Frequently refer to individuals and the impact they have made.
That impact doesn’t have to be huge.
Initiating a good discussion is an impact.Posting a good blog post is an impact. Posting a good response is an impact. Helping run an event is an impact.
Even doing things outside of the community that benefits the topic can be a good impact (especially useful for communities of practice).
Feeling you’re unique and that your contribution matters increases both your participation and the participation of those around you.
If you treat the community as a homogenous mass, people have less reason to participate. Their contributions wont be singled out from amongst the group.
This is why asking the community to do something as a collective yields poor results.
This is why you’re probably extremely frustrated that members aren’t responding to your calls to action.
This is partly social loafing. People do less in groups. If their contribution isn’t recognised, if they don’t feel it has they have a chance to make an impact, they wont make that contribution.
But if you have a community with 10,000 people. How can you make everyone feel like they can make a special contribution?
By ensuring that individuals are constantly and consistently singled out for their contributions. It should be all over your content and highlighted members.
You don’t need to highlight every contribution, but you need to highlight a lot.
Not every member can make a difference, but every member should believe they can. T
he more members that believe they can make a difference, the more that will make a difference.