At the average association, a private social network keeps less than 10% of the members engaged and associations are only engaging slightly more than 10% of the membership using large public social networks.
These less-than-inspiring figures, released by association consulting firm Marketing General toward the end of 2011, highlight a wide discrepancy between how associations use and manage their online communities.
Associations that use Socious social networking software average 45% member engagement in their online communities. Some customers maintain participation level of 70-80%. Association professionals want to know what is happening behind the scenes from technology, strategic, and tactical perspectives to cause such a wide gap in results.
A couple weeks ago, Socious launched the 2012 State of Online Communities for Associations survey to get the bottom of this and provide the association world with data-driven ideas for how to reach and maintain higher levels of member engagement in their online community.
Here are 5 reasons that association leaders and staff should participate in this survey.
Reason #1) Help Others
By completing the 2012 State of Online Communities for Associations survey, you are contributing to an effort to help association professionals develop and maintain more effective social networks for members in the future.
Reason #2) Benchmark Your Strategy or Results
The resulting data will allow your organization to find out how its online community is performing compared industry norms in the areas of membership, engagement, and revenue.
Reason #3) Get Actionable Best Practices
The overarching goal of the study is to find out which specific strategic, or community management-related, decisions leads to better results for associations.
Reason #4) Find Opportunities
The holistic nature of the survey, especially around the business benefits that online communities bring to membership organizations, enables association leaders to identify new opportunities within their organization where social networking can have an impact, such as non-dues revenue.
Reason #5) Focus on ROI
Considering all of the hats that association professionals wear, this survey is an opportunity to assess your investment in community building and the return your organization is receiving, as you should from time to time with any program.
Help Associations By Sharing This Survey
Please help others take advantage of this opportunity by emailing the link to the survey (http://socious.com/online-communities-in-associations-survey) to 5 association professionals that you know, or sharing the survey with your social networks using the social sharing links above.