your online digital offerings, including continuing education and online communities.
    2. Explore and share content about how your organization may be connected to the COVID-19 pandemic and how the organization or your members are addressing its many challenges.
    3. Invite guest speakers to record themselves talking on topics around COVID-19 and how it is impacting their industry. Provide a branded Zoom background for extra impact (see #10).
    4. Consider doing an “association updates” series via Zoom or Skype that features organizational leaders discussing how your association is addressing the challenges of operating within a COVID-19 world.
    5. Create a challenge unique to your organization’s mission and engage your social media audience to participate. Consider tying it to donations related to COVID-19 or your foundation.
    6. Do members’ hobbies intersect with COVID-19 such as sewing face masks or 3-D printing components for PPE products? Are you sharing their stories?
    7. Are any of your members or staff doing charitable work that you can highlight? Even better … is your organization connecting members and others with volunteer opportunities?
    8. Let members know you’re thinking of them and want to address their concerns. Ask members via email and social media what COVID-19-related questions THEY have for the organization/association (e.g. “is the annual conference still happening?”), then integrate the questions/answers into a COVID-19 FAQ/resource page on your website (see #9).
    9. If you don’t have a COVID-19 FAQ/resource page on your website for members, employees and other stakeholders it’s not too late to develop one.
    10. Provide members with etiquette guides for Zoom or other online meeting platforms. Even though we’ve been at this for a while, we still run into echos, room walkthroughs and bad lighting.
    11. Put your marketing department or creative partner to work on creating virtual Zoom backgrounds with your association’s brand for use on both internal and external calls.
    12. Promote fun! Host virtual trivia games tied to your organization’s mission/history and invite membership. Up the engagement with prizes.
    13. If you have a blog or newsletter, invite members to contribute content—either related to COVID-19 or not. We all have a little more time on our hands that could be filled researching and writing compelling thought pieces or informative articles.
    14. According to recent data from voxnest.com podcast, global podcast listens have increased 42%. If you haven’t launched a podcast for your organization yet, now’s the time. If you have, use this time to communicate ways your association can benefit members during the pandemic.
    15. One of the top reasons people join associations is to connect with their peers. Review how you are using your various platforms to encourage more “human” interactions among your members and help people who may feel isolated less so.
    16. 19 Tips to Connect with Your Association Members During COVID-19 | association membersCreate infographics to distribute via email or social that take one concepts related to the association’s field and how that concept relates to combating COVID-19.
    17. Brainstorm ideas about how marketing can drive the bottom line. What is a service that doesn’t cost much (or none at all) that will engage members more with your brand, e-learning platform or community.
    18. Use this time to focus on developing/updating basic communication tools used in member engagement and/or communication. Things like PR boilerplates, PowerPoint templates, email templates, etc.
    19. Ask your members for six key things they hope your association can help them do once we return to “normal.”

    Have your own ideas to share or contribute?

    Email us or add a comment to our social media posts. If you would like help with any of these ideas or to discuss your member engagement challenges, we’d love to hear from you.

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