3 strategies for boosting community engagement

There are all sorts of things you can do to boost overall engagement on your site. Today, we’re going to focus specifically on boosting community engagement.

By that, I mean members interacting with each other (and with you) in your discussion forums, Slack room, Facebook group, etc.

There are three main areas you need to think about:

  1. Nudges/notifications
  2. Overall activity
  3. Dependability

If you have an active community, when someone doesn’t show up or participate for a while, you should nudge them to do so. Not in a nagging way, but in a helpful way: “hey, we haven’t seen you around in a while. Here are some recent threads you might find interesting: [list of threads]”.

Note that this doesn’t have to be super sophisticated to work, and you should experiment with the exact wording & timing.

Overall Activity
For your members to be engaged, they need something to engage with. If there’s not much overall activity in your community, pretty soon people will notice that and stop coming around as often.

Especially when you’re starting out (but other times, as well), it’s vital that you do the (often tedious) work of encouraging activity in your community. That means posting questions, sparking conversation, replying to threads, etc. Until your community gains its own momentum, you’ve got to jump-start it. Any time someone starts a new discussion, don’t let more than a day (and ideally, less than a few hours) go by without responding to it.

This is related to overall activity, but is a slight variation: having consistent, scheduled discussions your members can depend on is a great way to boost engagement. For instance, that could be a weekly discussion on a specific topic. If you run a site teaching photography, that might be a critique/feedback thread. It could even be a general “how was your week?” thread.

Together, these three areas make a huge impact on your community engagement. Which, in turn, makes a huge impact on your overall churn rate & LTV.