3 Replies Latest reply on Apr 27, 2015 3:53 PM by cflanagan17

    Encouraging Users to be Involved in External Community

    Jamie Roberts

      Hi all,

       

      I am still fairly new in this position and looking for some advice. I am seeing that while we are having members join our community at a fairly steady pace, the new users are not updating their profiles. Most do not have avatars or profile pictures loaded to the site and I am looking for some advice on how to politely encourage our clients to complete this step.

       

      We also have a fairly large number of "lurkers" on our site. We  have high views on a lot of our content, but low participation. What have other companies done to encourage participation when dealing with clients of your organization?

        • Re: Encouraging Users to be Involved in External Community
          Libby Taylor

          Generally the same situation here!

           

          I think it would be good to consider some kind of profile update contest... link the profile completion with a game of some sort. Although I haven't really developed one for the JC, so others might have more specifics about how this could work.

           

          As far as the viewers go, I think there is some sort of expectation that external communities will have a large preponderance of viewers-only. If someone can come to your community, search for an answer, find it, then leave all without having to log in... that can be a great thing! I'm not sure what the measurement is but there's some really high number (percentage-wise) of acceptable viewer to contributor ratio for external communities. Since it was Claire Flanagan that told me that, I am going to pull her into the conversation here.

          • Re: Encouraging Users to be Involved in External Community
            Dak Lyons

            I agree with Libby, and have seen a similar situation where I work. I actually just replied to a post on ours regarding why a big group at our company is not engaged. I think one of the main reasons with us is the perceived notion that all the posts are fluff, and non work-related. We have one power user that seems to do nothing all day except try to gather points. Also, people don't understand that they can control their own feed.

             

            I think a lot it can be remedied with some quick overview type training, and continued positive word of mouth.

            • Re: Encouraging Users to be Involved in External Community
              cflanagan17

              Jamie Roberts I think the first thing you want to ask - more than anything else (to me profile completion is interesting, but not sufficient) is "what's in it for your members"? Put yourself in their shoes.

              • Why would they come back to your site? What's in it for them?
              • What do you do to provide quid pro quo (do you ask members for help to get involved with your brand? how do you add to the member reputation for getting involved and participating? Is it soft benefits or real benefits?)
              • What do you offer them to make their job better with your product or service every day? Do you make it easy for them to find support, connect with others and ask / answer questions, or read value-added how-to's (not stuff they can get in the boring help docs, but things that really help them solve more complicated problems).
              • Do you have external thought leaders involved and creating original content on your community that members would care about? We have The Community Roundtable members as members of the community and we invite them (and customers) to blog on key topics that our customers would benefit from.

               

              At the end of the day the community has to be about engagement - and usually that requires a well orchestrated content planning program combined with a strong advocate (from your customers) and SME (from your brand) program.

               

              Take a look at this self-paced, video-based course External Community Manager Fundamentals for ideas on community strategy, planning, advocacy, programming, etc. In this course, specifically check out:

               

              Think about why you come back to the JC - or even the pay off you got from asking the community a question. You got answers. You will probably come back. How do you create the experience for members both with user generated content (getting members to help each other and recognize them) and get employees as SME's (subject matter experts) involved with official answers (Libby at mentioned me, a Jive employee, b/c she knew I might have subject knowledge. I would help customers anyway - but sometimes employees need to have managers "sanction" SME participation so members see value.)

               

              Hope this helps. Certainly take a look at the full course here External Community Manager Fundamentals.

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