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Articles > How to: achieve your goals > How to...Engage your community members

How to...Engage your community members

Is your online community just starting out, or perhaps your members aren't visiting your community website as often as you need them to? Learn more about creating online community engagement here.
Keep in touch with your alumni
Keep in touch with your alumni

Engaging your community members to provide value for them and for you is a key task for any alumni officer, or development department. Having a highly engaged community can result in more opportunities for your alumni to support each other, as well as encouraging them to donate frequently to their alma mater, or another charitable organisation. 

Your online community might be just starting out, or perhaps your members have signed up but aren’t visiting your community website or portal as often as you need them to. These are all common challenges of building your digital community, but they can be resolved with careful consideration of your communications strategy and the right choice of platform.

How can I engage my community and encourage people back?

It can be challenging to keep your audience interested and provide them with reasons to stay in touch and return to your website. With an overload of emails and messages, as well as account log-ins to remember, it’s easy for people to lose interest and stop visiting. Ultimately, you should focus on what kind of value you can offer to your community; whether that is a unique space to share and find opportunities, useful content to help their daily lives or a fun place to share memories and catch up with other members or peers.

An integrated community engagement platform can provide you with one destination that your users can access anywhere in the world, providing you with flexibility to create exciting and engaging content easily, as well as managing their user experience through a range of admin functions. By adapting your community platform to meet your members’ needs, as well as the administrative requirements of your team - even if that’s a team of one!

If you are a school or university, your alumni website could represent the one place where former students can connect and reminisce with their own cohort, but also find and offer opportunities to different generations of alumni. They can also share their old school photos, sign up to reunion or networking events, or match with a mentor to help boost their career prospects. Signposting this to your community can help to increase engagement, and regularly updating your content and offering helps to keep members returning.

If you are running a membership club, your online hub could be the single destination for members to share news, update their details, renew subscriptions, access private content or join group discussions. By offering so many features to members in one place, a community platform can be a great way to update your club members and facilitate membership options easily. Membership community portals also create scalable advancement towards the future of your sector or industry, as organisations can facilitate sharing and learning between members, on their behalf. This can solve challenges around resource and in-house expertise. 

Reach and engage your community through an integrated communications strategy

You may find if you are already creating great content but struggling for return visits to your platform, that you need to take a closer look at your communications strategy. By integrating your communications you can take a closer look at who is responding, and start to target your messaging to connect with people who haven’t been engaging. Using your marketing insight from within the ToucanTech system allows you to easily segment your audience and personalise your messaging to best suit your members’ interests, and engage them.

Sometimes, it can be as simple as reaching out and asking for feedback to find out what makes your community tick. You could run a survey on your website to find out exactly what they are coming to you for, with your results landing directly in your database for easy analysis, or you could produce a monthly newsletter to encourage people to log on and find out what they’ve missed. It’s good practice to continually direct people over to your platform; you can do this in simple and creative ways such as including a link to the portal in your email signature or via social media to boost your members’ awareness. 

ToucanTech helps you to engage your community

"Without a doubt switching to Toucan Tech was the best decision we could have made and now more than ever having the interactive front-end website has been key to upping our engagement." Sarah Howells, Development & Enterprise, Wrekin College

The ToucanTech software helps schools, nonprofits, institutes, clubs and charitable organisations to build engagement - it's why we're here and it's what we love to do!  We’ve been helping communities globally to grow, and create spaces for members to connect and support  one another.

With one simple system, the ToucanTech software provides:

  • A flexible public website that can be used as a hub for all sorts of content to entice people in: you can post photos, create compelling news articles, host and manage events, offer downloadable resources, shop items and more
  • A private, logged-in networking portal for members to build profiles (synced with their social media), find friends, search for mentors, share comments and join discussions
  • Inbuilt form and survey functions to pull traffic to your site and collect data directly into your database
  • An integrated email marketing system to send beautiful and personalised newsletters to your entire audience or chosen segments
  • Smart, triggered emails that send thank you notes, birthday greetings, event reminder notifications and myriad other useful messages to keep your community engaged

Our customers are creating strong community connections all over the world. Discuss ways to make your community more engaged with an experienced ToucanTech engagement evangelist; organise a time to talk to the team here.

At one of our partners, Watford Grammar School for Girls, 88% of their 2020 leavers had signed up to their online platform by the end of June. Find out which tactics they used to welcome their leavers into their alumni community and how they are keeping them engaged here.

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