Can a Member Directory be Your Secret to Boost Credibility and Engagement?
A member directory is a game-changer for organizations struggling with member engagement. It helps members find like-minded peers nearby, opening new collaboration opportunities. Members can suddenly connect in new ways.
It’s essential to consider the role technology plays in your member directory. A directory shouldn’t overburden staff with manual updates. Likewise, it should be easy for users to find what they want when searching the listings. That’s why choosing the right tech is so important.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. Let’s go over the basics first.
What’s a member directory?
Imagine using LinkedIn to find a colleague or an expert. You can search for people based on specific criteria. An online membership directory works similarly. It’s an online listing of your associations’ members.
Membership directories can be simple, listing only basic information like names and contact details. Alternatively, they may be more detailed, including photos, company logos, specialties, regions, and interests.
Your directory’s level of privacy depends on your organization’s needs. Some lists may only be accessible to members, while others may be open to the public. Sometimes you may need a hybrid approach. With hybrid, you’d reveal specific details to the public, keeping some data private for members only.
What are the benefits of a Member Directory?
They encourage collaboration among members.
Member directories aid in networking. Often these indexes contain contact info, areas of expertise, and location details. This info helps members find others like themselves or others in their area. By providing this online hub, members can reach out and collaborate.
They increase member engagement.
When members can see who else is involved, it helps them feel connected. It also helps when members can see how others engage with you. A directory can help you increase event and committee participation. When you include these details, members are more encouraged to join their peers.
They’ll help you build a stronger presence online.
A public list of members can help generate traffic. Your website may appear in the results if an individual searches for a specific member’s name. You can start getting attention from those learning about your organization for the first time.
This list can also become part of your strategy for SEO. Member names and specialties are often essential keywords you should consider. They may help bolster your ranking.
They enhance your credibility.
A directory can be a form of social proof. Potential members want to know how membership can benefit them. Your index of members can act as a recommendation. When people visit your site and see people they respect are already members, they’re more likely to join.
What are the advantages of using a Member Data Platform (MDP) to build your member directory?
You have complete flexibility.
With an MDP, like Wicket, you have total control. Our customers work with our professional services team to create custom directories. Full member details are available in your MDP. How much of that info is displayed is up to you.
You can further customize by gating some of this content for members only. When someone logs in to Wicket, the system knows their member status. Member-only details are protected behind this log in. You can use this valuable data to encourage member sign-ups.
Adding new members to a member directory is simplified.
Because the directory pulls info from your MDP, you can automate adding new members. When new members onboard on your website, their details are added to the MDP. The new addition of a member can trigger a new listing in your directory. Adding new members becomes a hands-off process.
Updating member info is a breeze.
Updating member info is also easy. With an MDP like Wicket, people can update their info in the member portal. Wicket then pushes updated details out to your directory. Manual updates are a thing of the past for staff. Instead, members feel empowered with the ability to control their details.
If there are essential accreditation or other details, you don’t want members to control, that’s no problem. Your member directory can easily respect any restrictions you set.
Turn it into a core member benefit.
Whether you create a private or public directory, it’s still a powerful member benefit.
You can create exclusive content for members with a private, members-only directory. A robust database that members can search or filter is a powerful tool. Members can use it to find others to hire or collaborate with.
On the other hand, if you make your directory public, it can quickly generate business for members. Allowing the public to search through your members based on criteria can create new business opportunities for members. Check out our OPTO member directory as an example below.
The member directory becomes a filterable and searchable database.
Your directory is a powerful tool that helps members find each other. You can set it up with the capability to search and filter on several parameters, including location, specialties, education, and other essential criteria.
Your MDP is the source of truth for all your member data. Touchpoints flow into it from other tools, giving you a picture of your members’ behaviour across many different tools. Because Wicket feeds your directory, you can customize it with any of this data. Furthermore, you can also use any of this data for your search/filtering capabilities.
Let’s look at three membership directory examples.
Are you looking for some inspiration? Here are some top-notch member directories our professional services team has created:
SAIS – Service and Accrediting Independent Schools
The SAIS member directory provides an easy-to-read list of member schools and a map visualizing member locations. Listings display school names, websites and school heads. Each school is tagged with specific information, including the location, school type and level, religious affiliation, and accreditation status.
Users can search for specific keywords to find a member school. They can then refine their results based on the tagged information. Members manage all of these details themselves in the account centre. All info is viewable in Wicket for the SAIS staff.
ACEC Ontario – Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Ontario
The ACEC member directory is simple and beautifully branded. Users can filter the list by service, market sector or region. They can also select an area on the map to filter the list below. Additionally, users can perform a keyword search to find specific member organizations.
Each listing provides critical details, such as the members’ names, descriptions, websites, and contact details. Each member is tagged with their service offering, sectors and regions so that users can find the exact match.
OPTO – Canadian Association of Optometrists
The OPTO member directory, Find a Doc, is a valuable tool for the public. The location tools help users find optometrists in their area. Users can type in a city or location and display all results within a 5 km-100 km radius. The keyword search helps users find a specific practice or doctor by name.
The advanced filters help users find doctors based on several parameters, including:
- Those accepting new patients
- Services offered
- Safety eyewear offerings
- Languages spoken
The professional services team branded the directory with OPTO’s colours and fonts. It also features a map so users can better visualize locations.
A well-designed membership directory has the power to boost collaboration and engagement among members. It’s an important tool for building a more substantial online presence.
A Member Data Platform (MDP) automates your member directory. Members create and update their listings. All data between your directory and MDP is always up-to-date without manual intervention.
Contact us today for a demo if you’re ready to see how a member directory can change your organization.