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The Ultimate Guide to Engaging your Online Community Members – Chapter 14

Chapter 14 —

8 of my Engagement Techniques that I Personally Use in Client Communities.

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1. Find Your Minions

Ah yes my friends, it is time to rally your minions and get them to do things for you. Ok ok, I’m not saying to hired little yellow dudes and have them work in your community for you (though that would be nice) but what I AM saying is to ask some of your members to do things for you.

This might take the form of writing up a post-mortem after a launch to share with other members, tagging someone on a post to get them to share their insights, or even asking people to welcome new students into the community.

The key is to position your ask as a favour and also because they have done things that you appreciate or are proud of.

2. The ‘24hr Hold Up’ Technique

Picture it. Someone posts a juicy question in the community and 5 minutes later you are armed and dangerous with a reply.

You’re about to click post when you slap yourself and say “24 hours dude”.

That’s right. Before you jump in and reply, think about how this person might get the best value and insights from the community as a whole. Whenever an admin or community manager dives in and answers a Q it can lead to other people keeping their opinions and advice to themselves.

So rather than post right away. Leave it for a day, so others can dive in.

If you want to demonstrate that you’ve seen the post you could reply and let them know that you want to see what others think first. You could also tag in a couple of members that you know could share some great insights.

3. The ‘Tagging Train’ (choo-choo!) Technique

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From time to time you’ll have something that you want everyone to see. Perhaps it’s a survey, a big announcement etc.

Rather than posting it and hoping that people see it, I recommend calling on the “Tagging Train” technique to get the message out there.

It’s simple and once it gets momentum can be super effective.

What you do is simply get people to do the action you want (like fill out a survey) and then come back to the thread to say that they have done it AND get them to tag 1-3 other people that they know so that they can do it as well.

Not only does this keep the thread higher in the Facebook feed from all the updated comments, it helps spread the word. It’s similar to the idea of paying it forward, which spreads the message like wildfire.

4. The ‘Circle Back’ Technique

You want to check in with your students to ensure they are on track, and students want to feel like you give a shit about them. That is why I recommend using the circle back technique whenever I check in with someone.

If they are working on writing a guest post I ask them to circle back with me in X amount of time to let me know how it’s going. You can even get them to add it to their calendar so they don’t forget.

5. “More than words” Technique (Memes, GIFs, photos, video)

If you want to really create a unique and personal feel in your community I highly recommend mixing in original media.

There is nothing like saying you’re welcome with your own “You’re Welcome GIF” or reaching out to a student to see how they are doing with a funny MEME.

I personally like to use silly kitten and puppy memes…I mean, who doesn’t like a puppy or a kitten?

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Adding videos of yourself to posts can make it feel like you’re more present in the community as well.

6. The ‘Can You Do Me a Favour?’ Technique.

Once you have build a bit of a relationship with your members, there is nothing like asking them to do you a favour to make them feel important and useful.

Imagine you ask a student to post about an experience they had because so many other students struggle with that issue and you feel it would help the community. Asking for small favours like this go a long way to making members feel important and useful.

7. The ‘Just Checking In’ Technique

Being able to check in with your members individually via PM is super important. It shows that you care about them AND it allows you to keep a finger on the pulse of the community. You can see how they’re feeling, what they’re working on, if they are struggling and how you can do a better job to help them and improve the course.

It’s a win-win all around and when you have a system to reach out that allows you to do it quickly and easily (I reach out to 50 members a day/ 250 members a week) it means that your members will feel taken care of and be less likely to fall off the wagon.

8. The “Tag in the Troops” Technique.

When reviewing your community you might find questions that haven’t been answered or possibly the answers they have received so far leave a lot to be desired.

Rather than jumping in and answering yourself, Tag in the troops. This is when you can tag in other members who specialise in something or you know have personal experience with a situation. This not only allows you to help the person asking the question, it makes the tagged troops feel special as well because you thought of them.

On to the next chapter

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