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Driving engagement in newly created communities


Hi there!

We recently joined Insided and launched our community! Exciting times for us! We had a whopping 65% of all our customer logos sign up within the first two months which is incredible and significantly more than we targeted originally.  What we seem to be encountering now is low engagement with getting customers to go back in post signing up. 

Currently we are posting at least one question a week ourselves (as well as other EX content, articles, webinars etc), we have been sending out a fortnightly newsletter to highlight questions and content, we are tagging customers on questions that may be relevant to try and get them to answer and engage, however we are struggling a little and thought you all might have some tips! While we know its early days, and Rome wasn’t built in a day - we just want to make sure we are on the right path. :) 

How did you drive engagement in the first six months of launching your communities? Any tips or tricks? 

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Best answer by Blastoise186 4 June 2021, 20:37

Heya @julianbailey122 and @AnnaF_RW !

Sounds like this needs the Blastoise Touch as well. I’m not a community manager or moderator myself, but I am a very active user, so my own views can give you insights as to how your customers might see things. I can’t find your communities as you’ve both got them as Private right now it seems, but I can give advice anyway.

I also help out as a Super User volunteer on the OVO Forum which you can find in my profile. @timcavey and @JessPritch are definitely two people you’ll definitely get some great tips from when it comes to moderator and community manager views too. OVO and the inSpired Community are also some good examples of how running on a Hybrid model works. While the majority of the place is open to the public and anyone can explore, certain areas are locked away so that only certain members can see them. These can often be more sensitive areas (like the entire Moderation category on inSpired which is definitely never going to be public!!!) or used for semi-public discussions where you want to allow trusted members to access for specific purposes like the Super User Treehouse on OVO (which lets trusted volunteers chat with Tim and Jess about things that we don’t want everyone else to see).

You should be able to see the Moderation category and the Ideas section on inSpired within the next couple of days once the automation catches up. Once it does, you’ll see the link to Ideas appear on the Mega Menu at the top, like so.

One of my personal tips that can help keep users like myself engaged, is not only making sure I know the community exists, but also welcoming users in and encouraging just about anything that could be seen as useful in some way. Whether it be bug reports, feedback, questions, suggestions or just general discussions, anything that’s reasonable is a good sign. But if your customers don’t know the community exists or that they can’t get in easily, then it’s unlikely they’ll stick around for long. I know from experience that quite a lot of users might only stop by once, ask for help and then vanish forever. Make a good impression and they’re more likely to return! Just make sure not to sound too pushy or forceful, as that could drive people away rather than draw them in.

User Generated Content can be a real treasure trove once things get going. In actual fact, some of my own guides that I wrote on the OVO Forum have seriously taken off too. If you ever see a user who manages to create a thread that hits crazy high engagement in any way, be sure to recognise it! In the last month alone, two of my guides have been the most viewed topics over there and one of them regularly pulls in an average of 100+ hits a day. If you can find that magic, it will serve you well. :)

And don’t forget, the community shouldn’t just be about getting help! It’s perfectly OK to chill out in a lounge area, share some funny stories and allow it to be a relaxed space that’s not just an extension of the help centre or support team. If you ever do make your communities Public or Hybrid though, please feel free to let me know. I’ll try to take a look around if I can and I might be able to offer some additional thoughts.

Good luck with getting the party started too! I’m rooting for ya and you’re always welcome to stop by if you get stuck.

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Hi Julian! 

One suggestion I would make is going from a private community to a public community (or at least a hybrid model). We see that logging into the community can be a major barrier that effects engagement. 

Another suggestion I would make is activating the embeddable Widget. :) 

@julianbailey122 We are in a very similar position. How many members did sign up for your community? Our Community is still private, I want to explore a hybrid model, are there any examples you could share in the wild @Jeanie Lee ?

Userlevel 5
Badge +1

Heya @julianbailey122 and @AnnaF_RW !

Sounds like this needs the Blastoise Touch as well. I’m not a community manager or moderator myself, but I am a very active user, so my own views can give you insights as to how your customers might see things. I can’t find your communities as you’ve both got them as Private right now it seems, but I can give advice anyway.

I also help out as a Super User volunteer on the OVO Forum which you can find in my profile. @timcavey and @JessPritch are definitely two people you’ll definitely get some great tips from when it comes to moderator and community manager views too. OVO and the inSpired Community are also some good examples of how running on a Hybrid model works. While the majority of the place is open to the public and anyone can explore, certain areas are locked away so that only certain members can see them. These can often be more sensitive areas (like the entire Moderation category on inSpired which is definitely never going to be public!!!) or used for semi-public discussions where you want to allow trusted members to access for specific purposes like the Super User Treehouse on OVO (which lets trusted volunteers chat with Tim and Jess about things that we don’t want everyone else to see).

You should be able to see the Moderation category and the Ideas section on inSpired within the next couple of days once the automation catches up. Once it does, you’ll see the link to Ideas appear on the Mega Menu at the top, like so.

One of my personal tips that can help keep users like myself engaged, is not only making sure I know the community exists, but also welcoming users in and encouraging just about anything that could be seen as useful in some way. Whether it be bug reports, feedback, questions, suggestions or just general discussions, anything that’s reasonable is a good sign. But if your customers don’t know the community exists or that they can’t get in easily, then it’s unlikely they’ll stick around for long. I know from experience that quite a lot of users might only stop by once, ask for help and then vanish forever. Make a good impression and they’re more likely to return! Just make sure not to sound too pushy or forceful, as that could drive people away rather than draw them in.

User Generated Content can be a real treasure trove once things get going. In actual fact, some of my own guides that I wrote on the OVO Forum have seriously taken off too. If you ever see a user who manages to create a thread that hits crazy high engagement in any way, be sure to recognise it! In the last month alone, two of my guides have been the most viewed topics over there and one of them regularly pulls in an average of 100+ hits a day. If you can find that magic, it will serve you well. :)

And don’t forget, the community shouldn’t just be about getting help! It’s perfectly OK to chill out in a lounge area, share some funny stories and allow it to be a relaxed space that’s not just an extension of the help centre or support team. If you ever do make your communities Public or Hybrid though, please feel free to let me know. I’ll try to take a look around if I can and I might be able to offer some additional thoughts.

Good luck with getting the party started too! I’m rooting for ya and you’re always welcome to stop by if you get stuck.

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