So you’re a small/medium sized business who purchased one of our plans and launched a new community. The topics, replies and views will start to rack up any time now, right? Riiight?!
Perhaps you’re a major brand wanting to give your customers a place to connect, ask questions and get more information, but aren't sure how to inspire them to join.
Maybe you haven’t even pulled the trigger and launched a new community just yet because you fear your hard work won’t be seen so what’s the point?
You feel confident nailing down the color scheme, header, navigation and forum categories, but the dreaded “0 replies” is casting a gloomy shadow over your bright and shiny new community. A lack of initial momentum is one of the scariest hurdles a new community builder faces.
Here are a few tips to kick off your community in style and start receiving engagement right away.
As your community’s leader, it’s important to be accessible to your members. Make yourself available to them so they know you’re willing to lend a hand. This helps forge meaningful connections with your community and fosters trust.
Being visible looks like creating topics, responding to members’ posts, answering private messages, enabling a contact form and including a profile photo.
Use your voice.
You can’t expect your members to speak up if there isn’t a community leader or brand ambassador doing so first. Lead by example and use your voice in your own community.
This is also a great opportunity to shape the tone of your community, whether that’s informative, casual, snarky or funny.
The tone of your community:
- Sets a precedent for how members respond.
- Broadcasts your brand’s values.
- Defines how a member can connect.
- Inspires guests to silently react.
Expressing your community’s tone adds character, helping you differentiate from competitors.
Create content that invokes an emotional response.
This is one of the best kept secrets! Creating content that inspires a feeling from your members is a surefire way to keep them continually participating and returning.
It's one thing to make content, it's another to create valuable content. Value enhances a member’s life, quantified by whether it produces a positive effect.
Publish content that invokes an emotional response and watch how quickly your engagement rate climbs.
Provide a great user experience.
Generally speaking, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but when it comes to community building, a slick user interface helps facilitate a great user experience.
In case you missed our blog post about the importance of your brand’s look and feel, creating an immersive visual experience for your community matters.
A few quick design tips:
- Ensure your navigation is easy to use
- Employ a beautiful color scheme that reflects your community’s tone
- Add spacing in between components
- Include a logo
Promote your community
You likely have some type of presence on social media. Use that as a tool to drive traffic to your community (versus what most people do: use social media as the be-all and end-all for promotion).
If you have a following on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you’ll want to entice and mobilize your existing base to join your community.
Do this by being visible, using your voice, creating content that invokes an emotional response and offering a great user experience (see what I did there?).
How do you engage your community? Drop us a line in the comments. We’d love to engage with you!