Who better to learn about community from than those who have successfully launched membership association communities - and who manage them on a day-to-day basis?

I was joined for a webinar by Lisa Collins, host of Member Association Collective (MAC). Lisa advises many membership associations and is the former head of member engagement at IABM and a Trade Association Forum Board Member.

Stacey Telford, Community Manager at The Marketing Society joined us to share her experiences from running The Marketing Society Coffeehouse, a highly engaged, growing member community on Guild.

Its members include the world's leading marketers from organisations such as Apple, Barclays, HSBC, IHG, L’Oréal, Mars, Samsung, Unilever, Vodafone and Wells Fargo.

Together we explored 12 ways member organisations (and their members) can get value from community.

Lisa and Stacey also answered questions about planning, starting and sustaining membership organisation communities. Most of their advice can be applied to pretty much any community.

The full recording is here:

And here are a few snippets:

Advice for member organisations on getting started with community

"Start small. You don't have to have the largest group to call it a community. Start small...but do start it!

If you've got a group who all have the same vision and passion, start it. When others see those conversations, they will get FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)."
Lisa Collins - Membership expert and Member Association Collective (MAC) host

"It's a common misconception to look at volume as the key performance indicator. Start small. Don't expect it to happen overnight. It is a labour of love. You need to nurture it, to invest time.

I identified some friendly members and said "it's all in our interest; let's get on board!" Having those friendly members to demonstrate how we use the group is very powerful."
Stacey Telford - The Marketing Society

Where should community sit in a membership organisation's strategy?

"Community sits at the heart of our member offering, uniting and connecting members. My role is to grow the community, nurture the community, make it an engaging place.

A lot of what I do is to advocate for it internally as a constant reminder of how important it is to the organisation."
Stacey Telford - The Marketing Society

How do you use your community to get feedback from your members?

"A lot of what I do is listening to members. In order to grow you need to listen to your members. When I started, it was on the phone: "how is this community working for you? How isn't it? What do you want from the community?

You're not going to please everyone, but what I came up with [from this process] was the connections piece."
Stacey Telford - The Marketing Society

How is community an extension of your member events program?

"We have a powerful events offering and we're just seeing how the community is an extension of that."
Stacey Telford - The Marketing Society

"Community continues that conversation. Using that event agenda that you've had in physical events to take back to your platform and keep those points going is definitely one of the top things membership organisations value."
Lisa Collins - Membership expert and Member Association Collective (MAC) host

More about the value of community and community strategy

Community Strategy Training

How to combine Events with Community: best practice guide

How to align Community to your organisation or business goals

The ingredients for a successful community

Choosing the right community platform

12 Ways Membership organisations can get ROI from community


Crafty Counsel

Trade Association Forum




NEU (National Education Union)

Addictive - Fix Ad Tech / Perfect Storm



The Marketing Society

British Equestrian Trade Association

Agency Hackers

Media Entrepreneur Meetup

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