Promote the interactive material.
There is a tendency to promote community elements which don’t encourage interaction.
That’s great, if you want to encourage visitors. But there is a big leap from a visitor to a participant. The number of visitors to Mashable to those that participate is huge. But Mashable is a content side which happened to spawn a (relatively) very small community.
So what does encourage interaction?
- Live events.
If you want a group of people to interact, then promote the elements which encourage interactions. Communify your content. Instead of having your CEO write a guest post, have a live chat with the CEO. Promote this widely. Solicit difficult and controversial questions.
Identify and elevate a big issue. Host discussions, events, challenges and polls around it. Summarise and publish the results.
A major fallacy of current community promotion is the emphasis upon content and registration over interaction. If you direct and guide people to interactive elements of your community, you will get more interactions.