If your community engagement is a little lifeless at the moment, don't worry because we've put together a few simple steps for you to improve your community engagement strategy.
1) Create a coherent plan
In order to craft your community engagement strategy, your content should be consistent and spark member interactions. Define the key topics you want to talk about on your platform and diversify how you relay them. For example, if your community centres around men's fitness, one main topic you impose may be weight lifting. Within this, you could create a video informing the correct form when lifting dumbells, a community discussion board for your members to share their experiences and a Q&A feature to learn more about the exercise.
It's okay to go off-road from time to time but ultimately, sticking to your main objectives will assure maximum member engagement.
2) Design a simple but effective onboarding programme
When you welcome new members, promptly familiarise them with your community and features so they get the most out of their experience from the start. However, it's important to avoid flooding them with a constant flow of information as people don't like feeling harassed.
In order to find the balance between helping new members find their footing and overwhelming them, guide them through your platform basics and allow them to ask for more if needed.
You will also benefit from reading The Membership Guys' blog post, 6 Ways to Use Onboarding to Make New Members Feel Welcome.
3) Add a personal touch to your community
Connecting personally with your members will improve your chances of increased engagement within your community as individuals are creatures of comfort and flourish in environments where they feel comfortable.
To make your members feel at home, arrange informal networking events for your members to get to know one another, interact with your community often and avoid neglecting old members when focusing on new ones. This builds a culture of safety, thus encouraging members to voice their opinions, share their ideas and form personal connections within the community.
Work on making your members feel special and watch your engagement blossom.
4) Use elements of gamification in your community
To put it simply, gamification is the process of using game-like elements in a non-game context to encourage engagement and participation. It's a way to direct the behaviour of your community members in a fun manner, motivating them to 'complete' your content as to be rewarded with a prize as an incentive.
Your games and prizes don't need to be difficult, they can be as easy as every time a member makes a comment under a post, they receive a point and at the end of every week, these points are counted up. The member with the most points can be rewarded with a prize such as a 1:1 call with you to absorb your expertise or a month free subscription.
Read about the benefits of gamification on the Ugenie blog to inform yourself on how you can make this strategy work in your favour.
5) Listen to member feedback
As your members are at the heart of your community, use them as your best tool to guide your engagement strategy. They have the best understanding of the community and what goes on in it.
We suggest using surveys, such as one for member satisfaction, as well as questionnaires about how you can improve your content to encourage engagement and general discussion boards to gain constructive feedback from your members about what they're enjoying and what they're most likely to interact with.
Though despite your members' voices being important, don't forget to moderate your platform to establish a safe space and maintain boundaries.
6) Track your data
Implementing the above tips is an important practice in improving your community engagement strategy, however, you also need to heed a clear plan for member involvement.
Your plan should set out what you are going to do to boost engagement as well as how you're going to track the progress and success of new strategies. You should be using audience analytics software to track the specific engagement per post, Buzzsumo, Onalytica or Audiense, for example.
Whatever piece of software you choose, ensure you're consistent with using this data to inform your engagement methods to continuously be posting new content that will perform well, thus improving engagement.
At Ugenie, we want to help further refine your community strategies, so why not book a demo? The New Year calls for a fresh adventure!