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4 Association Technology Trends for 2014

Association technology trends for 2014Some days it may feel like you run a website or a technology operation instead of an association. Keeping up with new technology can seem like a full-time job for an association professional. There’s always some new company, service or integration available.

You probably feel like you’ll be left behind if you don’t try out everything.  To help you sort through all the information out there, here are the 4 major themes for association technology we see for 2014.

Website Content

If your association’s...

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Who Is Competing With Your Association?

Who's competing with your association?We know that one of the main reasons companies join associations is to increase their business.  Yes, individuals may join for training and certification, but ultimately they want to improve their skills and help them grow their business.  Plus, businesses join associations for the networking and business exposure opportunities.  And, the exposure your members gain via your website is perhaps the best way you can promote them and drive traffic to their business.

The value that members receive...

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Learn From The Best: Update Your Association's LinkedIn Company Page

LinkedIn has grown to be one of the most popular social media sites for individuals to make connections and build their network.  At times though, it can seem like only big businesses or recruiters use LinkedIn.

However, LinkedIn offers plenty of great tools for associations, chambers of commerce AND their small business members to connect with current customers and find new customers as well.  In fact, LinkedIn can help your business look bigger, extend your marketing efforts and drive growth...

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5 Reports No Association Should Live Without

It sounds like one of those bad dreams. You have a road map to make your association successful right there in your hands. But, you never look at it or you don't realize how important it can be.

Fortunately, this is one nightmare you can put an end to. Your association management software is the lifeblood of your organization. Remember, it contains all key contact information, annual billing, past transactions, related individuals and companies, events management, committees, certifications and...

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6 Steps to Measure Social Media ROI for Associations

Social Media ROI for Your AssociationSocial media seems to be taking over the world. If you’re going engage in social media, you should do it well so that your association receives as much benefit as possible. But that’s easier said than done.

Here are some tips for measuring the ROI for social media for your association. Keep in mind that the real goal is increased member engagement, improved member retention, additional member sales or more non-dues revenue - not a viral video or a bunch of “likes.”

Identify your goals. You can’t...

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Top Questions About Websites That Disappoint Your Association Members

How your website lets your association members down.Last week, WebLink hosted a webinar for business associations and chambers of commerce titled, "5 Ways Your Website Lets Your Members Down."  

With websites being a critical component of associations' marketing and communications plans, many organizations don't realize how their websites can be disappointing their members and adversely affecting member retention and new member sales.

The webinar detailed some of the common mistakes associations make with their websites, how those mistakes affect...

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Create a Google+ Page For Your Association

Your association probably has a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. (If not, what are you waiting for?) And, we know that some associations are using LinkedIn to drive growth for their organization.  For more information, download our free eBook, 4 Simple Steps for Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Membership.

Think you've got social media under control? Think again. Here's another channel you may be neglecting: Google+. More than 300 million people are actively using the site.

Google created its...

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Association Content Marketing - Who's Doing It Well?

A recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute showed that 92% of nonprofits are content marketing.  However, nearly 75 percent of those polled rated their efforts middling to ineffective.

Where do you stack up?

The 2014 Nonprofit Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report by the Content Marketing Institute and Blackbaud looked at how important content marketing has become for nonprofits and associations.

Just 26 percent of the 1,714 survey respondents, who are nonprofit...

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Don't settle for relevance. Create VALUE for your association members.

Is relevance at the top of your list of goals for your association? Many association professionals are sure becoming more relevant is the key to your association staying in business for years to come.

Forget about it. Relevance is for losers.

You need to win with value.

I have no data to support this, but I’d guess that the most frequently used word with the word “Relevant” is “NOT”

No one says, “Wow, that association is really relevant for me.” They want useful. They want ROI. They want value.

The...

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Webinar for Associations: 5 Ways Your Website Lets Your Members Down

Over the past few years, associations have placed a greater emphasis on their website as an extension of their brand.  Just having a website is no longer the minimum requirement.  You must have detailed information about your association, your benefits, your members and the market and industry you serve. Some forward-looking associations have starting focusing more on creating valuable content for attracting new members and engaging existing members as well.

Even with this added importance of...

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Click Here Now for Secrets to Creating Powerful Calls to Action for Your Association

Create powerful calls to action for your associationWhen you communicate with members, do you always tell them what you want them to do? If not, you're missing out on a great opportunity accomplish your goals.

Our days are filled with many subtle calls to action: "Click Here Now," "Order Before Midnight," or "Try Our New Super Chicken Sandwich."

Your communications should do the same. You're trying to influence members' behavior with every event, email, blog post or website page. Don't waste the opportunity to accomplish what you want and help...

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Build a Winning Team for Your Association

Whether you're working to increase new member sales, improve member retention, drive non-dues revenue or deliver valuable benefits to your members, you know you can't do it alone.  

You need a team of staff members for your association that can unite around a common goal and help your organization become a critical partner in your members' success.

Our friends over at LiquidPlanner created a great infographic on how to build your winning team.   LiquidPlanner is an easy and powerful online project...

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Top Questions About Content Marketing for Associations

Content marketing for associationsLast week, WebLink hosted a webinar for business associations and chambers of commerce titled, "6 Ways to Produce Content That Members Value."

As associations seek to maintain their relevance for their target audience, more and more organizations are turning to content marketing to create additional value for their members.  While most associations understand they must deliver real benefits to their members to improve member retention and drive new members sales, many associations are unsure of...

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10 Ways To Thank Your Association Members

Thank your association membersAs the year draws to a close, many people will be giving thanks to those whom they care about or those who have made an impact in their lives. You should take this opportunity to give thanks to the members of your association as well.

After all, your association would not be in business without them. So take the time to let members know much they are valued. Yes, it can feel good to say thank you. But you can also build relationships with your members, increase member retention and generate new...

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An Email Subject Line Your Association Can Use To Wow Your Members

Wow your association members with great email subject linesRecently, WebLink finalized our dates for our 2014 WebLink Summit, our annual marketing, technology and social media conference for member-based organizations.  

We narrowed our choices down to two finalists: the JW Marriott Indianapolis and the Downtown Marriott in Indianapolis.  

We ultimately chose the JW Marriott for the 2014 WebLink Summit, but a well-crafted email from the Downtown Marriott guaranteed they'll be in the mix for the 2015 event.

Subject Line: 5 Reasons You Should Not Use the...

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eBook: 4 Simple Steps To Growing Your Membership with LinkedIn

Click here to download the eBook.As an association professional, you understand the necessity to grow and engage your membership.  Your association must seek new ways to connect with your current members and find new prospective members.   

At WebLink, we understand that finding the right tools for your organization - and learning how to use them - can be tricky. And, despite LinkedIn being more than 10 years old, it remains largely untapped for associations trying to engage their target audience.

That's why we're offering this...

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Webinar for Associations: 6 Ways to Produce Content that Members Value

Produce content that your members value.Content marketing is a hot topic for associations looking to provide more value and stay relevant for their members.  But to be honest, between being relevant and being valuable, I'll take being valuable all day long.

In fact, I believe that associations who focus on creating great content for their members will be the ones who continue to grow over the next few years. Those associations who don't find a way to deliver more value to their members will be looking at dropping retention rates and...

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Association Marketing R&D: Ripoff & Duplicate

Last week, I was a presenter at the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (IACCE) Fall Conference.   As I talked with the attendees and listened to the other presenters, I was reminded of why I enjoy working with associations and chambers of commerce.

Association and chamber professionals are:

  1. Very social - You spend most of your days talking with members, prospective members or stakeholders in your industry or community.  You love meeting new people and making connections....
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Top Questions: Mistakes Associations Make When Using Their Membership Database

Last week, WebLink hosted a webinar for business associations and chambers of commerce titled, "5 Mistakes That Haunt Associations When Using Their Membership Database."

The webinar detailed common mistakes that associations make with their membership database, demonstrated solutions to the problems and showed ways to use your association management software (AMS) to provide better service to your members.

During registration for the webinar, we asked attendees some questions about their current...

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Is Your Association Missing Out On These 3 Benefits of A Mobile Website?

Don't be left behind. Create a mobile website for your association.More than half the mobile phones sold today are "smart phones" that can access the Internet. The tablet market is expected to grow by nearly 80% over the next four years, while the smart phone market is expected to grow by 70%.  And, the desktop PC market is expected to shrink by about 8%. (Source: International Data Corporation - IDC)

That means fewer and fewer people will accessing the Internet from a desktop computer and more of them will be using mobile devices. 

Is your association or chamber...

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