Share the love: Using testimonials to increase member recruitment, retention
February 14. Valentine’s Day. The unofficial official day to celebrate love. A day filled with flowers, candy, champagne, and most recently, tons of social media posts boasting of one’s love for their significant other. It’s glorious, really. Whether you’re in a happy relationship or positively single, as an association executive, it’s hard not to make the correlation of committed relationships to the ones you spend so much time cultivating with members, potential members, and former members every day.
So, how can you take inspiration from this romantic holiday and turn that into member recruitment and retention? The answer: by sharing the love through positive member testimonials for all to see. Take the time to gather meaningful testimonials from those you work with and for each day, and capitalize on the “love” those members have for your organization. Here’s how:
Define the relationship.
On Valentine’s Day, everyone is out and proud with how wonderful their partner is. We get to see a lot of the Facebook happy couples and are expected to think everything runs smoothly all the time when in reality there are couples out there who struggle to know where their relationship may lead. The couple may be on the same page in regards to their future, or there may be one person in the couple that’s not able to read their partner in terms of intent.
Yes, it can be kind of annoying to be with someone who is constantly asking, “So, where is this relationship going?” Theoretically, if you’re committed to someone and happy, both parties should know in which direction the union is moving, right? Well, in the association world (and the corporate world for that matter), communication is not always a two-way street. Your organization can be doing everything right, and you’ll never hear word one from your members about how happy they are. This is your opportunity to reach out to them and find out just how in love with you they really are.
If you’re lucky, you’ll receive heartfelt and thankful reviews that you can turn into useful marketing tools to recruit new members. Plus, current members love to see their name and picture on social media, in emails, and on the association website. It’s a win on all fronts! And if you happen to get a little negative feedback, that’s fine. It never hurts to know how you can adjust to make important people in your life happy.
Celebrate the milestones.
Anniversaries are huge on Valentine’s Day – on any day, really – but especially on Valentine’s Day. Social media is full of posts like, “Look at these flowers my husband of 44 years sent me!” or “Just three years ago, we were practically strangers, and now my Valentine’s Days are filled with loving gestures to the one I’m engaged to marry.” It’s all so heart-warming to read, and if you’re lucky enough to not be cynical or jaded by past experiences, it can be very hopeful, or even an endorsement for long-term, committed relationships.
The same holds true for association testimonials. By sharing a story of a long-time member, you not only show that member that he/she holds a special place in your organization, but you also show prospective members what they’re missing out on by not being a member of your association.
And the real beauty to all of this is that social media and mobile connectivity make it that much easier for you to tell a moving and convincing story. You can share long-form stories of long-time members on your association blog – maybe your president or executive officer can share a personal story about the member. You can share pictures with the testimonial as inlaid text on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can share a produced or informal video on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. The opportunities to spread the word are vast, and the ease of medium is quite unbelievable. All you need is the story.
Now, these are just a couple of ways you can use your imagination to let Valentine’s Day inspire more than just warm, fuzzy feelings, to inspire member testimonial marketing that will help your organization grow. If you allow yourself to be caught up in the love of the holiday and turn your focus to capitalizing on the relationships you work so hard to cultivate, your association-member love story will very likely have a happy ending.
Stay tuned to our blog to find out how we answer this question: “How do we compile genuine testimonials?”