We are busy people. And there is a constant battle for our attention. Some people tend to spend their time on Facebook and others on Instagram. Our communities are in constant competition with these other platforms, so why not use them to our advantage? Go where your members go.
Get the best part of your community in front of members on their favorite social media channels, and bring them back to your online community with valuable, relevant content.
Here’s how it works:
Lively discussions taking place? Chances are if it is a popular topic in your community, it will also be engaging on your social media pages as well. Use it to raise eyebrows and get people to click through to your community to join the conversation. These teasers work well to bring people to your community to either share their own responses or find out what others are saying. Create an engaging graphic that represents the topic, and share it along with a link to the discussion. Aim for a “discussion of the week” to promote on social media and your members will start to watch for it!
Now take your most popular discussions and turn them into blogs! This is a great (and easy) way to create user-generated content. It ensures your topics are relevant to your audience, and it is a chance for you to give credit to members for participating. It is a great incentive to get more responses on discussions and turn your members into subject matter experts. Tag your members when you post the blog on social media – watch the shares tally up and the click-throughs to your community roll in.
Take advantage of privacy settings on your blog, too. Member spotlights make great public blogs. Strive to highlight members who are not otherwise engaged with your organization or community but are doing great things for the industry. This is a superb way to get them to take notice of your community and become a fan. (Who doesn’t like to be bragged on?) Blogs from leaders within the organization, such as the CEO, President, or a lobbyist, offer an opportunity for those within your organization to voice their opinions and join the conversation. You can tighten up the privacy for proprietary topics. Tag authors and featured members on public social media sites to organically extend your reach.
Video is a preferred method of communication for many. So why not make your community their home? Host videos within your community and then organize by topic and display them on web pages for members to easily find and watch. Designate a “featured video” to display on your community homepage. Share these videos on social media (it is best to direct upload, when you can) and link back to your community to watch more. Ask for ideas for new video topics, and link to your library to see what already exists.
Bonus tip: Use rev.com to quickly and inexpensively add subtitles to your videos so your members can consume the video without the sound on.
Open up your event calendar and make it a shared calendar for all events happening within your industry. This creates value and gets more eyes on your community. Share events on social media and get attendees clicking through for event details and registration.
Take your most frequently asked questions and answer them in your community. You can do this in a discussion, blog, video, library or on a web page. Put the question out on social media, and link to your community for the answer. This is a great way to solve your members’ problems while bringing traffic into the community. And having your FAQs in one place saves time for you and your colleagues.
What makes your community so great? What do your members love about it? This can be a campaign all on its own. Posts like "Over 5,000 discussions have already taken place. See what your peers are talking about" are great ways to gain attention and interest, and provoke some FOMO (fear of missing out).
By making your community your main platform for all communication, it will become your members’ “go-to” source. Post all information and content there first, and push it out onto the social media channels your members use every day. This allows you to pull them into your community and serve them with valuable and personalized content you created just for them.