How do you encourage your advocates to, well to advocate?
Sometimes it can be like pushing water uphill. We’ve all been there, you have put blood, sweat and tears into initiating engaging community activity, but when it is rolled-out, where is the anticipated advocacy and ‘buzz’ from your members?
Through member research it is easy to identify who your potential advocates are, what they like about your organisation and the programmes they are keen to support. Member research can also tell you what advocates think you’re doing well and, importantly, not so well. It can help you predict member loyalty and future opportunities, but is this enough?
Member research sometimes include a NPS question (Net Promoter Score), which is designed to understand levels of advocacy among your members. It does this by asking one core question: “How likely is it that you would recommend this association to a friend or colleague?”
The results will clarify groups of detractors, passives and promoters amongst your members. Then comes another important question… will your promoters actually advocate for you?
“Does it mean that the associations with the highest NPS has the loudest advocates? No, I’m afraid it appears not.”
A high NPS score doesn’t automatically mean that your members are out waving your flag. Over time some members develop strong loyalty to your association and some advocates will spontaneously recommend your membership without being asked. This type of advocacy is however fairly rare.
Most loyal advocates are passive, unless prompted. Some advocates may only communicate about specific parts of the membership that they like, and – through member research – you can understand what those parts are and why, building it into your overarching strategy in the process.
Some of Membership Matters recent projects have been focusing on advocacy and how to work with advocates to make it more effective.
“We have found that membership organisations that receive a fair amount of negative feedback, when managed well, can turn it into something interesting and engaging, prompting advocating members that otherwise may have stayed quiet.”
Low NPS scoring organisations can still excel and with the right research insights and an effective collaborative approach, transform the way they work with advocates.
How do you do it?
Get in touch if you would like to discuss member advocacy as part of your member research. We work with you to achieve growth results in the membership sector, it is why we get up in the morning and it’s why we love what we do.
Member advocacy and research is covered in greater detail in our upcoming Membership Masterclasses.