Today’s post comes to us from the MemberClicks Maximization Team, where we consult with existing customers to make sure they’re getting the most out of their MemberClicks solution. Click here to learn more about our service offerings! In my regular consultations with MemberClicks clients, I’m often asked how associations can better engage with their members using our members’ only social features. Studies show that members who engage with their association via a private / member’s only community are more likely to renew, so from a retention perspective, this subject is an important one. To aid in the process, we’ve put together a simple guide for getting members engaged and active in your member community using what we call “Engagement Ambassadors.” The concept of the Engagement Ambassador began with my many conversations with organizations who desperately wanted to share the benefit of inter-organizational conversations with their members. Starting the process is easy - begin by selecting 5 to 15 people in the organization who are willing to act as Engagement Ambassadors to kick things off. These individuals might include: Board or Committee Members Executive Leadership Younger/More Tech Savvy Members Members who love social media Ask this diverse group to begin using the social features you want to encourage, and to do so heavily- posting content and pictures multiple times per day is key. Think about some of the best restaurants you’ve been to - crowds gather around good food and fun, and your social community is just the same! Using Engagement Ambassadors to populate your social community will create the lively, positive vibe people are drawn to, and can entice more hesitant members to join in the fun! After a few weeks of Engagement Ambassador activity in the social community, have your ambassadors begin inviting their connections in. You could divide up your database by the number of Ambassadors you have, or just work on a friend-of-a-friend basis - the goal is to make personal connections with other members and to use that domino effect to get everyone involved. Finally, send an email to formally launch the community that includes a direct link, instructions for logging in, and 3-5 reasons the community will benefit members.