I just checked the External Community Managers group, and while I didn't find a discussion that directly addresses your question, you may find the following discussions valuable, nevertheless:
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Featured Community Member widget? I don’t think we have that option.
HITACHI DATA SYSTEMS ACADEMY
Donna, it's just a View Document widget pointing to a standard document. You can use the rich text editor in the document to create whatever you want.
In my experience participation is always tied to value or WIIFM. I would suggest taking a look at what you can or are offering them. I am not just talking about giving stuff away. Sometimes its recognition or voice such as a "spotlight." I am sorry about being vague but I can not tell from your question what business you are in or what you have tried. What your calls to action are etc..
Well we haven't really tried anything robust to encourage participation.
We launched almost a year ago and facilitated some initial discussions so users would get the jist of what each community space was about. Users surely came, but not as many as we anticipated.
The thing is, our Community offers support but we still provide a free live 24/7 support channel to customers which we are not willing to remove at this point until we can prove the community is a sufficient alternative. It's sort of the chicken or the egg.
Another area of the community is around best practices regarding our product. I would have thought this to be one of the most interesting areas for customers to ask questions after all, when you buy a new product the first thing you want to know is whether you're using it right and what others are doing.
Any suggestions around what we can do to encourage participation in a space (1) targeted at solving technical questions (2) a space targeted at asking and sharing recommended practices?