What is Community?
Engagement is defined as the act of being occupied, attracted, or involved. In other words, you’re holding their attention. And we believe you can’t do that without personally getting to know a person.
But, how do you do that at scale? Community.
IBM says that extensive personalization using the next best action increases average revenue per user by 166%. What does this mean to you? It means when thinking about engagement in a community you need to keep the goal of what your participants want at the core.
Seems strange, right? When you are likely thinking about building or optimizing your community because you want more revenue or non-dues revenue. However, the value of a community is getting to know your customers and potential customers at scale.
It can be as simple as creating a post to share that allows your people to read and connect with your brand’s thoughts (much like I hope you’ll do) and as complex as setting up a two-way conversation space that allows for, plants to the seeds, for and most importantly expects a meaningful, thoughtful response that will, in turn, spark more engagement between and with your community users.
The Most Valuable Asset in a Community
The most valuable asset in your community are the humans that populate it AND the content that they create for and with you. Think of it, a space where your brand’s customers and influencers create and share original content that sparks thought and discussion and leads to comments and replies that validate and contribute to the discussion.
So how best to get your members to create and contribute? Plant the seeds.
What does that mean? Based on the hundreds of community sites we run here at Mobilize, we know that traditionally about 1% of our users will create content. For most communities that don’t have tens of thousands of users, this isn’t generally enough content to keep the conversation going. During the building stage of your community, train or ask a popular influencer to act as your moderator and community manager who can supplement the conversation with rituals to keep the party going.
Already have a staffer whose job it is to get and keep the conversation going? Empower them with seeds of content ideas that tie into your marketing, sales, and customer happiness initiatives, and watch your community flourish with feedback and real-time kudos you can turn into case studies, social posts, and more.
Bringing It All Together for Engagement
To achieve great engagement requires work. You can either fill the empty space by creating amazing content, which is hard work, or you can help your users graduate from Viewers to Active users to Leaders. We work with your brand to help you accomplish this by assisting them to get comfortable with the platform and gradually asking them to do more activities that build on complexity, eventually culminating in content creation.
The key is building a community that feels safe and builds upon mutual trust.
Communities that consistently welcome new members and engage with them are more likely to build safe communities than those that form cliques and haze new members. Virtual and hybrid communities mirror IRL communities in this way.
We define the value of engagement in how your members derive value from participating in the community. For example, if there is a post in a Community of CEOs about how to create a valuation for your company, the conversation between many CEOs can be invaluable as there is really no other place to have a discussion with people who are in the same position as you and gather their feedback in one place. This type of engagement is not only valuable to the current users but can be utilized by new members as a basis for new content as well.
Whether the engagement is big or small, there is value in it. Don’t only rank it on revenue, but do track the attribution. We look forward to celebrating your successes as they tend to foster more engagement and success as well.
Learn more about how we can build engagement and value together on our blog, or schedule a meeting with one of our experts today!