When it comes to building communities, an early sign of growth is engagement. Whether it be with your content or members engaging amongst themselves (which is a much better sign), an active community is what most community builders strive for. Getting engagement off the ground is not easy. You need to create things that people resonate with, that mean something. It has to be through-provoking or should invoke a sense of curiosity in members. Your content should be so extraordinary (insightful yet entertaining) that people can’t help but engage with it. Content is King and always will be.
Engagement thrives on active and meaningful discussions. Craft your content in a way that encourages your audience to participate and share their thoughts. Pose intriguing questions, spark debates, or ask for opinions on relevant topics. By actively engaging your audience, you transform them from passive consumers into active contributors, fostering a sense of ownership and community within your channels.
To create compelling content, you must first understand your audience on a deep level. Take the time to identify their demographics, interests, and pain points. What topics resonate with them? What challenges do they face? By knowing your audience intimately, you can tailor your content to address their specific needs, desires, and aspirations. This understanding will lay the foundation for content that truly resonates with your community.
A good way to get to know your audience is to talk to them. If you’re still in the earlier stages of building your community, preferably have direct conversations with them because it’s more intimate and therefore more expressive on both ends. Gather ideas from the community about what they’d like to see more of. If you have a slightly bigger community but still haven’t figured out what type of content they prefer, conduct surveys to see what they want. Alternatively, you can also experiment with various content types and ideas to see what seems to tilt your community towards engagement.
Using Threado, you can easily conduct surveys and a good rule of thumb is to do as soon as a new member joins so there’s no chance for a person to lose interest in the community. In the survey, you can define options that are relevant to your community and let people select what is it that they most want to see or read about.
Now, you can further elaborate this survey by asking a more open-ended question where members have a chance to be more specific about what type of content they’d like to see.
One of the primary reasons why we saw an increase in our community- Community Champs by Threado - was because of AMAs. And it wasn’t just because AMAs is a new concept but it was definitely something new for our community. The first-ever AMA that we hosted was with Francisco Cruz-Mendoza from Notion which took a surprisingly pleasant turn when he started responding to all questions through short video answers. This new format of AMAs took to people’s hearts pretty quickly and the impact was quite evident from the instant increase in engagement we saw right after.
After that, for every AMA that we conducted, we requested the guest to follow the same video format which was easier and a lot more personalized. This became a part of our community’s culture and people recognized us for it. Something that’s unique and out-of-the-box never fails to grab attention and you can leverage that to drive more engagement even through simple initiatives like AMAs.
Variety is not just the spice of life; it's the secret ingredient that keeps your community channels fresh, exciting, and continuously buzzing with engagement. Embrace the power of experimentation and explore a plethora of content formats that cater to the diverse preferences and learning styles within your community.
Start by crafting compelling articles that provide in-depth insights, actionable tips, or thought-provoking analyses. Articles offer a space for your audience to dive deep into a topic, expand their knowledge, and engage in discussions within the comment section.
Videos, on the other hand, bring your content to life with visuals, motion, and human connection. Create informative tutorials, entertaining vlogs, inspiring interviews, or even captivating storytelling narratives. Videos capture attention and allow your audience to absorb information in a more engaging and immersive way.
Infographics are the perfect tool for presenting complex data, statistics, or step-by-step processes in a visually appealing and digestible format. With eye-catching designs and concise information, infographics are easily shareable and encourage your audience to engage by sharing and discussing the content.
Podcasts offer a unique auditory experience that enables your community to tune in and consume content while multitasking. We have our podcast - Community Decoded - where Sharath, the Head of Community at Threado, interviews some of the most successful and biggest names in the Community space and breaks down their strategies into comprehensive insights.
Community building isn’t about you but about the community. This is an important thing to keep in mind when you’re designing your content because you need to be paying attention to details when you craft your content. You can’t always ask what your community wants to see more of because then you start gradually losing that element of surprise that organically grabs your members attention.
A great way to be on top of what your community wants to see more of, pay attention to what they’re talking about, which channels are they more active on, and what’s their overall feeling or sentiment towards a certain topic of discussion. All this is possible through pre-built reports on Threado that give you an overview of everything you need to create the perfect content.
To give your community that touch of exclusivity, organize certain events that are exclusive and specific to that closed circle of community members. This gives your community a premium feel while reinforcing the perks of being a part of your community. We started “Community Demo Days” which features those community builders who have seen great results using Threado. Through this event, other community members using Threado can learn from the strategies of others and replicate them for their own community.
And don’t hesitate to repurpose these community events later as bite-sized videos, articles, or even discussion threads across channels. Reference the events every now and then and use them as a medium to initiate relevant discussions.
Embrace the power of collaboration to amplify engagement within your community. Reach out to fellow creators or invite your community members to contribute to your content. Host guest writers, and experts for interviews, or organize community challenges and contests. Co-creating content fosters a sense of ownership, sparks creativity, and encourages your audience to become ambassadors for your channels. Through collaboration, you not only diversify your content but also strengthen the sense of community within your channels.
You can also have community spotlights where you highlight the contributions or achievements of one community member each week. Putting people in the spotlight acts as a strong incentive for them to engage and be more involved with the community simply because now they feel a personal connection to the community.
Engagement can be hampered when people don’t have anywhere they can find to talk about what they want to talk about. Have dedicated channels for various discussion points but also ensure they’re irrelevant at the same time so as to not have unwanted conversations. You have to be careful to stay within the bounds of community guidelines and moderation.
For example, in the Community Champs Slack community, we have dedicated channels where people can post about their small wins, share resources that they think others shouldn’t miss, a channel specifically for product support, and also a channel for asking or offering help.
Building a thriving community requires consistent effort. Establish a content schedule and stick to it. Whether it's a weekly blog post, a monthly newsletter, or daily social media updates, regularity fosters anticipation and loyalty. By consistently delivering valuable content, you position yourself as a reliable source of information and entertainment, making your community members eagerly await your next creation.
You can strategize consistency by scheduling posts for your community every week. This frees up time for you to focus on other things while also not missing out on being consistent. You can schedule posts using the Outreach feature in Threado.
You can choose to post the messages on different channels -
Next, type in your content, review it, and schedule it for whenever you want it to get posted in the selected channel(s).
It is essential to prioritize a deep understanding of your audience, foster meaningful conversations, experiment with a diverse range of content formats, leverage the power of storytelling and visuals, maintain consistency, actively engage with your community, embrace collaborative efforts, optimize for search engines, and continually analyze and adapt. By creating amazing content, not only are you improving the chances of better engagement but also growth. This growth stems from the value people get from the content they share and in turn feel the need to give back to the community. Make content so good that people are inspired by it.