Ah, the great question of when, where, and how… or even why to use technology. So obviously, we’re a technology company but I hope you can hear us loud and clear… the greatest desire in our technology is that it moves people AWAY from the community and INTO relationships with other people. We really do believe that technology is a means to strengthen your community, it’s not the end goal. So let’s tackle these one at a time.
The most significant reason is to allow technology to allow you to scale and grow your reach, impact, community, and engagement. It’s a tool and when used properly, it can help accelerate the work you’re doing. You know on Mario Kart where your car drives over those arrows on the group and it propels your vehicles faster ahead? Well, that’s the picture you should have for what technology does for you.
There are so many ways to leverage technology but where I want to focus our attention is to challenge you to leverage technology in the space where it betters the experience for your community member. There are all kinds of backend systems you could leverage and those are the ones your business will lean to adopt. But your leadership must guide the ship to find tools that better the overall experience for your members.
There’s no great answer to this question other than “when the time is right” but here are some thoughts. If you go too early then might tackle more than you can chew. If you go too late then it’s difficult to infuse. So I recommend that you have some beta testing done already with your community via Facebook groups, Google docs, events, discussions, etc. and most often, one of two things are going to happen. First, you’re going to feel the pain of needing to be on a platform or second, you’re going to crest a critical mass of people (usually around 200) where you want to better organize their experience.
The most important thing though is to have a plan. Technology is designed to serve your strategy so be sure to have your strategy is place so the technology can serve you. If you jump too quickly into technology without a plan, you are most certainly going to get frustrated. Technology solves nothing without your plan… then it can be amazing.
The best way to answer this question is everywhere… well, everywhere that creates a great member experience. Consider how all a community wants to engage - they want to attend events, have discussions, view resources, be educated, and make connections. Dream for a moment on what makes your community a success and then explore how technology can bring that all to life in a more dynamic or scalable manner.
Cause Machine Solutions
Cause Machine is packed full of tools to help you scale your community - tools like event management, member directories, organization directories, job boards, groups, discussion boards, e-courses, and stories. The entire system is designed to help you maximize your community engagement strategy. Plus we have countless resources to better educate and equip you to lead your community well. Schedule a demo today!