Community engagement is the most significant concept for a community. Even though the meaning of community varies according to the context, the community bond is the core element that keeps the community alive. There are certain things that you can do to maintain meaningful community engagement. This article explains community engagement, its principles, and 5 ideas to increase engagement.
What is effective community engagement?
When we say community engagement, we should specify the term since the meaning of “community” can vary according to context. A community is a group of people with similar values, goals, beliefs, and interests. This group can consist of stakeholders, citizens, club members, and more. For instance, your members and followers become your community if you have an online audience. Likewise, if you are a part of a church, it is also a community.
Similarly, engagement can mean different things based on the context, but for online communities, it basically includes online activities, including engaging with comments, likes, follows, and more.
As a result, community engagement, which can also be referred to as member engagement, is a strategic approach to promoting all the interactions, communications, and relationships among community members. An effective community engagement, therefore, is all the activities that promote member interaction and strengthen community bonds.
But, why is it important to have strong bonds? Let’s now talk about the purposes of community engagement.
What is the main purpose of community engagement?
Before listing the engagement ideas for you, let’s understand the importance of community engagement.
Community engagement enables two-way communication and turns it into meaningful communication where both parties can benefit from it. Community engagement, then, builds deeper, stronger, and more trusting relationships between communities and organizations.
It is an important activity since community engagement leads to so many positive consequences and a wider community. Suppose you are an organization that strategically engages with your community. In that case, you will make better, well-thought decisions and understand your community’s needs and requests so that you know exactly what’s the next step.
Thanks to community management software, you keep engagement within your community online as well! One of the best online community engagement platforms is Raklet! Don’t forget to check out our amazing software for your community!
What are the 5 principles of community engagement?
Now that we have defined community engagement and its main purpose, it is time to go through its main principles. To have a strong community engagement, we need to consider the following principles:
1. Strong Communication
Communication is the key component of community engagement. First, you need to know and understand your community. Questions like “who is your community”, “what is the collective purpose”, “how does your community want to engage”, and “what kind of events are preferred” will help you understand your community needs.
You can get ideas from surveys, discussion boards, mass emails, Q&As, and events. You can also keep the communication going by using software for community management, like Raklet. You can collect the data you need, open discussions, and more. Or you can choose a communication channel like Facebook, Twitter, or else. The important thing is keeping strong communication and making sure that your community is heard.
2. Meaningful Connection
Your members in the community will enjoy the connection they receive. The more connected your community is, the stronger your community bonds become. Social networks come in handy in this matter. If your community knows each other better, they will be more encouraged to interact and welcome more people to your community.
3. Active Participation
Engagement is not complete without active participation. There are a lot of things you can do to maintain or encourage participation. Come up with fun ideas and activities that your community will love to participate in, like online events, discussion forums, and more.
Keeping participation active will definitely increase your community bonding. If you give more to your community, they will respond more. An active community will bring more engagement. We listed 5 ideas in the last section, don’t forget to read them!
Consistency is the key to success in every part of life. If you are not consistent in coming up with the ideas to increase engagement, your community will not be either. For instance, organizing an event and then doing nothing for a month will discourage your community from following you and actively participating in your future events.
So, being consistent is significant to keep community engagement alive. Show your members and community how consistent you are through calendars, reminders, emails, and updates.
5. Right Strategy
Last but not least, finding the right strategy will help you keep the community engaged and grow your community. For this, you need to collect and analyze data to evaluate your community status. Attendance tracking, surveys, and member directories will help you to find the right strategy. Know what your community likes and what their interests are.
How do you promote community engagement? (5 ideas)
1. Create online content through social media
Give your community the best content! Creating interactive content will encourage your community to engage more. You can use Instagram stories, YouTube videos, or Twitter for questions or to share opinions. Let your community be more active. You can also ask their opinion on future content.
Alternatively, you can also use an all-in-one community management platform that offers complete tools for community engagement -like Raklet! You can engage with your community through discussion boards, emails, and ticketed or free-to-attend events. Your members can also share their ideas, get to know each other, and socialize through the platform.
2. Organize events
Organize online or face-to-face events for a better engagement experience. Your community bonds will be stronger with “get together” events. This is a great way to remind your members why they chose to join your community. You can organize interactive events like:
- Quizzes & Surveys
- Trivia nights
- Discussions & Opinion sessions
Each event can be both online and offline, free or ticketed. It is all up to you and your community!
3. Monday Jokes Thread
Who likes Mondays? Open a discussion board to start the week with laughter! Encourage your members to share a funny joke, GIF, video, or article on the forum every Monday, or a day you prefer. This will keep your community in touch and make them interact with the community.
4. Re-engaging inactive members
Sometimes members can dissociate themselves from the community. Let them know that you have not forgotten them through emails or SMS. Sending them “We missed you” messages will likely encourage them to be more active within the community. But remember, your community members might need some time off, as well. Do not persistently send out emails and rather give them space to relax.
5. Sending weekly newsletters
Your community members will love to hear from you every week. You can send an automated newsletter to your members to catch up weekly. You can pick a different topic for each week, or you can just make announcements for future events, plans, and updates.
You can also send out members-only and premium newsletters to enrich the engagement experience. This will attract more members and grow your community.
Now you are ready!
Increase your community engagement with a great all-in-one community management software, Raklet! You can strengthen your community bonds by organizing events, engaging in discussion boards, increasing the sense of belonging with digital membership cards, and more easily with Raklet’s extensive features and integrations.
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