Community engagement requires continuous effort, meticulous planning, and grit. The conversations around a brand community never sustain organically and rarely originate naturally.
As a community manager, you are in the driver's seat and the direction in which your community is headed entirely depends on you. As the first rule of engagement, everything starts from building an authentic relationship.
Although there are several ways to engage community members, in this article we'd cover the best practices and how Tribe can help in improving engagement.
Create an open platform for expression
A community is all about the members, always allow members to share what they are working on, what matters to them, their story, and experiences. This can be a great way to cultivate networks by helping members discover peers with similar passions or journeys.
After all, stronger networks build stronger communities and people are always eager to get updates from people they follow. The members of your community are more likely to stick to your community if they believe that their voice is valued and others care about what they have to say.
Onboarding new members of your community is a critical socialization process. The goal of the onboarding process is to manage the level of expectation with which members join.
The right onboarding process will have the following characteristics:
- Simple, precise and valuable information on how the community would help
- Must have a mechanism to make the community member create content (e.g., introduction thread) from the beginning
- Ability to showcase the community and content guidelines along with the culture
Add game mechanics
Specifically, gamification for community engagement has become critical since it is time-tested and it works.
If we look at the common social gamification techniques, they are broadly the following:
- Earning reputation scores
- Getting badges
- Leaderboard to showcase top members
- Ability to win prizes
- Access to special privileges
Tribe offers solid gamification tools for effective community engagement. Read on to explore in greater details
As depicted below give a visual cue about the specialty of the community member. Considering that badges are awarded when a member achieves something significant in the community, these badges become aspirational and members work towards getting them.
Other members of the community recognize that the badge-holder has been a quality contributor to the community and get motivated by their peers. When defining these badges ensure that it reflects your brand guidelines and geared towards the goals of the community.
These are the scores that your community members receive when they perform different activities inside the community — ranging from asking questions and answering to commenting and getting upvotes. All these community activities should be rewarded by assigning points.
Based on these rules, the Tribe Platform would start distributing scores to the members for the community contributions.
You can run competitions in your community with the virtual currency app. It allows you to define the currency in your community that members earn based on their contribution and preferably redeem the same to purchase products or services.
Notifications keep the community members updated about various activities and messages pertaining to them in a contextual manner. Leverage notifications to inform the members and prompt them to take actions in the community.
Tribe supports the following types of notifications
- In-community notifications
- Messaging apps
- Marketing automation apps
- Native mobile notification with Firebase
- External notification inside the community
There is a range of members in your community — right from lurkers to super users. And each category of these members expects something different from your community.
So, your engagement must also be tailored to suit their needs. Tribe's direct integration with Intercom helps you log the member activities inside the tool. This would help you further segment the members based on the level of engagement.
For example, your superusers would want more exclusivity and better access to the team. The members who are not engaged can be motivated by showcasing the benefits of the privileges of superusers.
Learn more here.
Each community has its own set of content policies and engagement rules. However, the moderators should not be rigidly forcing the rules and rely more on common sense. For instance, trust your community members to take care of the community guidelines. If it doesn’t work, moderators can message privately and then, take appropriate action.
When a member posts something and it is useful, then it certainly makes sense to allow the content (even though it might be self-promotion). The yardstick here should be about value delivery to the community instead of putting a blanket ban on something.
Ideally, the community space should invoke a sense of confidence in the members — their contribution should be valued. They must believe that they truly post anything valuable without worrying about getting punished.
Use engaging content format
Videos have proven to be highly engaging when compared with text and images. That’s the reason, popular social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are heavily pushing for video content and trying to replicate the success of YouTube.
Videos instantly capture the attention of the audience and make it really easy for the content creator to relay the messages.
When the members post their ideas, issues, share feedback, and offer suggestions to improve the community or the product itself be highly receptive. Ensure that they know you have indeed recorded their concern and swiftly convey that your team is looking into it.
It is a general practice to not have an unanswered question in the community for more than 24 hours.
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