Like most industries, associations and chambers aren’t immune to the disruption that comes with new technology. And that impact has certainly been felt in the past decade or so with the introduction of social media and smartphones.
But, we’ve learned a lot about new technology and ourselves since those introductions. What if I told you that you can actually use your disruptors to your advantage? Thinking about the way we communicate these days, you can easily (and subtly) reinforce the relevance of membership at your organization - now and in the future - with this mindset:
Embrace advancements in technology
If you think about it as the “unknown” and concentrate on the potential for disruption, then, yeah, the idea of ever-changing technology will be scary. But instead, try thinking about it as an opportunity. To better serve your members, to drive your mission, to make work-life easier on your staff. What new doors are opened to accomplish those things, with a new social media platform or piece of technology?
The key, though, is to do your best to stay on top of what those emerging platforms and tools are. Do a little research and subscribe to newsletters that talk about the topics you’re interested in. If you start to keep emerging trends on your radar now, consuming little bits of information over a longer period of time, you’ll be more prepared to dive into actually using a new technology to your advantage once you (or the platform itself) is ready.
A couple newsletter suggestions:
- One that I follow, The Daily Carnage, shares content specifically about up-and-coming marketing tools as well as trends in the digital space.
- Associations Now is always on the forefront of trends impacting member-based organizations.
Another thought worth mentioning: staying on top of new technology (rather than shying away from it) shows the world that you’re ready and willing to keep up.
Focus on your messaging
Now that you have a plan for keeping up with the rapid additions to our technology world, focus on what you can control: your messaging. By strengthening your messaging, you won’t even have to try very hard to prove your relevance because you’ll be constantly communicating it, driving it into your audience’s subconscious.
In that spirit, we recommend working these three things into your overall messaging strategy:
Emphasize the importance of human connection. Sure, people can find suitable resources elsewhere - but nothing will ever replace sitting down in a room together.
Put your mission in the spotlight. That’s what you (and your members) are working toward - so talk it up! And be sure to do so in context with the world around you (as it makes sense) so you’re always a part of the conversation.
Demonstrate the value of membership benefits. User-generated (or, in your case, member-generated) content is key here. Use testimonials and encourage members to talk openly about what they’ve gained by being a part of your organization. (And then share that feedback.)
Moreover, once you know how to use that new platform/tool/etc. you can easily adapt your messaging to apply to its functionality. Combining these two ideas is a surefire way to communicate relevance without feeling like you’re fighting for it, and attract the kind of members that’ll help you take your association or chamber to the next level.
Interested in some more tips on acquiring more members with online tools? We have a whole guide full of them!