Do you remember your first trip to the exhibition? The Ferris Wheel, The Spinning Tea Cups, The Go-Karting Track, The Candy Floss, and the twinkling lights, it truly is one of the best memories of every person’s life, it feels like a place where dreams come true. It doesn’t matter how many times you go, each visit feels like the first time.
Now, how great would it be if your community members could feel the same amount of excitement anytime they engage in the community? How amazing would it be if your members want to participate regularly? And can’t wait to see what next you post? This is where community engagement comes into play, community engagement is what will transform your community from just a boring, generic community to something that will be a ray of sunshine in your member’s day to day life.
Good community engagement is truly the cinch that holds a community together and keeps your members coming back for more. The one challenge to community engagement is that it might be hard to make sure that make sure your posts and content remain fresh and engaging.
Community engagement is very much different from Community Outreach. Community outreach is a short-term goal, usually used to either gain members or to educate potential members about your community, whereas community engagement focuses on your members and giving them ties to your community. To help you with your community engagement we have compiled a few easy steps you can use to make sure your content entertains and engages.
From the start itself, make sure you define your goals, for yourself and for your members. This will give you and them a specific purpose to work towards and give them a reason to come back to you again and again.
You should also encourage yourself and others to have a good online profile with their passions, experiences and opinions.
Statistically speaking, image posts have been shown to have much more interaction than text posts. Utilize these to your advantage! Every image post doesn’t have to be strategically planned and coordinated; it can be hard to keep coming up with ideas constantly. Some of the themes which can help your community engagement are :
Once your community is actively running, it is a good idea to put some responsibility for community engagement on the shoulders of active members. This will motivate even your inactive members to participate more in the community and increase your community engagement.
One way to motivate this is to reward the members for their participation through swag, branded merchandise, sneak peeks, and invitations to exclusive events.
You could also have a channel for member highlights to get started and highlight the members who helped the most with community engagement for a period of time, such as biweekly, every month etc.
If your members receive accolades on other platforms, share them with your community and hype them up! You want your community engagement to show that you are a community who supports and celebrates one another, and what better way to do this than encouraging everyone to share their accomplishments both big and small, what may seem small to one person may be huge for another.
While you do this, you need be actively moderating your community, as do not want anyone to be belittled or made fun of. Not all community engagement is good community engagement. You do not want your community to get a reputation as one that condones bullying.
Conduct niche-specific competitions to increase community engagement. For example, if your community is regarding website building, you could have a competition to build a website for an Ice Cream home page and the most innovative one wins a gift card to an ice cream store.
Conduct Master Classes by experts in the field so that your members can learn more about your community and your niche, especially if they are someone famous in the field for their work, it will increase your community engagement as your members see that you care about them and want them to succeed in life.
You could also have fun events, such as movie nights or game nights to let your members bond and form deeper relationships. This will make your community seem like a place where everyone can connect personally and professionally and drive community engagement as people will have more to talk about.
Surveys and feedbacks are your secret weapon to make your community better. Even if things are going well, they can still get better. Try, try, and keep trying. Having regular surveys will help you know how something can be made better in your community.
If you don’t have any surveys and think your community is doing well, you will grow complacent and will not even notice if your community is facing unrest.
Community-led growth is a definite part of our future, there’s no doubt. And we want communities to be more than just a strategy, we want them to be indispensable.
Creator communities, learning communities and Brand communities are hot right now! The community has turned out to be the primary source to gather real-time feedback on products/content, to learn about upcoming trends in the industry and to gain loyal followers/users. Communicating with the users/followers through community helps build a stronger relationship than what social media could achieve. Where there's demand, multiple solutions will come up. We've seen a rise of community platforms - chat based as well as forum based ones. In this blog we talk about the two key chat based community players - Slack vs Discord. How do you know which one to go ahead with for your community?