How have your built the behavior of members checking your community?


Userlevel 1

What tactics have you all found successful in building the behavior among members to check in on your community and engage?

We’re in the thick of transitioning from Slack to inSided (in a soft launch period currently), and one of the areas of feedback we’re getting is that members are worried they’ll forget to check in on the community, and as such their engagement will drop off.

This is a big concern for me. With Slack, most of our members are already in Slack for work, so they’d see our community icon with the red dot, which would pull them in easily to check and engage throughout the day. It was in their workflow, they didn’t have to think about it.

With inSided, we’re just another tab in a sea of browser tabs. We’re working on making the community visible via in-app links, a banner in our Intercom widget, navigation links from our website, etc. (and exploring the embeddable widget). But it’s still not in their workflow in the same way.

I really like @Scott Baldwin’s idea for building notifications in other apps (please give an upvote!), but curious what other tactics have worked well. Thanks in advance!


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Hi @Chris Anderson the shift from Slack to any forum will be a change for the community at large, and you will find that there are some that won’t make the transition and are locked into the immediacy that Slack provides. In our case we definitely had a few folks that elected not to move over and engage with our new community, but they were the exception rather than the norm.

The trade-offs with this change are more visibility and SEO benefits, more options for engagement (gamification especially), better moderation, and more control over your content and a richness of data (since many are on free Slack instances and after 10k messages you lose the history).

I think the issue here isn’t that they will “forget to check the community” but rather that they won’t have a badge or notification telling them there is something new and that it’s worth them visiting the community. This is the advantage Slack has and inSided doesn’t is that “what did I miss” gamification that continually pulls people back in as notification junkies. And per my feature suggestion, something I’d like to see change.

A few things that have helped us in the transition:

  • make it clear how your existing channels in Slack map over to the new categories in inSided. In our case we created a KB article for this and shared it with the community members -- this helped them clear up “where to post”
  • help them identify content they have missed. The Recently Active, Active Since Last Visit, and Unanswered Questions portions of the community menu (and as tabs on the home page) are good to point out. Then they can see what’s new, what’s changed, and where they can chime in.
  • find ways to keep them coming back -- this means giving them reasons, beyond just conversations. In our case we have active beta programs, contests, events, and other reach-outs. It’s a constant effort but you need a robust content calendar.
  • make sure you have some levels in your ranks that prompt and re-engage those that aren’t coming back. Find out why, encourage them to re-visit and get engaged. Essentially you’re building new habits and habits are hard to form.
  • stress the value of subscribing/following a category and/or topic to get updates. Many folks they have moved off email and like the immediacy and badging that Slack provides around messages unseen and replies received. Insided does a good job providing email notifications for these. Keep in mind they will need to get used to checking inboxes again and so many folks have moved to Slack fully for work or would welcome seeing alerts in their browser tabs or system-level notifications. This has been the biggest shift.

In some cases I know folks have kept both options open -- Slack and inSided. Not sure what’s involved there -- but worth chatting with inSided to see. 

Userlevel 4
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@Chris Anderson I forgot to add this suggestion from Discord’s moderator content on community changes/migrations which sums it up well:
 

Every community has “that guy”. You know that guy. The one who refuses to let go and chooses not to move platforms because they already have a rhythm. A flow. Daring to mess with that workflow, they’ll stop at nothing to make sure they can continue to use the things they currently use. What’s the best way to handle users like this? Start with the users who don’t have that problem.

 

So in short, work to find your champions, give them the options noted above, and be ok with losing a few along the way. Others will find your new community, and others may come back too. In the who you people, not platform, matters most. 

Userlevel 1

Thanks @Scott Baldwin, super helpful advice - really appreciate it!

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