Member engagement continued to play a central role in the growth and survival of membership organization, like associations and independent user groups, in 2012. While member engagement is not the end goal, it continues to be the fuel that makes business-level objectives possible €“ from member growth and retention to non-dues revenue and legislative success.
Private online member communities were at the center of the conversation more in this past year than at any other time in history. Even many consultants who spurned private social networks in favor of public social networks built up the community management and social business corners of their practices.
Here are Socious' most popular member engagement posts from 2012:
The core assumption behind thriving associations is that they represent an industry or profession in a specific geographic region. For instance, the American Association of Diabetes Educators serves diabetes-related healthcare professionals across the United States. They speak for and support those professionals. Find out what happens when association lose that key assumption and the important role that virtual membership play in helping association get back to a position at the center of their industry.
If you are an association executive, you are going to want to dig into this analysis of data from The Social Mind project conducted by the Society for New Communication Research. It highlights both the biggest threat and opportunity that membership organizations face in the next 5 years.
As savvy community managers know, measuring your online communities visits, logins, and page views does not provide enough data to tell you what is happening in your community and why. Learn how to track basic ratios over time to tell the story of why your community is performing the way that it is and help you to know where to focus your efforts.
New data from the 2012 State of Online Communities in Associations survey reveals the correlation between organization's performance and the existence of a private online community.
You have a small window to make a positive impression on your members and show them the value and usefulness of your private online community. The 24-hour rule institutes a system to making sure that you members feel heard and get answers during the initial stages of your online community's life.
Member Engagement Takeaway
Associations Are Getting Serious
When you compare 2012's most popular posts with the top member engagement articles of 2011, you'll see a shift from high level educational information to content about why and how associations should create online member communities.
In an indication that organizations are drilling down into how to build business cases and manage a successful community, this year's themes centered around data and tactics, rather than strategy and through leadership.
Do you expect this trend to continue into 2013? Add your thoughts in the comments below.