What Makes Members In Your Community Unique?

February 19, 2018 Samantha Green

Whether they are philosophers, biologists, nurses, or engineers, members need the same things from their society: an opportunity to advance their career, connect with others in the community, and access to the latest content.

But do discipline differences tell us how to get the best member engagement possible?

How do members in your field engage with research?

We know from the overall survey segment that people are most likely to be members if they engage with research frequently. Building a learning community around the research published in your journals can help encourage authors and readers to become members.


How do members in your field engage with your society?

Professional needs vary across disciplines, which means that the impact of engagement strategies will also differ. For example, members in clinical medicine or health sciences are more likely to pursue certifications through society membership, whereas those in business, life sciences, and social sciences are less likely.



*Note: If discipline not listed, then there are no significant differences between the discipline and the averages across all disciplines.

Reading publications and attending conferences are core engagement activities for many societies. Though individuals in some disciplines are less likely than the average to engage in them, they remain the activities in which members across all disciplines most frequently engage.

Opportunities like social media or webinars are currently less frequently utilized in some fields over others. Building up these new types of activities can help create a robust digital engagement strategy that is as meaningful as the in-person engagement at conferences.

Why do members in your field join a society?

Across all disciplines, members join societies for similar reasons: content, community, and career. But some disciplines might be more focused on one over the others.


*Note: If discipline not listed, then there are no significant differences between the discipline and the averages across all disciplines.

These differences are more likely to represent differences in the professional lives of society members, rather than their willingness to engage with other members or society content. Bearing these variations in mind can help ensure that the things that matter most when members join are the areas of focus for ongoing society strategy.

How likely are members in your field to recommend societies to others?

Peer recommendation is an important aspect of growing any community. Potential members want to be part of a network that is filled with people they trust.


The above chart represents the Net Promoter Score (NPS) score for each discipline, which are all very positive and represent an impassioned community.

Across the full range of disciplines represented in the survey, peer recommendation is a strong indicator of an engaged community. Members are most likely to recommend others join if the mission resonates with them. Making sure that communications are authentic and focused on the mission can help ensure that members become ambassadors for your society.

Members are more alike across disciplines than they are different. Differences in member motivation most commonly mirror differences in professional fields. More than anything, members want a meaningful experience that helps advance their career and helps them to be part of something bigger than themselves and helps society as a whole.

About the Author

Samantha Green

Society Marketing, Wiley // Samantha Green joined Wiley in 2012, working in the Social Science and Humanities Community Marketing team at Wiley. She now works in the Society Strategy & Marketing creating content on publishing trends and the research community.

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