Sometimes, you just want quick and simple tips to improve the community.
Here are a few you can apply right now.
- Write in the first person using your real name. You’re not an impersonal corporate drone. You’re a real person, act like one. Use your real name, not a corporate account. Give your own opinions and emotions. You’re not dumb enough to criticize your own company. People want to interact with real people.
- Write about community members. Talk about what your members are doing. Write about their milestones, job changes, great contributions to the community, topical discussions. Have a place where members can submit their own news to appear on the community.
- Ensure every discussion receives a reply within 24 hours. This boosts activity as much as any other tactic on this list. Keep track of all discussions and ensure every one receives a rapid reply. Get people into the notification system and coming back frequently. Encourage responses from others.
- Ask questions in the subject line of discussion posts. Discussions posts that ask a question in the subject line generally receive a higher number of views and replies than those that don’t.
- Start a regular quiz. Challenge people with a difficult quiz about the community, the community’s topic or even topical news. Quizzes are universally popular. Make sure people can’t easily Google the answers though. Give everyone that participates a clear score. A quiz about the community and community members usually goes down well.
- Approach members to take responsibility. Approach a member who has published an excellent contribution within the community and ask if they would like to take responsibility for that topic? They can stimulate regular discussions, write content, and ensure every discussion within that topic receives a reply.
- Interview a member about topical issues and publish the content. This works even better when you then task that member to interview another member. It’s excellent content (we love to read interviews) and establishes a social order within the community.
- Introduce a ritual. Give members a special mention when they reach 1000 posts, or a certain level on your reputation system. Over time, you can have different rituals for different levels. A ritual for newcomers is especially useful at encouraging the first contributions
- Link with Twitter and Facebook. Use Facebook/Twitter to highlight popular discussions taking place within the community and ask for more opinions with a link back to this discussion.
- Write content about discussions. Use your content to write about popular discussions taking place and mention, by name, the different viewpoints of members participating in that debate.
- Sticky threads. Use sticky threads on discussions which have received a significant number of replies in a short amount of time.
- Host a simple event. Plan a themed live-chat or a series of talks by members of the community. You can get a free GoToWebinar account for 30 days to see how successful this is. Invite members to put themselves forward to give a short-talk and let people pick five they would like to hear from.
There are probably thousands most methods to increase activity, feel free to share your favourite in the comments.
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