Benefits of Creating a Real Community on Your Membership Site

Benefits of Creating a Real Community on Your Membership Site

Why Every Membership Site Should Leverage a Member Directory and Public User Profiles to Promote a More Social Community

There are a lot of different strategies membership site owners use to add new layers of socialization into their online community. Everything from private Facebook pages to members-only forums within the membership site has been used in the past. Unfortunately, most of these techniques emphasis socialization above the membership site itself. To gain the most from everything a more social membership base has to offer it needs to take place onsite. This is the only way to continue emphasizing your brand and associating everything your members enjoy with your website.

Benefits of Creating a Real Community on Your Membership Site

1. Longer Retention

One of the primary benefits of creating a tangible sense of community within your membership site is longer average retention rates for each member. Not only does this mean great net profits, but also less time required to maintain the current level of satisfaction among current members. This frees up more time to recruit new members. It also provides you with more opportunities to monetize your current members. The longer they are with you, the more they will trust you and your products.

2. More Value for Members

A hidden benefit of creating a more social membership site is the greater perceived value of the entire experience by each member. As with all membership sites, active members rarely leave. It is the inactive members that primarily contribute to the attrition rate. By making the membership site more social, it gives every member an easy way to feel they are actively contributing. Plus, every social interaction on the website is essentially free content for the membership site owner. Not only does this mean a greater perceived value, but a very real increase in value to each member.

3. Social Proof

The final benefit of creating a more social members area is social proof. Not only can you gain some excellent quotes from current members to promote your site, but you create the perfect environment to increase conversions during the trial period. Nothing makes a free trial more effective than introducing new members into a highly social member’s area. It not only makes them immediately feel included, but also gives them a reason to stay.

How a Member Directory and Public User Profiles Help Build a Community

The real question membership site owner’s face is how to create a social community without having members interact off-site. The easiest solution is to combine a member’s directory with public user profiles. This requires almost no effort on behalf of the membership site owner because the directory can be automatically generated with the Magic Members plugin.

1. Easy to Interact

A key benefit of a members directory and public user profiles is interacting is easier than ever. Public profiles ensure every member can be contacted by other members in multiple ways at any given time. It also current members have a reason to come back every time someone leaves them a message.

2. Allows Members to Build Their Own Relationships

As an added bonus, public profiles allow members to share their email address and social network profiles. This allows them to communicate in whatever way they want and build relationships outside of the member’s area. While this seems counterintuitive, everything they gain from the connections they make will be subliminally associated with the membership site itself.

1 Comment
  • Eugene L. Jones says:

    This article makes a few great points that are easy to forget, especially as more marketers move towards centralizing their efforts via social media. It can be difficult to build a community on a membership site compared to a site like Facebook because you are asking people to regularly visit and interact on a website they are only visiting for a single purpose; whereas they visit their social media profiles for a variety of reasons. The benefit of building a community in your membership site, even if it doesn’t have as many people, is that the members you do have are incredibly loyal. This not only means more money but free, word-of-mouth advertising.
    I also want to add that while your membership site should be the core building block of your community, that doesn’t mean you can’t also have a community elsewhere. I have seen membership sites successfully balance an internal community which is private and a public external community on another platform, like Facebook, but you can tell it takes a lot of resources. On the plus side, it does provide a valuable marketing platform to grow external followers and convert them to paying members.

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