So how do you ensure people engage in active conversation on your platform? In most cases, the community will be relatively quiet during the early stages of your community. However, there are some simple steps to try and engage your community:
- Provide talking points In your content (that you have planned with the content calendar tips from this white paper).
For example, end with a question for the community to answer. Make sure it is an open question that requires more than a yes or no answers: “Bobby is looking for more information on X, is anybody willing to share their experiences? I think we could all learn a lot from this.”
- When you see a conversation starting but is losing steam, drive the conversation forward. (Again) ask open-ended questions and engage in the conversation properly. Maybe even ask some opinionated community members to join and help the conversation gain momentum.
- Reward members who are actively engaging. You can like their comments or leave positive feedback. It’s important to find a balance between likes and feedback that feel authentic and not automated. So like their best comments and give involved feedback. For example, “Wow, I’d never thought of it that way. Do you think X, Y, and Z will improve if we approach it in this way?”
Tip: a great way to motivate people to engage is to ask your most active community members if they want to be featured in an interview. This way you get new content that can spark activity in your community AND the content revolves around some of your most active members, which means they will help drive the conversation around their content. It’s a win-win!
- Keep tracking of which community members are the most engaged and who you’re engaging with. Some community members may be more active than others and you want to stimulate this, but it’s good to keep an eye out for quieter members and motivate them to get engaged. People may get demotivated and feel left out if they feel there is a inner circle within the community and as a community manager it is your duty to make sure everyone feels welcome.
Tip: To find out who your most active users are, export your user database. Under the header ‘Posts created’ you will see the number of content each user has created and find your top content creators!
- In your email updates to the community, be sure to link to the most active topics with a short summary and call-to-action. This way, you can re-activate discussions around certain topics and also ensure none of your community members are missing out on a chance to add to the conversation.