Contact Us | 1-866-488-4474 |

Want to Boost Member Engagement? Launch an Online Community – Part 2

This two part guest post was provided by Annette Balgord, Vice President at Equation Technologies.  Equation assists associations to implement Social CRM, private online communities, and association management systems (AMS).  Annette is on the CSAE Trillium Chapter Communications Committee and a board member at Information Technology Alliance.  You can visit Equation Technologies at the Avectra Booth (# 178) at the CSAE National Conference & Showcase this November in Ottawa.

Connecting with People
Groups, Reputation Scoring and Member Matching:  Foundation of Peer-to-Peer Online Collaboration

Three areas that contribute to robust online collaboration are groups, reputation scoring, and member matching.

Online collaboration provides a virtual meeting place for groups working on behalf of the association.  Group projects may include event planning committees, communication committees, member outreach, and so on.

Groups are defined segments of your community with an online space to conduct focused discussions and projects, house resources relevant to the group project, distribute surveys and announcements, and plan events.  Online collaboration tools allow you the option of making the space public for all to see or to have a variety of privacy permissions to limit the visibility of online group activity.

Groups can be managed by staff or by a member leader according to your preference.  Because information is online, it reduces inbox clutter and is readily accessible to group members whenever it is convenient for them to log in.

Reputation scoring
Who are the members who are the most active, connected and engaged?  Reputation scoring is one way your association management system can help you gather information about member engagement levels.  What are the actionable items you’d like to track and encourage among your members?  And which are the most important actions that contribute to a more energized online community?

Assign points to actions such as completing one’s member profile; answering a survey question; sharing resources; starting an online discussion; replying to an online inquiry, etc.  You can use the point value to decide which actions are the most important to fostering the online member experience.

Member matching
Easily aligning members is another benefit of online collaboration.  Through your association management solution or online community platform, you should be able to map a series of questions, responses and criteria that allows you to segment and match members.  For example, for a networking focus, set up questions such as “Would you like to be a mentor?” to match with “Would you like to be mentored?”, coupled with questions on interest and specialties to create a specific relationship between members.

A more meaningful member experience is facilitated because you can route information most relevant to the member based on their interests.