5 Questions to Generate Smart Member Engagement Ideas

Need member engagement ideas? Ask yourself these 5 questions.
Need member engagement ideas? Ask yourself these 5 questions.

You know that sinking feeling when the to-do list resting on your desk keeps growing and growing? No matter how much you achieve, more keeps getting thrown on your plate.

In a nutshell, that’s what it’s like to generate member engagement ideas for your association.

It’s no secret membership growth is a critical performance indicator for most trade and professional associations. But it’s time to quit throwing a million ideas against the wall just to see what sticks.

Try asking yourself, or your membership director, some of the questions we’ll outline below. Write the answers down, stow them away, then take another look in about a week. With fresh eyes, you’ll see your association’s greatest strengths and challenges sitting right in front of you.

At that point, the broad strategies supporting your member engagement ideas should come naturally.

Need Member Engagement Ideas? Start with These 5 Questions

First Thing’s First: How Do You Define Member Engagement?

This is admittedly the most boring question of the bunch. But bear with us!

Without a measuring stick for member engagement, a baseline by which your association tracks success, every question after this is entirely useless.

Does your association lean on member engagement scoring? Or, does your non-dues revenue come mostly from events? Then maybe your member engagement ideas are focused around in-person interactions.

Whatever your preferred member engagement metric is, it’s important that your association has one.

Is There Any Member Engagement Tool You’ve Phased Out Which Could be Reincorporated?

These are the easy pickings. What have you given up on?

If the price is right, it never hurts to give one of these a second chance. Maybe the timing was off for your last social media advertising campaign. Maybe your last association-hosted event simply had the wrong audience who failed to connect.

It doesn’t hurt to try everything at least one more time.

Are We Reaching Members Across Generations?

If a lot of your members are of a specific generation, the majority of your resources are probably aimed in their direction. And that’s a strong, reasonable strategy.

But look at your webinars, publications and other professional development offerings. Are you creating something for everyone?

Here’s a fantastic opportunity to reach younger prospects — those who will make up the future of your association.

Are You Taking Full Advantage of Social Media?

It’s easy to neglect social media in favor of more results-driven member engagement ideas. But unless you’re advertising on any of these platforms, social media’s best member engagement quality is that it’s free.

Depending on the membership personas among your association, you might want to re-invest time into any of the following (here are their average monthly users, in case you’re interested).

  • Facebook (2.2 billion)
  • YouTube (1.9 billion)
  • Twitter (366 million)
  • LinkedIn (294 million)
  • Pinterest (200 million)

That’s a lot of millions and billions. And don’t forget: it’s free, aside from an association staffer’s time.

Is Our Association Software Up to Snuff?

Do you offer these three baseline services to members?

  1. 24/7 member profile access and single sign-on (SSO)
  2. Online membership renewals & dues payments
  3. A searchable member directory

If not, the problem could be that your association’s technology is interfering with engagement.

Don’t believe us? Take the American Society of Association Executives’ word for it.

“Members who are highly satisfied with their association’s technology are nearly 20 percent more likely to renew membership than those who are not.” — ASAE


Maybe your next member engagement idea should be technology-oriented. If that’s the case, request a demo from Protech Associates today to learn how Alliance by Protech association management software can boost your member retention.

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