If you're struggling with participation in your community, here are 10 simple tips.
- Ensure the latest activity is above the fold on the homepage. If people need to scroll or click to see what's new in the community, you're going to lose a lot of activity.
- Start 1 discussion a day about a self-relevant issue. Ask a question that everyone in your community can participate in. Keep it short and simple. Here are a few ideas.
- E-mail 10 people a day asking them to participate. Participation works on the snowball principle. You need to work to get it started but then it rapidly picks up speed. Focus on getting it started. Start something members can participate in, then ask them to participate.
- Tweak your notification system. Make sure members are notified when people respond to their comments, vote on issue they believe in. Most open source and white label platforms have this as a default option.
- Write content mentioning members by name. Write content mentioning individual community members by name. Let them know they were mentioned. Do this several times. Soon people will keep coming back to see if they have been mentioned.
- Ask members what they want in a community, then offer it. Simple, right? Ask members what they want to see in the community (more activity). Then put the ideas into a poll (more activity) and then ask for their help to turn the idea into a reality (more activity).
- Pick an issue to campaign for/against. Pick an issue that matters to your audience and campaign either for or against it. Have an enemy, pick your battles, communicate the key dates and plan the actions your community needs to take (down to what individual members need to do).
- Recruit volunteers for sustaining activity in different areas. Issue a call for volunteers to take responsibility for managing and sustaining activity in different categories of the commnity. They might create content, recruit people, initiate discussions etc…Coach the volunteers to manage their area of the community.
- Use weekly issue/discussion themes. Each week decide on a topical theme and develop content and discussions around it. Let members select the theme if possible. Include content, people that are for/against, a summary at the end of the week.
- Publish your most topical questions in your newsletter. Publish your most topical discussions in your newsletter. Convey the key points, but keep it short. Alternatively, publish your unanswered questions as a weekly newsletter piece. This encourages memberrs to try to answer questions that other people couldn't.
You can find more tips on the resources page.