The aim of community engagement is to get your community members actively and consistently involved in the community. Increasing and maintaining membership is one of the most important aspects of building any kind of community. This is because engagement directly impacts the overall success of the community.
Community engagement requires substantial effort from your institution or organization, and with the right tactics, this can be easy to achieve.
Follow this guide to learn more about community engagement, including the most effective strategies for building an engaged community.
Find out how Aluminate Community Builder can help you build your community.
Why is Community Engagement Important?
Simply put, the more community engagement you develop, the more interest you will gain for your organization. By using strategies to boost engagement, communities become more valuable and members can get more from their participation.
This in turn helps to attract more members and grow your community even further. It also helps you to build a community with greater levels of retention.
Community Engagement Strategies
Here are seven of the most effective strategies you can use to achieve higher levels of engagement:
1. Use a Platform that Allows for Participation
The first essential step is to use an open platform that allows community members to post and interact with each other. This means more active participation, more user-generated content, and greater community engagement.
One of the keys to building a successful community is making sure the community platform is convenient and easy to navigate. Use an online platform that members can easily access. Ensure that all the necessary tools, like communication or connection tools, are available on the platform.
The platform should be easily accessible from all devices, easy to navigate and store all important information in one place.
Aluminate is a great example of such a platform, as members can easily connect through a simple directory, and access a safe space to build relationships. This also makes it easier for more members to join. The more members that join the community the more value the community offers.
2. Embrace Interaction
Communities shouldn’t only be focused on the organization developing relationships with its members. Instead, members should be able to easily interact and connect with each other. This is essential for high levels of engagement.
So, make sure that your online community platform allows for convenient networking, messaging, and interactivity. The more connected community members are with each other, the more engaged the community will be.
3. User-Generated Content
This refers to any content that is shared on your platform (e.g. An image, video, or general post) by members of the community. This is a fantastic aspect of building a community as it encourages natural engagement between community members, and attracts new members.
4. Share Valuable Content
Building an engaged community is only possible if community members get real value out of it. Without this, you may struggle to gain interest. One of the best ways to provide value to your members is to regularly share valuable content and ask for feedback.
This could include anything from live events and webinars to helpful articles and videos. It’s really all about understanding your audience and offering them innovative content that sparks their interest and entices them to share.
5. Welcome New Members
Making new members feel welcome from the start will help you increase engagement. As soon as a new member joins, it is suggested that you send them a welcome email, a welcome video, or some kind of friendly, helpful content.
This creates an instant connection, makes them feel like they are a part of the community, and inspires them to dive into your community and get engaged with other members.
By providing a positive experience straight off the bat, new members are more likely to become more engaged and spread more positive feedback about the community. This will also help with attracting new members. Of course, having greater levels of member participation will also result in higher engagement.
6. Be Responsive
Boosting community engagement starts with you. In order to get your members engaged, make sure that your organization is highly responsive. This can be achieved by ensuring that questions are answered within a reasonable timeframe.
Also, you should engage with members on any content shared. The more engaged your organization is with members, the more engagement you can expect in return.
7. Refine Your Community
Refining your community entails offering subgroups within your community. This is an effective way to help members find more relevant places to connect.
You may have a broad community, but within this, there could be many areas to cover different interests. The more relevant sub-groups you can offer members, the more opportunities you’re providing for engagement.
To achieve this, look at the types of conversations members are having, and see if there are any common topics that could be a sub-community on their own.
In many cases, members join communities in the hopes of finding very specific areas of information within that community. Subgroups will help them to achieve this. It also makes your community easier to navigate, helping members make the right strategic connections.
The more people participate and contribute to your community, the more successful your community will be overall. Encouraging and sustaining engagement is essential for any type of community. It all starts with the right online community platform and applying the right community engagement strategies from the start.
As long as the members of your community gain value, you can expect to achieve high levels of engagement.