Online communities have become more important than ever. They are reshaping digital landscapes, making it easier for like-minded individuals to connect, share ideas, and collaborate.
It has also changed the way people research member-based organizations. In addition to their mission and activities, people often look for a strong community with networking opportunities before when deciding to join one. This is the reason why communities have become the new power player in customer acquisition, enabling the organic growth of these associations.
In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of online communities for member acquisition with proven examples from successful organizations and their strategies.
Are Online Communities a Good Way to Acquire Members?
A community of engaged, satisfied members generates momentum that keeps driving positive membership growth. Let’s see how these communities can become an organic source for gaining more members while keeping the current ones devoted to your mission.
1. More Events, More Exposure
The most effective way to drive memberships is through events.
Member-based organizations use events to gain more exposure and connect with their customers. They not only bring in new members but also help to build a sense of community by bringing together people who have an interest in a particular topic.
If you already have an online community with both current and potential members, your events can directly get marketed to your customers without promoting them. Additionally, a large and active member base allows you to attract potential partners and sponsors. This can be particularly beneficial for you if you are looking to expand your reach and influence.
Glue Up is an all-in-one engagement management software that offers you a built-in event app for your attendees. You can build up an online community, strictly for the event they have registered, and keep them informed of all event information including agendas, speaker bios, event presentations, and real-time updates. and ability to network.
Your attendees can find like-minded individuals, and connect with them before, during, and after the event through direct messaging. Moreover, they can create and share digital business cards with each other, thereby boosting their professional networks.
2. Referral Marketing Through Word-Of-Mouth
Another benefit of online communities is referral marketing through word-of-mouth. Satisfied members are more likely to recommend the community to others, leading to new member acquisition.
This is the reason why a private, secure digital community can become your unique value proposition. Your members benefit from services like emotional support, professional networking, and a shared mission, which encourages them to tell other people about you.
Thus, each member of your community becomes your advocate, referring your organization to everyone in their circle.
3. Enhanced Brand Visibility
Digital communities consist of a lot of content that is created and shared by your members.
If your community exists on conventional social media, it can get indexed on Google and other search engines through simple SEO and social media strategies. Even if your community is private, making some of the content public on your official pages or your website puts you in front of your potential customers.
As a result, when a person searches for answers on Google, the indexed content will appear in the search results. As more people come across your brand, they become more aware of its benefits.
4. Increase Demand for your Gated Content
The success of your community depends on the quality of the content you generate.
Many organizations offer training courses, job boards, forums, and guides to their members. Moreover, they have a robust network and support system that fosters a true sense of community and belonging among members.
All these benefits which are only available to your community make your organization more appealing to members. In addition, it shows you are committed to your cause and are way ahead of other organizations in the industry.
5. Advanced Analytics to Improve Your Campaigns
Having a digital community offers you a great deal of insight into your members. The type of content they most relate to, the events they prefer, and the networking opportunities they seek.
All this data can help you identify what is your Ideal Customer Profile (IDP), and ultimately help you reach the right people.
The analytics are more readily available if you are using a private community platform. For example, Glue Up offers you advanced insights into your member’s activities from events, email marketing, and finance.
You can also create a member-feedback form from the platform and get their suggestions for improvement.
Give Premium Experience to Your Members with a Private Digital Community
One thing that stops people from becoming a part of a community is the risk of data leaks or sharing. This is why many organizations choose to build their communities on private platforms like Glue Up.
The private communities not only provide a secure environment to members but also adds an exclusivity factor by limiting access to invite-only members. Since people are driven by the desire to belong to a group, it develops a massive interest among your potential members and makes your community more desirable.
Glue Up community offers a private digital hub to your people where they can engage with like-minded individuals and build relationships without any concerns about security. They can exchange digital business cards, send dm’s, join subcommunities and stay in the know of what the organization is doing.
Since the community is integrated with other membership management tools, you can set the rules of engagement, see actionable data and personalize the communication with your members. This, in turn, increases the retention rate and the overall satisfaction of your members.
Examples of Successful Online Communities and Their Strategies for Member Acquisition
1. DNPs of Color, EU
DNPs of Color is a nonprofit organization that focuses on increasing diversity in doctoral studies, clinical practice, and leadership.
DNP has a strong social media community with about 1,800 members who identify as people of color who are interested in or pursuing a doctoral degree in nursing. The organization uses Glue Up all-in-one software to keep its members engaged through events and emails.
The organization's consistent communication style with high levels of personalization not only retains members but also attracts potential members, making it an excellent example of community-led growth.
Read more: DNPs of Color Fosters Community-Led Growth By Streamlining Communication, Event, and Membership Management With Glue Up
2. Spanish Chamber of Commerce, SA
Spanish Chamber of Commerce is another organization that focuses on building a strong sense of community among members. It hosts several events every year, attended by members and other companies to promote trade and cooperation agreements.
The chamber uses Glue Up’s Membership Engagement Score Card to assess its member engagement over time and guide initiatives to improve customer retention and loyalty.
Read more: Spanish Chamber of Commerce South Africa Improves Member Engagement with Glue Up’s Membership Management Suite
Do you want to boost your memberships and retention rates? Start with establishing an online community! As a key player in your customer acquisition process, it fosters member loyalty, builds connections, and creates a unique value proposition.
You can also go a step further and offer a private community experience for your members. Get a demo of Glue Up’s top-notch community platform and unlock the true potential of communities in associations.