Now, more than ever, it’s important for people to feel connected, to feel empowered, to feel heard and understood. Your members are these people.
So, as a member-driven organization, you’re probably wondering how in the world you’re supposed to meet your members where they are right now. Well, if I told you it was simple and you could’ve been doing it this whole time, would you believe me?
Because it’s true. Finding and sharing quality, member-created content gives you the unique opportunity to meet all of those needs, while promoting the validity and relevance of your association … all with very little effort.
Let’s look at the facts: Your members are out in the real world every day, living this crazy so-called life through a lens you could only dream of capturing. We’re talking social media posts — images, first-hand videos, real-time stories and more — not to mention blog posts, guest editorials, podcast spotlights and journal articles.
Simply put, if you’re not capitalizing on this grade A, member-created content, you’re missing out on a gold mine, and you don’t have to.
Curating content from active, former and prospective association members offers more benefits than can be divulged in this three-minute read. So, for now, let’s focus on these three:
You get to showcase your association’s expertise and relevance with minimal effort while reaping maximum rewards.
Your members, former members and even prospective members are all experts in their fields. That fact is part of the very reason people join associations in the first place — to meet and network with like-minded individuals who may help them ascend the ladder of success.
They are generally the most engaged people in the industry, with their ears to the ground, living and breathing on how their field operates and grows. They have the inside track on what’s happening in the industry, and they’re not usually shy about sharing their feelings and opinions on said happenings.
In fact, oftentimes, those who are big players in their corresponding field are usually the ones voluntarily creating content, so their names likely carry some cachet within the industry. That content, when shared by your association on social media or in an email newsletter, in turn, reflects greatly on your association.
Suddenly, you go from speculation to expertise — and all with very little to no effort at all.
Member experiences resonate deeper, drawing in a more engaged audience.
“Boots on the ground” reporting in the form of member-generated content not only gives your association much needed credibility, but it also tends to engage your audience on a deeper level.
Seeing another member share his/her experience can have a powerful, lasting effect on your membership — whether it be current, former or prospective. These are people within the industry; peers who understand what it’s like to be in the field and experience things on a non-corporate level.
Stories shared from a member perspective don’t come across as “preachy” or “out of touch.” They come across as familiar and realistic; something you could only hope to achieve as a writer, photographer or other artist looking to connect with your audience.
Recognizing and sharing member content increases member engagement, and thus, member retention.
By sharing member-created content, you not only elevate the experience of the members reading or viewing the content, you also engage those who created the content on another level.
Like I said in the beginning, feeling heard and seen is something most everyone is craving these days. So, by not only seeing but sharing content your members, former members or prospective members are creating, you are validating their work in the field, their voice in the industry and their presence as a member of the greater good.
In fact, the rewards of sharing member-generated content may be so good that you might even consider sharing former member stories/images/videos every once in a while to try and get them back on the membership roster. After all, it can’t hurt to throw that hook out there and see what bites.
Now, you’re probably wondering how exactly you’re supposed to curate this illustrious member-created content. Fortunately, that, too, is quite simple.
As many a wise friend has likely said in the case of favors, “All you had to do was ask.” This cliched piece of advice holds true for curating member content as well.
All you have to do is ask. Odds are, you have a direct line to new, former or prospective members. They’re listening to you as much, if not more, than you’re listening to them. So, all you have to do is reach out and ask them if they would be interested in letting you sharing the content they’ve already taken their time to create.
Worst case scenario: They say no, and you’ve done no harm, but you’ve at least opened up the lines of communication to see how you can help them spread their message in the way they originally sought out to share it, or even better, to an audience they didn’t even know they’d be capable of reaching in the future.
So there you have it — a quick list of reasons why you should curate member-created content coupled with an easy way of getting the kind of content you may only dream about. What do you have to lose? Start curating member-generated content today.
And if you need a little help showcasing that content, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at MultiView. We can set you up with a daily, weekly or bi-weekly email newsletter that will not only inform your members of everything going on in your industry, but will also provide the non-dues revenue for which you’ve been searching.