Connection is important in a community. However, for it to exist, you must first generate trust. Trust arises from your community's engagement. Unless you give rise to such engagement on the basis of the credibility you earn with what you do and say, then there is no community. You have nothing.
Engagement is everything
These are a few ways you can increase engagement of your online community:
- Offer content that is of real value to your audience, not to you. To achieve this, listen to your audience and try to understand how they think and what they need. If your community is based on fitness, a daily food regimen with low-calorie intake and great energy content will be especially interesting to them, for example. As well, it will continue to be popular over time.
- Follow your community. Find out where they shop, what their tastes are, what their favourite places are, what music they like, what activities they undertake, who they interact with, what other communities they're involved in, what they're saying about you or what happens once they have bought your product. All of this information is too useful to let slip.
- Work tirelessly to improve your platform, website or blog: your community might stay on your platform longer if you improve their user experience with records per social platform (Facebook Oauth), social comments, real-time chats or personal profiles.
- Ongoing social activity: your community isn't on Facebook only. They are spread across the social media universe. Use LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google + or Foursquare to connect with them in the different ways enabled by each of these platforms.
- Involve your team to improve scope and feeling: involve your team members using word of mouth in regard to what your brand, company or agency does. Let them create, build and interact. Allow them to create dynamics between them, without you necessarily being the visible person. This can be very attractive and can really grab people's attention.
- Task distribution and review: for a community platform to work optimally, it is necessary for the work carried out to be coherent and well-structured across the team, with the entire team complying with their duties accordingly.
- Online actions: the aim isn't only to carry out promotions, offers or discounts but, rather, to involve your audience, letting them know that you're there because of them. Actions also encompass the efficiency of your processes, the speed of your service delivery, the quality of your packaging or your reaction when someone posts a question on Twitter or complains on your Facebook timeline. This type of management is crucial in increasing your community's engagement.
- The community will seek you out: being anxious to increase your community fast may make you forget the care you need to have with your current community, regardless of whether they're only 5 or 10, or 10,000. Don't do like Movistar. Rather, focus on satisfying, growing and connecting with your current audience. You will create a more solid relationship with your community in that way, increasing their engagement. More people will probably come to you as a result of those brand ambassadors you're creating now.
These are concepts that you should apply daily, not only once in a while. Engagement is the result of keeping your promises. There's no better marketing than that.
What other ideas do you implement to increase engagement in your online community?
Photo credit: Choconancy.