For many businesses and organizations, summer time can be somewhat slow in terms of activity. Kids are out of school, many families take vacations, and it is the time people are most likely to be getting married, traveling, and other things that may temporarily take them away from work. One expert even wrote a piece this week showing that adults as well as children get “summer brain”, and are less productive and more prone to distraction during this time of year.
This slow period can also impact associations. Members are disengaged from day to day activity and their minds are elsewhere. And those running the association may have their own vacations, families, and other distractions keeping them from staying directly in tune or contact with their membership.
While it’s tempting to give in to summer brain, there are still plenty of ways you can, with lighter effort, keep your association active and your members fully engaged during these less active summer months. If you follow these steps, you can dial back your activity without losing member interest, and still enjoy those long weekends at the beach.
Use Your Greatest Hits – This step might best be applied to your association’s blog or (e)Newsletter. Did you have content in the previous few months that generated a ton of positive feedback from your members? Did it result in a noticeable uptick in traffic to your website or social media platforms? During slower times like the dead of summer, feel free to highlight that content again! Send out an “In Case You Missed It” newsletter filled with all the best content from recent months, link back to these types of posts on your blog. Let your members drive new future content by asking them to comment on one of the “greatest hits” with questions about an area you may have overlooked the first time, and use those questions as a jumping off point for a fresh discussion.
Highlight Your Members – There’s more than one way to keep your members interested and use their insights to create fresh content for your association’s communication portals. Each week, highlight a “Member of the Week”. Whether on your blog, website, newsletter, or social media properties (or perhaps all of the above!), pick a member who has distinguished themselves within the association and do a brief write-up, or interview. You may also ask members to submit their nominations for member of the week, or narrow the field to a few and ask members to vote. This has the benefit of being a relatively low-effort undertaking and keeping the members active and interested in the outcome.
Members-Only Content – With summer being the time of year when your members may be taking things easier, your competitors for their attention may take some time off as well. Use this to your advantage! Pick a summer month as the time to send out an annual guide to the benefits of association membership. Include a calendar of events to come, incentive offers for recruiting new members, and a survey to find out what types of benefits your members would be interested in seeing in the future. You may also integrate this type of “members-only” communication into your social media updates, by directing members to the members-only section of your website to remind them of all the great information to be found there.
Please leave a comment sharing some ways you’ve kept your association members active during the dog days of summer?