5 Essential Online Tools for Associations
There are a host of free and paid tools that membership organisations can take advantage of to help improve the service they offer to their members. These can help improve the value you give to your members, as well as help improve your own working efficiency levels and the effectiveness of your offerings and services.
So here’s our top five tools that all membership organisations should be using:
Improve your website with Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free website monitoring tool. By simply adding a small piece of code to your website, you can track all the activities that visitors make on your site. The amount of information you can gather from this free tool is quite outstanding!
Key reports you might find useful are:
- Visitor sources: Where are your visitors coming from? LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, Bing, paid advertising?
- Popular pages: What pages get the most views? Are there certain pages you thought would be popular but aren’t?
- Bounce rate: The bounce rate is the amount of visitors that land on your site and then leave straight away. Are there certain pages with an unusually high bounce rate? Do all visitors that come from Twitter bounce straight away?
These are just a few of the reports that you can get from Google Analytics. Using this free software properly means you can get a thoroughly good understanding of how well your website is working. Use the data to constantly improve your website so that your members get a better experience.
Boost your social presence with social media management tools
If your membership management software doesn’t allow you to manage all your social accounts directly then take advantage of one of the free or paid social media management tools out there. This will save you huge amounts of time as you can schedule messages in bulk and in advance.
A lot of tools also provide you with reports so you can see what your most effective messages were. This can help you to craft content that you know resonates well with your membership base. Look at what got liked, shared, retweeted and commented on.
Popular tools include Hootsuite, SproutSocial, Buffer and SocialOomph.
Get organised with online time management tools such as OneNote
OneNote is Microsoft’s free digital notebook for to-do lists, notes, plans, and anything you want to remember. For busy membership professionals, this is a fantastic tool that can help improve your productivity as well as help communicate with other members on your team.
Type or jot down notes, record audio or snap a picture and OneNote saves it across all your devices, which makes it fantastic for membership managers on the move.
This free tool is available for PC, Mac, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
Keep up to date with industry trends and activities with Feedly
No matter what your membership industry focus is, there will be developments happening all the time, discussions taking place and opinions being voiced. It’s important that you can stay on top of all of this chatter, and the easiest way to do this is to collate all these sources into one place.
This is where an RSS feed like Feedly comes into play. This is a free tool that allows you to collate all the updates a website makes in one easy to digest view. So if you have competitors that blog on a regular basis, an industry new site that posts new stories daily, and key members that like to share content on their own personal blog, you can view all these updates from just one source, rather than having to visit all these sites separately.
This will save you a huge amount of time and will enable you to stay up to date on industry trends and membership developments. You’ll be able to react quicker to breaking news and can communicate updates to your members faster.
Make sure you know what’s being said about you with a reputation management tool
Members talk. Competitors talk. Even people who have no affiliation with your association may talk about you. It’s vital that you can track and monitor these conversations so that you can react to them when needed. You’ll also be able to gauge a level of understanding in terms of how members and other stakeholders feel about your organisation. Are they generally singing your praises, or are there a lot of people out there complaining about you?
Only by monitoring what’s being said can you react. These things are going to be said about you whether you know about it or not. Knowledge is power, and it’s vital that you can listen in and gauge sentiment.
Tools like SocialMention, Google Alerts, TrackUr and Brandseye can all help monitor online mentions of your brand and association.
Of course the number one tool associations need is a membership management software solution like Silverbear Membership! If you'd like more information on the features of our solution or would like to arrange a live, custom demo, then get in touch!