Don’t Forget to Renew Your Membership…What’s in it For Me?

It’s that time of year again…membership fees are due! What is the value of becoming a member? Does paying the dues every year make me feel connected and engaged? The is answer is simple, no. Handing in money to be apart  of a club, organization, or any other group is not the aspect that fosters an individuals engagement or commitment. Although membership fees might be required in order to maintain an organization, it is crucial to establish meaningful methods of engagement and ways to provide services to those dedicated individuals. In reference to the article called Engage or Die. The Fate of Non-Profits and Associations, social media channels offer numerous ways to engage and address customer/ member needs including the notion of recognizing future challenges in the field. It’s as simple as utilizing channels such as Facebook or Yahoo and providing imperative information demonstrated to benefit that individual.

Increasing the amount of members is typically a goal set for organizations. In order to increase memberships the organization must first recognize that it needs to be a group effort. It is detrimental that each individual grasps the concept of putting the costumer/member first and most importantly recognizing the needs of the member. What drives this particular individual? How can I personally address the needs of this individual and assist them? These are critical questions that each employee staffed at the organization should consider. Obtaining memberships should be a group effort while utilizing digital tools and channels to fully meet the needs of the members.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Krista,
    Love the title of your post. It definitely drew me in to read and continue reading. I would like to add that regardless of the channels used, if the company has not selected the appropriate channels and measurements of success, then their social media program has gone to waste.

    And this, in my opinion is where most companies fail. In order to increase membership they need to “integrate social media tools and channels” into their customer service strategy. Social media when viewed as a stand alone function is not affective. Because customer service is a product and no longer viewed by the customer or clients as a department then all customer service ambassadors need to be on board as a group/team in providing excellent customer service. When customer service is viewed as a product, the expectations of the product are different then the expectation of a department. As a product, I expect customer service to provide what they promise, listening, quick resolution and follow-up. As a department, I expect only indifference, slow resolution and no follow-up or follow-through.

    As Lori mentioned, this is first clearly defined in your overall customer service/engagement strategy. Understanding why you are using a particular tools or channels. How will it affect the delivery of information to the customer service group/team and how the effective is this tool in also delivering the solution regarding the product/service back to the customer/client.

    I also agree that no one signs up for membership without knowing what they are receiving for paid membership vs. free membership. And if the company cannot make a clear distinction between free and paid, why should the customer/client?

    Integrating social media into a particular department under the corporate umbrella, whether for profit or non-profit is the first step to defining what you expect from integrating social media into your particular customer service, marketing, PR or HR strategy. Without knowing why you are integrating these tools and channels and what to expect or how to measure your expectations…then companies will continue to fail not because they are using social media, they will fail because they don’t understand how to develop strategies and measurable expectations.

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  2. “In order to increase membership the organization must first recognize that it needs to be a group effort,” reminds me of what seems to be the biggest obstacle for most businesses at this time – difficulty defining their social strategy and therefore have trouble understanding the obvious and hidden results of their social media program. This is where the value of understanding and maximizing channel integration comes in.

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