People join trade associations because they want to be involved in something larger while staying on top of the latest industry trends and regulations. Fortunately, there are a number of tools to help your members stay connected and up-to-date with association news.

Having a website is a must in today’s economic environment. Without one, your association may come off as unprofessional. Use your website as your digital business card; a place to store all of your long-term information as an online resource where your members can easily find information. When someone views your website they should have a good idea of who your association is,its mission and what it has to offer. Don’t forget to include contact information and links to your other social
media streams.

An association newsletter is a great way to regularly keep in touch with your members throughout the year. This information should be current and relevant within the time period of your newsletter’s schedule. This means you don’t want to include old information that happened two months ago or information your members won’t need for another three months from now. You want your members to look forward to reading fresh information in each issue. Remember, all links in your newsletter should direct members back to your website for more information. This will give both your newsletter and website optimum stats.

Social media is a great way to engage with your members and others in your industry. This is a place to have conversations and exchange ideas. Your association doesn’t need to be involved in all of the social media streams such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube or Snapchat. Pick a couple that your members use most and focus on those. You want your members to be able to relate to you on these platforms. Feel free to post on these daily to interact with your followers.

Being online is great but as an association, you want your members to connect on a personal level as well. Hosting events and training seminars throughout the year will generate real life connections.

When hosting large events, having an app is helpful to keep everything organized. Allow your members to access registration, floor plans, seminar details, surveys and interactive games to create foot traffic to booths during trade shows.