This month’s Wednesday Roundup focuses on the topic of member engagement. In Part 1, we discussed ways to combat member inactivity with six simple steps. Check out a recap here. This week, we’re looking at online discussions and community forums as a way to increase member engagement.

Three Types of Forums

To promote discussion among all members, it’s important to create multiple channels of discussion. One for the entire association, another for committees or the board of directors, and mini-forums for interests groups. This segmentation allows for more targeted discussions and encourages people from each vertical of your association to participate.

Pose Discussion Questions

Help facilitate active discussion channels by posing a question or comment to members. Not sure on topics? Research current events, industry trends or recent changes in the profession that could spark members’ interests. If it seems appropriate, jump into a discussion channel as an admin and offer your two cents.

Add Incentive for Participants

If you’re having trouble getting members to participate, offer up a prize for a random participant. Maybe a free event ticket, a shoutout on social media, or a discount to your swag store. Be creative!

Provide a Summary

AMO’s group discussion boards allow members to receive daily, weekly and monthly summaries of discussions. So even if they’re not participating, they can still catch all the action. Summaries are also a great way for members to quickly digest information and maybe inspire them to participate.

Designate Discussion Leaders

Reach out to particularly active members and see if they’d like to lead a discussion or manage a forum. If they’re already invested in the discussion, it’s likely they’ll enjoy leading others to increase engagement. Plus, their work allows you to focus on other admin tasks.

Enable Notifications

Along with the frequent summaries, make sure to enable a notification system so members know if someone replied to their comment.

How are you engaging members? Sign up for a 30 day free trial with AMO to test out our group tool: Free Trial

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