Do you ever feel out-of-touch or disconnected with your online community? It can be difficult to feel connected to your online community in the same ways you feel connected with your physical community. Members need to not only feel like their input is valued, but also feel like they’re tapping in to a place of valuable content and information. In order to cultivate some of that same closeness and camaraderie, try one, two or all of these online community engagement ideas!
1. Caption Contest
It may seem silly, but think about it – no matter how old you are or what your interests may be, coming up with a funny or clever caption is hard to resist! Consider posting of photo of your pet checking out what you have cooking in the kitchen if you have a recipe or cooking group. Members with pets will relate to you, and they might even feel obliged to share a similar post in the future.
Everyone loves things that are free, especially if the thing being given away is of particular interest to your community members. Engage them by posting about a give-away. You could give away a favorite product of yours: say you have a community revolving around books and literature, give away a new copy of an old classic. Or it could simply be a piece of original poetry if your budget is tight. Encourage members to comment on the post to be entered and pick randomly 3-5 days later. Once you’ve found your winner, tag them in a follow up post to offer congratulations!
3. Internet “Scavenger Hunt”
This may sound daunting, but it’s really just a sneaky way to get your members visiting another one of your sites. Say you have a blog in addition to your online community. Engage your members by giving them 2 or 3 specific posts of yours to find and read, and ask them to prove they were successful by leaving a short comment on each. Who knows, you may even pick up a few more followers!
4. Controversial Question
This is a bit of a no brainer, but rookie online community builders can sometimes be afraid to rock the boat. What tentative community builders aren’t taking advantage of is the fact that we, as citizens of the internet, L.O.V.E. a good controversy. Pick a recent political or business-related scandal and post a link to an article summing it up. Don’t give hint as to where you stand on the issue, just encourage members to leave comments with their thoughts and opinions. Members will feel heard and perhaps you’ll learn something new!
If you have a chance to give one of these Online Community Engagement Ideas a try, let us know how it went! And feel free to share your own community engagement ideas!