What ‘The Social Network’ teaches us about membership management

Acquiring, engaging and retaining membership is the lifeblood of any user group or association. The inspiration for new strategies and initiatives to ensure solid membership growth can come from anywhere, even the movies.

What The Social Network teaches us about membership management

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With social media becoming ever more prevalent as a tool in membership marketing strategies, the fictionalised account of the birth of Facebook has some valuable lessons.

We All Want To Connect

When students first gather to check out “The Facebook,” it’s because they want to connect with each other, sharing ideas and content in a new and unique way.

What’s the lesson for marketing management? Make it easy for your members to share and communicate both online and in person. Follow the best practice of other associations in their social media use. Membership management systems like http://www.ofec.co.uk/membership-management-system-portfolio.aspx can help you deliver better engagement with your members.

Second is First Loser

Being first matters. The Winklevoss twins may have had a superior product, better resourced and with greater expertise, but Facebook was first to go live and build an audience. If another association solves the problem you’re working on first, then your initiative may well have a hard time gaining traction.

The takeaway? Of course, presenting a professional campaign matters, but not if it doesn’t maintain the momentum to get out there before the competition. There’s a fine balance between professionalism and speed, and the best strategies will find and utilise it.

How You Act Matters

Imagine being Mark Zuckerberg and seeing yourself depicted on the big screen as a total jerk. It’s an extreme example, but the way you treat people matters. Interactions now can impact on the future.

The lesson to learn? Communicate clearly and well, and seek to exceed your members’ expectations at every opportunity. Treat your members as you’d like to be treated.

Fail Fast

Nobody likes to fail, but better to do it quickly and recalibrate fast. Facebook is constantly taking risks and deploying new strategies, keeping what works and learning rapidly from what doesn’t.

For membership management, the lesson is clear. Don’t get bogged down in old thinking and internal politics. Be clear about the way you intend to continually test and refine new membership management strategies. Remember that if one great idea fails, another will quickly take its place.

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Sue

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