How to Increase Membership Engagement in Salesforce: 12 Winning Ideas

5 min read

Are you a member of some organization/online community/group? Do you remember the first time you spotted it and what made you join? I bet you start listing everything from word-of-mouth marketing to a social media post that sealed the deal.

The thing is that all this is connected by a common denominator: successful membership engagement. However, this isn’t always the case. In their pursuit to have as many new members as possible, Salesforce communities usually put well-thought-out member engagement on the back burner.

This article takes you through stellar member engagement strategies for your Salesforce community that are hard to overlook. Plus, we’ll scrutinize the concept in general, breaking down its importance for associations and why you should care. Spoiler alert: the game is totally worth the candles.

What is Member Engagement?

Member engagement aims at reaching, winning, and retaining people so that they join a membership organization. One of the secret ingredients in this sauce is attention, namely how you grab it. Think of how much people’s attention you strike to make them sign up with your association. Is it enough or are there any gaps? Then, do some homework, analyzing the state of affairs.

Moreover, a cool member engagement strategy deals with emotional bonding. The emotions you provoke to engage members and let them know you care. Do you stretch yourself thin in order to provide your members with the ultimate mission and build that connection with them?

It’s in your best interests to make them feel connected to the cause. This way, the stronger that bond is, the more engaged people will be and the longer they will stick around.

However, one question remains unanswered: why should you care? That’s our next stop.

The Importance of Member Engagement, Explained

You can pat yourself on the back when you gather new members around a mutual idea. But without a clear realization of why you just did it, there might be no stimulus to develop the organization further. Take a look at the reasons behind boosting member engagement:

  • Growing member base: your engagement tactics are directly connected to whether people will stay with you (and go back when it’s renewal time) or switch to competitors.

    Before even setting off on this adventure, check if you deliver something valuable to the audience, how you communicate it, and what incentives you provide. People won’t be interested in being part of an organization if they don’t receive powerful motivation. That is, member retention can go a long way.
  • Strong community: it’s always a pleasure to participate in an online community where fellow members have similar interests and aspirations. Like in good old times! That’s why you should commit to arranging special activities forming that sense of community.

    For instance, you can host regular online or offline events. They let the audiences share member stories, professional milestones, and knowledge. Besides, you can develop a user-friendly portal. This will be a place where engaged members team up, discuss their thoughts, and interact on member forums.
  • Advanced referral system: humans are created in a way that makes them share their new experiences with others (both positive and negative). Use it to your advantage! First, have your customer success team identify the most engaged members. Second, ask them to encourage referrals. Of course, with something nice in return, like a free membership plan. Third, welcome new members into your community and repeat the process.

Increasing Member Engagement in Salesforce: 12 Winning Ideas

Membership engagement in Salesforce varies from association to association. As they have unique bottom lines and missions, the ways they make members join the group will differ, too. “How to increase member engagement then?”, – you ask. Easy!

Even though engagement strategies are sundry, we can come up with a unified approach. You can still configure it based on the needs your professional organization has. Check out these 12 member engagement ideas, call out your creativity, and encourage members like a pro:

1. Add a Human Touch

To build meaningful connections with members, you need to act human. Once they enter the “doors” of your association, personalize their journey every step of the way. Generally, nonprofit Salesforce associations usually act this way. For instance, they send a heart-warming welcome email with a team picture or a short video (which delivers even better value). Such an approach will show a newly engaged member they are not alone and many important things await.

How to Increase Membership in Nonprofit Organizations: 11 Proven Tactics

How to increase membership in nonprofit organizations? We know the answer to this question! Check out 11 proven tactics to boost engagement in your nonprofit.
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Another ideal option for online member engagement is assigning a manager to each person or group to onboard them and show them the ropes of the community. This tactic serves as an additional signal for members that they ended up in a serious establishment, with its policies and rules. Plus, if they have trouble figuring out the organization’s peculiarities, there will always be a human being to lend a helping hand.

Such personal member engagement tactics let new members feel the reality, especially if it’s the online communities we are talking about.

2. Use Decent Membership Management Software

Only half the battle is engaging members in the Salesforce arena solely with wisdom and helpful content. The other half should involve an all-round membership management system, with numerous functionalities tailored specifically for members. Thanks to the modern age, you are not alone as there are a dime a dozen of options.

Being a certified Salesforce partner and an app provider, Advanced Communities will digitalize and simplify member engagement in your association. Its hallmark solution AC MemberSmart has everything needed:

  • A holistic toolset to transform a member portal on Experience Cloud into a unified and user-friendly place where events, idea management, jobs in the industry, and fundraising are gathered.
  • Control engagement scoring feature, helping you measure your members’ engagement. Plus, AC MemberSmart offers a 360-degree member view to understand each member and personalize their experience for even greater engagement.
  • A comprehensive base where all the important member data is stored (contact details, position, occupation, interests, etc.). Users can create meaningful connections and partner up with the folks on projects, seek careers, or ask for subject-matter experts’ help.
  • An easy-to-scan job board where members can add open vacancies, search, and apply for the desired jobs.
wma_job board
  • Robust subscription management with automated renewal opportunities to let members decide for themselves when to refresh their membership, manage their profiles, and access resources available on the portal.
  • Automated membership-related tasks such as renewal reminders or easy credit card payments, which, on the one hand, boosts team efficiency, and, on the other hand, allows for users’ autonomy. Reminding members about important stuff manually isn’t necessary any longer.

AC MemberSmart

See product details

3. Determine Member Engagement KPIs

Key performance indicators are part and parcel in member retention and engagement. They help you monitor and check the success of your goals. I’ll give you the start sheet but feel free to adjust and alter it to your business demands and specifics:

  • Social media platforms. Measuring member engagement there is kind of a snap because all you have to do is to track comments, followers, mentions, likes, and shares. Analyze the posts attracting the most attention and the ones to update. While doing these tasks might be a tough row to hoe, you can set up automations for those purposes. For instance, you such tools as Mention, SproutSocial, or BrandMention for social listening.
  • Live/offline event attendance. Do not shrug off event engagement metrics. Monitor ticket purchases and overall attendees/registrants. This amount will show how popular (or not) the event is and if there are any improvements to be made for further activities. Speaking of, the AC MemberSmart has these functionalities. Besides, you can send pre- or post-event surveys to see how members found out about it. This is a nice hack to engage new and communicate with current members.
  • Email newsletter stats. How thriving are your email marketing efforts? Do you check CTRs and open rates after every email campaign? If the answer is negative, consider doing that ASAP because this data depicts exactly how many members got interested in your content, who unsubscribed, and who needs further assistance.

4. Enter the Social Media Arena

Social media today is more than a communication channel. It’s an effective catalyst for brand awareness and membership engagement. How to leverage it so that you can receive ultimate results? I know a pair of secrets:

  • Generate a unique brand voice that will sell you apart from others. Stick to the same message on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and LinkedIn. People will find and recognize your association for exactly this messaging.
  • Come up with content that resonates with the audience. It will help you not only engage members but also provoke the valuable feedback on the stuff you do. Thus, consider content repurposing as an additional hack for member retention. For instance, add the recent blog post on your membership association recent milestones to the newsletter, share a case study on Instagram, post a tweet about your member’s success, or shoot a quick YouTube video. Different channels = different resonance. Check out this great example from Your Template Club. They share the success story of their proud member as well as highlight the association’s main benefits:
Your Template Club_Insta membership
  • Use member reviews as the means for establishing a membership funnel. Keep your ears open for what they have to say either on socials or in dialogues with your team (or on online community). They stir your content and the overall strategy into the right direction.
  • Let members takeover social media for a period of time to lure as much new members as possible. Choose a person among current members who is the most active and ask them to take the wheel. They can post anything they want but under one condition: the content should be fun, meaningful, inspirational, and engaging.

As you know, social media is way more than comments and posts. You can use it as the source of real-time feedback and see if there’s enough effort from your side. In Salesforce, there is a social media monitoring functionality as part of Marketing Cloud. Thanks to it, you can learn who your customers are, find brand advocates, take part in conversations to build credibility, and really get that engagement engine going. Gather the info and start analyzing.

Once you’re done, see what makes the most excitement and what went south. Based on this data, create the content people are talking about and share!

5. Arrange Meetings

Let’s dive deeper into meetings and their importance for member relationships. While posting awe-inspiring content is fine, hosting an ample range of events would bear its fruit. Align this endevor with your organization’s specifics: can you pull this off? Only after that, start planning.

Online or offline? Maybe hybrid? Again, this is where your abilities and creativity collide. For both of the formats, you can utilize membership management with Salesforce and forget about third-party solution when it comes to networking events creation.

Speaking of, Advanced Communities, too, offers the special, LEX-native AC Events Enterprise package for organizing meetups quickly, creating microsites specifically for them, monitoring event attendance with QR codes, and do a lot more. Not to beating around the bush, look at how a dedicated event page on Experience Cloud is designed:


AC Events Enterprise

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6. Engage Various Members Differently

To encourage members to the greatest extent, you have to ace segmentation. In other words, study your audience from every angle, paying attention to each group, their behavior, and status in your association. Based on their distinctive features, you can then fine-tune engagement strategies. Let’s unveil the main kinds of members and how to adjust the action plan for them:

  • Existing members. No one says membership engagement should stop the moment a new person joins your community. They also deserve constant attention! Offer them a lifetime membership tier or VIP conditions – trust me, people enjoy feeling one-of-a-kind.

    Besides, you can let these members take the reins of social media accounts (we discussed it in the paragraph 4). This way, existing members see they are trusted and, consequently, become more engaged.
  • Disengaged members. If you ask me, this is the trickiest group. As they may be introverted, it’s all about the right time to lurk…and jump.

    Consider creating a smaller group by interests so that these shy people feel comfortable, initiate water cooler discussions for a more casual atmosphere, or create 1-1 meetings for special requests. Your key goal is to show them they can be themselves around the association as the other members are alike.
  • Senior members. This is when it gets thorny. The thing is that older members may encounter various technical problems, be disconnected (in both senses of the word), and, as a result, leave a community.

    To engage members like that, develop a targeted approach. Devote more time catering to their needs, host more offline networking events, or provide them with customized milestone awards. Older members would be appreciated for their long-term involvement with your organization.
  • Younger members. These folks are the vitality of association memberships. They are the engine for progress, constantly seeking new opportunities and fresh perspectives. Be proactive for them, jump on the hype train with them, and unlock some offbeat angles.

    For instance, initiate a TikTok trend with the association hashtag, promoting it. You can even shoot a series of video (fun or conservative) with younger members to encourage others to join the club.
  • Super engaged members. As the name applies, they are always in the first lines, taking part in all events, reading every newsletters, and supporting every post you publish. Have you ever wondered what made them super engaged? What ideas have you implemented then to receive such an outcome today? Maybe these insights will help you attract a new member.

    While you mull this over, I’ll give some pointers on how to engage members who are already hooked. Consider assigning them to a volunteer cause and ask them to show their expertise. Moreover, provide them with awards for their hard work and scrutinize these members to get your ideal member portrait. Frankly speaking, you shouldn’t bend over backwards to impress super engaged members: they already are, just make it count.
  • Remote members. This is exactly how it sounds. You may not see remote members in person and, as a result, not feel that special bond with them. To connect members both via technical resources and metaphorically, create a favourable environment and conditions.

    Host more online events like a webinar or conference where remote members could feel engaged. Plus, you can develop an online forum for such members to gather and communicate. As remote members can be silent in a way, don’t be shy to ask them for feedback. Send them recurring surveys or polls and share the results with the team. You can also build a member directory – it will help them reach out to other members in the community easily. This is what I mean:

Membership Directory: Complete Guide

Member directory is an excellent way to ensure networking across your organization. Do you have one? We explain how to build one!
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7. Develop Regular Habits

To keep members engaged, stir up their interest systematically. Thus, they will know that every week, for instance, they receive some piece of information for their personal or professional development. This way, you form a regular habit of people checking in your community and finding something valuable for them. Try it!

Let me introduce you to this vivid example. Every Sunday, members of the Salesforce Trailblazer Communities receive weekly digest emails containing the top posts and insights from these communities. The content may vary: from event invitations to burning tech questions. I got this email with the content posted on the community from May 26th to June 2nd:

Weekly Salesforce Trailblazer Community Digest for Nonprofit and Education MindShare

Yep, we use this hack as well. If you are attentive to details, we posted a volunteer management webinar invitation and it ended up in this digest. Snatching at the opportunity, you can register for it here.

8. Gamify Member Experience

Do you remember yourself as a kid? How competitive and fierce (in a good sense) we were running a race, participating in a child contest, or declaring a poem. This “racing” component ignited the spirit and made us move faster, be better, and outdo ourselves. We undertook it for at least one purpose: to win an award and receive a certain acknowledgment. Simply put, this is what gamification looks like.

Gamification is using game-like elements in a non-game environment to motivate and encourage an audience to do something. This concept has gained traction over the past few years in member engagement. Organizations leverage it to increase member loyalty and engagement, provide them with tailor-made experiences, and blaze their own trail.

How can you seamlessly weave gamification into your member engagement strategies in Salesforce? Follow my lead:

  • Provide badges and points to kindle a friendly competition. Let members want recognition and drive them to be more active. In Salesforce Experience Cloud, you can use the gamification tools like Reputation (to issue different reputation levels based on how active members are) and Recognition Badges (to celebrate member’s accomplishments).

    On the one hand, reputation levels are visible to all the members so that everyone knows how influential a person is. The reputation growths as a member of a community posts, comments, likes posts, shares a post, mentions someone, asks/answers a question, etc. The Salesforce Admin specifies the points for each action and the activities to gain points.

    Recognition badges, on the other hand, are used to get user involved in an Experience Cloud site. You can set up various limitation or specific conditions to specify who can create and give badges. Plus, you can use the Missions feature to assign users badges automatically for actions. You can choose such actions as writing a post or comment, receiving a like, and more. Members can earn each mission badge once. An iconic example is Salesforce’s Trailhead and its badge collection.
  • Give milestone rewards to grow a loyal member base. For instance, if a member belongs to your organization for at least a year, gift them a free second-year membership, exclusive content, or an invitation to a premium, gated webinar. People will appreciate you for these efforts.
  • Initiate interactive challenges to deliver a sense of accomplishment and promote certain functionalities in your online community. Sure thing, their type will differ based on the association’s specifics but you can always create quizzes, surveys, or puzzles – they won’t hurt and will serve as the mechanics for exploring the community even more.
  • Create tiered membership levels to develop a continuous engagement loop and keep members hooked. Once they achieve a certain level, you unlock additional opportunities based on their membership specifics. The harder they try to reach another stage, the longer they will stay with you.

9. Shape a Sense of Community

Membership organizations often neglect building a sense of community to increase member engagement. In fact, a relaxed atmosphere can help people bond over a mutual cause, express their thoughts, get familiar with each other, and demonstrate the impact they produce.

In Salesforce, you can create online community for employees, customers, and partners on Experience Cloud, to innovate and team up for a mutual cause. You can customize them, build certain groups (public or private) by interests, or add a chat for seamless communication.

Online communities let you provide knowledge, promote engagement and let users help themselves. Besides, you can share data and insights for partners to boost sales and build a community for your internal team to collaborate on projects and other tasks. Either way, a community helps you achieve common goals.

The classic example of shaping a sense of a friendly community is Reese’s Book Club – a membership organization created by actress Reese Witherspoon. On the screenshot below, you can check out its Instagram account and how member loyalty looks like.

To encourage members, Reese picks books she loves with a woman at the center of the story every month. June 2024 pick is The Unwedding by Ally Condie. And it works! Now, the community has 3M followers and counting.

Reese's Book Club_Instagram community

10. Communicate Membership Benefits

…and as early as possible. Right after you welcome a new member. While onboarding, they get inspired by the perks you have to offer:

  • Discounts for long-term members;
  • Promo code for member referrals;
  • Special conditions for students;
  • Free membership tiers, etc.

As the time goes by, member benefits tend to fall into oblivion. People might forget about them and simply lose touch with your association. For that, remind of the membership advantages by firing regular email campaigns, developing a special website block, or publishing a dedicated social media post (make sure stick it to the page so that it’s always in plain sight).

11. Create a Referral Program

Effective engagement strategies contain well-oiled referral programs in order to engage members, never heard of your organization before. This is the ultimate way to bring in new folks almost organically, with the help of current members.

Before building it, here is a quick guidance for you. Choose the incentives for referees and referrers: it can be either a gated webinar, a free swag, or membership discount. Then, detect your ideal target member. To recruit more students, tailor the message accordingly. For gathering professional audiences, come up with a completely different approach. Last but not least, create the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) effect. Ask members to act with urgency, otherwise the perks will slip away.

12. React to Member Feedback

Once a member joins an organization, it takes a couple of days for them to form an opinion and honest attitude. True that this attitude can be both positive and negative. While the former is understandable and can only cheer you up, the former requires a high-priority attention. Either way, you have to respond to them, and do that fast.

If a member is dissatisfied with the way you cater to their needs, reach out to them to troubleshoot and make amends in a timely manner. As a workaround, you can set up an AI chatbot for at least responding to messages during off-hours. If the situation is opposite, show off that member’s feedback. Have a testimonial page on your website, add the quote to a newsletter, post it on social media, or create a dedicated YouTube rubric. Anything you can think of will do.

It seems like a huge chunk of work. But trust me: it’s worth it. When members see you react to their requests/queries/ideas fast, they will be engaged in your organization even more.

Bottom Line

One of the common mistakes in member engagement is turning a blind eye to members interests. Hopefully, we have just prevented you from making it!

A few final touch-ups before you attract new crowds: tailor the content members love, listen to what they say, and adopt member management software for streamlined engagement. Should you need any assistance with user experience to boost engagement, contact the Advanced Communities team. We are the pros in this field and help engage your members with the world-class, Salesforce-native solutions.

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    1. What is a Member Engagement Strategy?

    A member engagement strategy is all the activities a business performs to connect, attract, wow, and retain new audiences. The whole gist is that you should understand exactly how to lure different kinds of people so that they get interested in what you have to offer. Thus, it is an ongoing process that requires revisions from time to time and adjustments if needed.

    2. How do You Engage Members of an Association?

    To engage members of a professional association, you should first equip with strong association management software with at least such functionalities as member directory, online job board, idea and event management. Second, consider studying your audience and identify different kinds of members. Based on each kind, membership engagement will differ, too. Third, always come up with content relevant specifically for your members and refine it religiously to provide better value.

    3. How do I Promote My Online Membership?

    One of the sure-fire ways to promote your online membership is level up social media channels. Is your online presence enough? If not, think of how you can boost it: post socially appealing content, introduce a new member of your organization every now and then, use LinkedIn or Facebook ads to scream about it from the rooftops. Plus, you have to build an eye-catching brand, tone of voice, and imaginary. These are the elements thanks to which other members notice your membership association, get enthralled, and join it.

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