Working Together Apart: 3 Ways Societies Can Maintain Connectivity in a Virtual World
When was the first time you participated in an ongoing virtual conversation? Was it your Fantasy Football draft, a Facebook group for sandwich enthusiasts, your family’s meme-laden group text?
Regardless of the occasion, many of us have been involved in virtual conversations for years. Not only were these conversations continuous, they were successful; they achieved a desired goal, furthered an aim, resolved a conflict.
In the wake of COVID-19, we find ourselves in a more virtual world, one that may be unfamiliar in its technological nuances, its’ isolating emphasis on self. As we navigate these uncharted waters, it is vital for all organizations to call upon those virtual communication tools we’ve been unknowingly honing, while simultaneously expanding the digital toolbox.
In uncertain times, your audience craves certainty from any outlet. By increasing the amount of transparent communication you provide, you strengthen the existing connection with members, assuring them that, although the world may look different, your aims remain the same. When bolstering your communication strategy, consider an end-of-the-week email that updates members on society activity, as well as the status of any conferences or pre-planned events. After you’ve embraced increased email contact, consider turning the dial up on your social media presence, posting with more frequency on your social channels to ensure that members (as well as potential members) have unparalleled access to information, as well as encouraging society-related conversation in these digital spaces.
The common adage instructs that a picture is worth a thousand words, so it’s arguable that a video is worth a million. In addition to a robust written communication strategy, use video to connect with members in both real time and via recorded messages whenever possible. Putting a face to a message increases credibility and builds trust. To capitalize on the value of “face” time, consider transitioning scheduled meetings or events to a virtual space, using one of the many communication tools available. Even though you won’t be interacting with members in the conventional sense, your society will still be able to strengthen existing bonds while keeping up to date on the latest news concerning your organization.
Content has been hailed as king, but current content is truly an ace in the hole. Make the most of your society’s existing content by repurposing it in a variety of mediums, including quotes, infographics and social posts. While making old content new, societies should also focus on generating fresh content. By delivering new information, your society establishes itself as a subject matter expert in the field, which can help grow your member base, while strengthening existing relationships with current members.
When deployed in tandem or individually, these three strategies, along with your existing virtual dialogue know-how, can maintain a channel of connectivity with society members. By reinforcing the aims and mission of your society through a combined strategy of video, messaging and social, your society can not only survive, but arguably can grow both membership numbers and current member interaction.