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9 Tips to Boost Community Engagement
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Having a community would be lifeless and dull if there is no engagement. It would be useless if you keep posting on your social media and receiving no responses. It might even hardly be recognizable as a community since no one interacts with one another. With that, you might want to improve your community engagement.
Community engagement is what makes a community alive. This way, different people would constantly exchange conversations, gain peers and expand their network online. To encourage and boost community engagement in your group, listed below are the tips you might want to follow:
1. Be Responsive
No one would bother to try communicating with a community if they’re not getting any response at all. It’ll only be like talking to a rock, which doesn’t make any sense. When people speak vocally on social media communities, they want to feel heard. There’s no point in sharing if no one would bother to listen. To encourage everyone to speak up and let their voices be heard, you should be responsive as much as possible.
It might be hard to expect participation from every member of your community. With that, you should lead by example and watch everyone follow you. If you’re having a hard time responding to every question and concern, hiring an assistant for social media would help to keep you on track. And on the side, a social media assistant can also help you encourage better community engagement as they’ll push everyone to participate as much as possible.
2. Make Your Group a Safe Place
Not everyone is comfortable speaking their hearts out, especially if they’re unsure about the confidentiality of their community. To boost your community engagement, you should make your group, if you have one, a safe place wherein everyone can participate without the worry of letting their information out to the public.
To make your group a safe space, you can begin by changing its privacy from public to private. Some might even suggest switching to secret groups, but spreading the word about the presence of your community might be difficult. These small changes will allow everyone to feel safe inside their community as no one outside the group can see what’s happening inside.
3. Post Engaging Content
Of course, to anticipate participation from your community, you should be able to initialize it. This way, you can encourage people from your group to write their comments and sentiments about a topic and let your group be as loud and as noisy as ever. The more people communicate in the comment section, the better it is for your community.
There is plenty of engaging content that you can post in your community. Ideally, it should be up to date so more people can relate to the topic. You can even ask for everyone’s opinion so they’d have something to answer. Moreover, it would be helpful to keep posting on the group at least three times a day to gather as much audience as possible. If you have plenty of content on your plate, posting every hour would surely benefit your community and engagement.
4. Give New Members a Warm Welcome
Welcoming new members would always encourage community engagement from old and new group members. This way, your old members will have an idea of how much the group is growing, and they will also be able to connect with the newcomers and give them a warm welcome to the group. New members will feel welcomed, especially if the current members welcome them with wide-open virtual arms.
There are plenty of ways to welcome new members that can improve and build engagement within the community. You can list all members who joined for the whole week and include a unique icebreaker question that they can answer. It will help the old members get to know the new members, and this will also help build an instant connection between them. While this might be a small action, it’ll help establish your community more effectively and engaging.
5. Initiate a Conversation
Having a specific topic that can be discussed weekly is one of the ways to initiate a conversation within the community. Talking about recent events, movies, music, and other things would help stir things up in the community. Talking about a recently released film or a controversial one will surely help the members interact with one another. Doing all these things will help them open up or talk about something, especially if the topic chosen for that week is something they like.
It would also help if you could keep a schedule that may give the community members something to look forward to. You could create activities like Monday Movies, where you discuss movies for that day. Flashback Friday, where you discuss anything that happened in the past, may it be past events, classic films, and other things as well, and so on. This way, your community would be more engaging and have something exciting to wait for every day.
6. Include Contests
One of the most effective ways to boost community engagement is hosting contests inside your group where everyone can actively participate. Members of a community are always looking for things where they can engage with everyone. Conducting contests is a great way to connect with all the community members. It will help showcase the hidden talent and skills of each member. It would also help to open up new networks and opportunities for everyone.
Contests are fun, engaging, and can be competitive as well. You will be surprised how many members will join these contests once you host them. It will also show the competitive side of the members. To encourage active participation, you might want to put on a sparkly prize that you know everyone would like to have. This way, they can motivate themselves to join the group and receive plenty of participants and viewers.
7. Filter Your Community
Building a community isn’t easy, as you also need to make sure that there are no members in the group who will only spark conflict and disagreements. These members won’t only be a nuisance in the group, but they may also force other organic members to leave the community. Keeping the community fun and engaging is what the members are looking forward to. But if other members want to break the peace, the community will soon cease to exist.
Screening the members before accepting them is one of the ways to make sure that all the members want to be part of the community and not just troll and cause chaos. You can begin by asking questions before they can join the group and do a quick background check. As you move on and handle your community, you shouldn’t be afraid to kick out members who are only causing chaos inside the group. Your main goal is to build a harmonious and safe place everyone can participate in.
8. Host Games Spontaneously
Members of a community always look forward to something they can join. Games are an excellent thing to host since this is an easy way to build engagement within the community. Members will be glad to join these games since this can also help them communicate and interact with other community members. Having games that will pique their interests can also help to make sure that a large part of the community will join these games. Keeping a schedule of games with specific topics will also help the community decide what games will be played and when they will look forward to participating.
Hosting games are enjoyable, and members who would be joining them will have tons of fun. One way to keep things interesting is to give a special reward to those members who win these games. These awards can be monetary or non-monetary, as some people are already satisfied with bragging rights as they’ve worked hard on it. Having a leaderboard for the community will also help them be engaged and competitive at the same time. That’ll give them something to look forward to at all the games you’ll conduct.
9. Keep Things Fun
Apart from holding contests and games that everyone could participate in, you might want to add more things that could help to keep your community more fun and engaging. This way, you can allow your group to be fun and lightweight and give everyone a great time while inside your community. Moreover, your group can also act as short stress relievers whenever someone has a tough day. It’ll be their ice cream on a hot summer day.
To keep things fun inside your community, you might want to post some memes or funny videos that you think your community members would enjoy. You might even add a short joke to lighten up the mood and allow everyone to have a good laugh. The more you enable the community to be fun, the more people will engage with your posts better.
Boosting community engagement within your group might be a bit challenging, especially since you need to look after plenty of things, from posting down to managing the members of your community. But with plenty of members and an increased number of engagements, you can allow your group to be the best one out there.
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About Shane AvronShane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.
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