“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much”– Helen Keller.
Indeed. A community is one of the greatest gifts that humankind has.
But, in the 21st century, the definition of community has changed. People no longer have to leave home to be with their community. Today we have online communities.
People from all over the world can connect with us from their homes. If that’s not the most incredible privilege, we don’t know what is!
One area where online communities always struggle is a lack of engagement. When a community is new, it will bustle with energy. Yet, as time passes, the engagement dies because people lose interest.
We have included top engagement ideas to keep your online community buzzing.
What Is Meant By An Online Community?
An online community is made up of like-minded individuals passionate about the same things. However, people here interact via the internet rather than face-to-face. An online community can be formed through live streaming or social media.
Emma & Nealy from GoDaddy gives you more insights in this video.
What Makes A Good Online Community?
- Group members who care about what’s happening and take part. A good community will have members who are passionate about the community theme and engage with members regularly.
- Supporting members. Would you like to be a part of an online community where all people do is pull others down? No right? A good community is filled with supportive members who support each other in pain and joy.
What Are The Best Online Community Platforms?
Nunify is an all-in-one hybrid event platform. From ticketing, check-ins, and live events to networking, Nunify allows you to carry out all activities from one forum!
Facebook needs no introduction. With over 2 billion active users, Facebook offers many opportunities to build online communities. Community Page is one of these features where people can gather and talk about their favorite topics.
The Tribe is a modern, customizable community tool geared toward helping businesses launch brand-led communities.
Online Community Engagement Ideas To Skyrocket Engagement
Strategy 1: Put A Member On Hot Seat
Ditch those boring games! It’s time to spice things up through the hot seat game!
This is a good game, especially for online communities, because it helps people open up. The game is simple. A member gets to be on the hot seat with a timer on, and people ask questions they have to answer.
Nothing is off-limits when it comes to questions. But, you can restrict the questions that can make the community uncomfortable.
Some examples of hot seat questions:
- What will you do with an extra hour if you get 25 hours in a day?
- Which job would you delegate to robots if you could?
Looking for more interesting games for your community? Here are some exciting ideas for you.
Strategy #2. Host Ask Me Anything Sessions
You probably know AMA, thanks to Reddit & Vogue
In Ask Me Anything (AMA), the community hosts a session where people can ask questions.
But, knowing what you want to talk about is the key to a successful AMA.
Why do AMA? How do AMAs help your brand or your community?
- Collect feedback. Collecting feedback is often challenging for brands. You can find valuable product feedback by connecting with your community through an AMA.
- Improve Interactions: AMAs are super fun when done right. They help you engage your community and keep them coming back for more!
Some must-dos for successful AMAs
- Promote it! Start promoting the AMA session at least a week before time to generate enough interest. Once interested people know you will do AMA on a specific date, they will be ready when the time comes.
- Choose a topic. Although open-ended AMAs are fun, it’s better to restrict AMA to specific issues. E.g., Ask our CEO anything, etc.
- Prepare! The last thing you want to do is rattle out unprepared answers and create a blunder.
- Moderate. There will always be people who will try to break ground rules and try to ruin the AMA. Strict moderation can help avoid such situations.
Here are more tips from Forbes for a successful AMA
Strategy #3. Gamification
We all have experienced gamification in our life. This is especially true if you are a social media user. Sites like Instagram uses followers, comments, and likes to gamify the platform.
If not, you absolutely need to watch this talk by Yu-kai Chou before you scroll
But, the question here is, Why gamify your community engagement? Because it’s time-tested and works! So, how do you gamify your online community? Here are some standard techniques for gamification especially at events:
- Badges: They give visual cues about the specialty of members. For example, Reddit has a moderator badge.
- Rewards: Everyone loves a prize. You can reward users who explore your products.
- Leaderboards with levels: People love competing. That’s what leaderboards do. They bring out the competitor within users. Over 90% of games use leaderboards to keep them coming for more!
- Points: Allocating points to users motivates them to continue using the product or keep playing until they reach the highest level.
- Access to special privileges. For example, people with top fan badges can access the platform’s top new features.
Strategy #4. Host Hybrid Events
Online community engagement isn’t just built around comments. It’s about fostering real connections.
Nothing can match offline meetings no matter how much you talk online! One of the best ways to foster authentic engagement is through live events.
Online community platforms provide several tools to conduct a virtual event. For example, take Zoom for happy hours.
Although online events are fun, the highest engagement comes through hybrid events. Not all members want to be online. Some want an offline event too.
That’s where Hybrid events fill the space. Both parties get what they want. Platforms like Nunify help you plan a mix of offline and online events. Read our blog on hybrid event ideas here.
Strategy #5. Encourage Users To Share Achievements Through Storytelling
Celebrating milestones in life like higher grades and birthdays makes us feel fantastic. But, this happiness reaches a new high when others recognize our achievements.
Encourage your members to share their stories if you want an online community filled with many interactions. Almost every human has a story about their wins and losses.
You can encourage users to tell stories at different points of joining. For instance, new users will have to share one interesting thing about them when they join you.
Another way is to put a spotlight on members’ achievements. Every week , you can acknowledge members’ accomplishments and celebrate their victories. Through these stories, you will bond with each other.
Strategy #6. Conduct a Fitness or Writing Challenge
Starting a community is often easier than keeping the community engaged. People leave when they get bored. That’s where challenges come into the picture. After all, humans love challenges.
E.g., Every year, writing communities host a challenge called NaNoWriMo. Participants must draft a novel with at least 50,000 words before the month ends.
In the same way, you can create regular challenges for your online communities. E.g., As a fitness community, you can design a challenge where users commit to a healthy diet every day for a month.
Strategy #7. Contribute For A Good Cause
Volunteering must be on your list if you wish to make a difference in people’s lives worldwide.
Research shows volunteering benefits people’s well-being, including physical and mental. It also provides them with a sense of purpose. Online communities can find several programs where members can take part.
E.g., Your community can contribute through programs like Ted Translators. Here, volunteers translate TED Talks into language they know.
Strategy #8. Conduct ‘Ranting’ Sessions
Ever had a bad day, and you just wanted to vent it out? Well, it’s frustrating if you don’t find an outlet to let your frustrations out.
Need help with your virtual and hybrid event strategy in 2022?
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