Every online community revolves around its members. However, not every member of the community is the same.
For instance, your neighborhood is a small society made up of different types of individuals with varying behaviors, responsibilities, priorities, and commitments.
The same is the case with online communities, where you will meet different types of members. As community members help a community thrive, it becomes important for the community managers to keep them engaged.
If your community is hosted on Salesforce Experience Cloud, you are at an absolute advantage. Not only can some engaging activities help you enhance community engagement but there are custom software solutions also which can help you level up your community engagement.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about the types of members you are most likely to find in your online community and how you can keep them engaged.
Different Types of Online Community Members
First things first, let’s understand the different types of online community members that you may come across in your community:
The Lurker or Consumer
The Social Butterfly or Participant
Members who join the community and access its content passively are known as lurkers. Lurkers often like to interact one-on-one or in smaller groups and enjoy watching interactions in the online community.
Despite their silence, they play an important role in all communities. This large and silent audience enjoys community content and gains insight. However, if you ask a lurker a question, they will probably answer. So, always check in and see if they need anything.
Social butterflies or participants are known for their desire to take part in different activities. They respond to most of the posts, feel comfortable talking to anyone, and seem to be around all the time. These are great people to have in your online community because they can help keep things interesting. They are active members who participate in conversations, like content, and attend events. These members have ‘familiar faces’ and frequently have an overview of everything that is going on in a community.
Creators are the heart of a thriving community. While your community managers work hard to publish new content and keep members engaged, members who create content on their own make a community feel alive, active, and exciting! They could be generating blog posts, creating events, groups, memes, etc.
The critics look at every mistake and judge them. They will notice even the smallest differences between what you say and what you do. It’s easy to think of the critic as a know-it-all, but most people who do this in an online community are friends, not enemies. Taking the time to talk about mistakes shows that they care about your community.
People in the community will either like or dislike how a critic acts and they will watch how you respond to their public feedback. A good rule of thumb is to respond to them politely when they point out a mistake, fix it, and keep going.
Every group needs formal leaders who can listen and act to make sure everyone is happy. Most of the time, these are people from the organization who are in charge of the community or people who are hired to run the community.
These people need to see the whole community at once to make sure everything is going well. Keep in mind that the leaders of a community do not have complete power. Since a community is made up of its members, it may also have an unofficial leader.
How to Engage Members in Salesforce-Powered Communities
Although engaging community members seems like a hard nut to crack, it is actually not! The following are a few ways in which community managers can engage them:
Create a Great Community Onboarding Experience
Use Personalized and Drip Content
Engage Your Members Actively
Invite Community Members to Share Business Ideas
A thoughtful and informative onboarding process is critical to member engagement and retention.
From the moment a new member joins your community, you must welcome them and help them get started on the right track. It’s also a good idea to create articles, video tutorials, FAQs, live and recorded webinars, and other resources to help new members get the most out of your community.
Apart from that, digital adoption solutions like GuideIn can also help community members start participating in your online community. It provides guided walkthroughs that ensure that members have a smooth onboarding experience as soon as they land on your Salesforce-powered community.
Communities that can use member data to provide personalized content and support encourage members to participate and return. Dripping content is a method of gradually releasing content to members. For example, you can make content available after a member has been there for a week, a month, or six months!
Members will return to gain access to content, giving you more opportunities to engage them. And as they cannot access everything at once, there is no danger of them getting overwhelmed!
You’ve probably heard the expression, “Come for the content, stay for the community.”
Content is important, especially when you’re first getting started with your community.
But you also need to encourage your community members to make content. In other words, to take part in conversations, ask and answer questions, and share ideas, blog posts, and other content.
Adding gamification features in your online community allows your business to deliver a more engaging experience, which increases brand loyalty. That’s where a solution like ScoreNotch plays a vital role.
This Salesforce-native, Lightning-ready solution encourages community members to become innovators by giving them badges for their activity, missions to participate in, levels that they stand at, leaderboards to show their community contribution, and other rewards. It recognizes their contribution towards the community, which encourages community members to participate more.
One simple strategy to boost community engagement is to invite everyone to discuss their business ideas in a friendly online environment. However, to streamline this, you need an ideas management software.
IdeasPro, a Salesforce-native, Lightning-ready solution developed by Grazitti Interactive helps businesses effectively manage Ideas on Salesforce LEX. This idea management solution helps in improving customer engagement by gamifying idea sharing in Salesforce-powered communities.
It provides reward points for members who post an idea, vote for an idea, and comment on an idea, which keeps them engaged in the idea sharing process. To know more about how IdeasPro helps manage ideas in Salesforce-powered communities, check out this blog post.
Different types of online community members can be found in almost any growing community. But one thing to keep in mind is that not all members are the same and should therefore be engaged in different ways.
As a community manager, if you want solutions that enable community members to engage more and collaborate, you can utilize custom solutions developed by Grazitti Interactive for Salesforce-powered communities like ScoreNotch, IdeasPro, and GuideIn.
Want to Make Different Types of Community Members Collaborate and Engage Well in Your Salesforce-Powered Community? Let’s Talk!
If you want to learn more about solutions for community engagement, write to us at [email protected] and we’ll take it from there.
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