A good choice for your business could be to join an online chamber of commerce. But it’s important to think about a few things before you join one. When looking into an online chamber of commerce, here are some key things to think about:
Ask how many members they have
Asking how many people are in the chamber is a good way to figure out how good it is. Most of the time, a chamber will be active and effective if it has a lot of members. If you’re thinking about joining an online chamber, you might want to ask how many people are in it.
Ask how many local businesses they have and whether they are a mix of business types
You should also make sure that the chamber of commerce you join has a good mix of businesses from different fields. If you own a business in construction, for example, you might not want to join an online chamber of commerce with only other construction businesses.
In the same way, don’t be afraid to ask how many local businesses they have and what kinds they are. Small and medium-sized businesses from different industries should be part of a chamber if it’s going to really help its members.
If you find out that your local chamber only has one type or size of business (like all restaurants), it might be better to turn it into an association instead, since its members are likely to have similar goals and interests in their industry (and thus benefit more strongly from networking opportunities).
Ask what services and benefits the chamber provides
Find out how often the chamber hosts events for networking. How many people make up the group? What kinds of chances are there to make connections? Do they give members any discounts? Find out if they have online support groups, mentorships, or educational programs that can help you if you get stuck on a project.
Find out if the chamber offers training for its members. This should be obvious, but it’s still important to make sure that any group that says it can help your business can actually give you what you need.
A good online business resource should also have an incentive system that makes it easier for people to learn from each other than if they just talked about their latest projects at lunch every day.
Ask how long the chamber has been in operation
If you want to join an online chamber of commerce, you should find out about the history of the group. For how long has it been running? If it’s a new chamber, how long have they been running other chambers and what kind of experience do they have?
Another thing to think about is whether or not your city or state has someone in charge of all online chambers. If so, what makes you think that person is qualified for this job?
Ask whether the chamber has an app, what it offers and how often it is updated
Ask if the chamber has an app, what it does, and how often it gets updated. You’ll want an app that not only gives you access to business tools but also gives you real-time information about your neighborhood.
Also, pay attention to how often the app is updated and how easy it is for members and non-members alike to change their own profiles or add content. It’s important that other users can easily access any content made by members without having to go through a complicated website or process.
Ask about their social media presence, whether their Facebook posts are getting responses and if they post regularly
If a chamber’s Facebook page has a lot of interaction from members and thousands of fans, that’s a good sign that the chamber cares about its members. If the page only has a few hundred fans, it may mean that no one uses it or that those who do don’t get much out of it.
If you’re worried about how much time it will take to manage your online presence, look for chambers that have made platforms for posting photos or videos that are easy to use. A good platform will let users share relevant content from other sources without having to download software or sign in to multiple accounts on different sites (like YouTube and Twitter).
Ask what kind of social media training they offer
Ask what kind of training they offer for social media. Even if you’re already a member and your business is listed on their site, it’s important to know how they can help you improve your online presence. Does the chamber train people? Do they have classes in person, online, or both? What kinds of training do they offer besides these?
Look at their Facebook and Twitter pages to see how active they are, what kind of content they post, how many comments or likes they get, and how often they respond to comments.
If you want to join a chamber of commerce, it’s important to check out how they use social media. You can see what kind of content they share, how often they share it, and how many people interact with it. You can also check to see if they are using any other social media strategies.
We always say to look at the quality of their posts and see if they are relevant. Do you like them? Are there enough of them? How often do they respond to people who comment on their posts or talk back to them?
Ask whether you’re required to pay dues by check or if you can pay online with a credit card
Another important thing to think about is whether you have to send a check or can use a credit card to pay online. If you prefer the second option, find out if there are any fees for this service and if there are any limits on transactions. For example, does the credit card processor allow for payments to be made over and over again? Can they handle transactions with people in other countries?).
Ask about other ways of paying your dues as well. Some chambers of commerce have payment plans where members can pay their annual fee in several payments spread out over the year. Other chambers may offer discounts if members pay their annual fee all at once in a given month.
If you’d rather pay by check but don’t want to have to worry about remembering when your renewal payment is due, find out if there is a mail-in form that will remind you. This could save you and your chamber some trouble in the long run!
The truth is that an online chamber of commerce might be a good choice for your business. But you should do your research first to make sure you choose the right one. The key is to find an organization that fits your needs in terms of services and benefits and is also affordable enough for you to join without going into debt.