Hello Community Managers,
My team is close to launching a new external online community and, in preparation for our launch, we've created a list of potential engagement tactics. We've already benefitted from the How Do You Manage Your Advocates? discussion started by Daniel Marotta and Jive's SBS Key Member Engagement Plan DIY presentation. I'm sharing our list below in hopes that you can contribute new ideas or other tactics we haven't thought of.
Oh, and I've found engagement means different things to different people. My primary focus here is ways of interacting with top contributors and key influencers to encourage continued participation and to elicit feedback. With that said, any way we can encourage and support our existing members, and get more members, is interesting to us.
Here's what we have so far:
Emails to Members – We have created several canned emails that thank users for past activity and/or encourage future activity and we will also regularly write and send personalized emails.
Phone Calls to Members – We expect to contact select top contributors and key influencers by phone to enhance these relationships. We may also reach out to other members under certain circumstances.
- We will only contact members by phone if they’ve indicated they’d be interested in speaking with us. We have no intention of being intrusive.
Reply Posts in Discussions – The Community Manager may post a reply within a discussion thread that thanks a member for an exceptional response or provides some other feedback regarding another post in the discussion.
Questions or Comments to the Community – The Community Manager may occasionally post an initial question or comment to trigger more participation.
- Questions about the community experience or about specific functionality on the site are likely to be frequent topics in these types of posts.
Community Manager Email Address or Phone Number – In special situations, the Community Manager may provide their work email address or phone number to a member so the member feels like they have “special” access.
Conference Call/Online Presentation Events with Members – We may want to occasionally coordinate conference calls with top contributors and key influencers.
- These conference calls would always be optional and would include members with which we have already built a strong relationship.
Private Messaging – The Jive platform allows for “email-like” private messaging between members.
- We haven’t enabled this functionality, but, at a future date, we could customize private messaging so select members could private message with each other and/or our internal team.
Private Forums – The Jive platform allows us to limit access to a particular forum (a.k.a. category) to a group of individuals that we could select.
- As a result, we may set up a forum that is exclusively available to top contributors and key influencers.
Rewards – We may want to send rewards or gifts to members based on specific contributions or milestone accomplishments.
Online Badges – We could highlight members’ accomplishments by giving them specific online badges similar to the status levels that we use now.
- These badges could be based on a specific accomplishment, like the status levels, and/or they could be more subjective in nature.
Advisors Council – We may want to invite certain members to be part of an advisors council that will provide feedback on the community and work with us on a regular basis improve the health of the community.
Advisors Council Meeting – We could pay to have our Advisors Council join us at our offices for a couple of days of feedback, concept testing, usability testing, and socializing.
Regional Meet & Greet – The internal team could coordinate social events in different cities across the country and invite members to meet us and each other.
Member Showcase – We could add a section to the homepage or some other page where we highlight the contributions of a top contributor or key influencer.
- This would serve as recognition of their contributions and may also inspire other members.
Videos – We can show the benefits and functionality in a video or videos.
- Videos can be displayed on our community site, our company site, and on third-party sites like YouTube during the public launch.
Invite Others (Registration & Post-Registration) – We can enable the invite others functionality.
- This will grow membership and encourage greater engagement due to more friends and family participation.
Twitter – We could have a community-branded Twitter handle and account.
- Regardless of whether or not it’s community-branded, we could tweet about our community.
Facebook – We could have a community-branded Facebook page.
- Regardless of whether or not it’s community-branded, we could have Facebook posts about our community.
Blogs – We could reference our community and relevant discussions in our blogs.
Category Owner – We could give a top contributor or key influencer responsibility for the growth and health of a particular category.
Policeman – We could ask a top contributor or key influencer to help us moderate the community.
- We may or may not want to give them any moderation permissions.
“Federation” – We may want to pursue some way of allowing recognized members to display their badges, status levels, etc., on other social sites.
Community Blogging – We have disabled blogging in the community, but we could enable blogging for everyone, or possibly enable it for a specific group like the top contributors.
More Member Recognition – We could add functionality to show how many people have liked your content.
- We could allow users to indicate a post is funny, to thank a member for a post, to tell a member that they’re smart, or to become a fan of a member.
Online Training Sessions – We could present key functionality on the site to promote value and encourage use.
So, that's it. Sometimes it seems like plenty, but I know there are more ideas out there. I'd love to hear other things you've been doing or what you're interested in doing.
Thanks for your help.