Online community management is a vast discipline. Community managers commonly spend their time a variety of ways, such as:
It's safe to say the "to-do" list is fairly long.
Inactive community members will inevitably make up a large percentage of your total audience size. Don't worry, this is perfectly normal in most online communities, especially as your community ages.
Your efforts to engage your audience and grow your online community are best spent focused on the members who are actively present or just walking through the door—not walking out of it. However, if you start to notice unprecedented rates of decline, it could be time to take action.
In a few years, the Millennial generation (born between 1982 and 2004) will be the single largest segment of the workforce - a spot they will hold for decades to come. That means they are likely to become the most important part of your online community, and like every generation before them, they are entering the scene with some different perspectives on how the world works and their roles in it. Understanding this generation a little better will not only help you attract them, but retain them.
Over time, members will leave your online community. Though you might be a throwing down some serious online community strategy, abandonment is simply unavoidable. People simply lose the need that your community fulfilled by changing jobs, losing interests, retiring or other inevitable life events.
In last week's blog article, we covered four quick tips to convert new online community members into regular visitors and contributors.
Since this initiative relates to your online community's member engagement strategy, ”the source of our most frequently heard questions” this week, we're covering the topic again by tipping it on its head.
On average, only 10% of new members will participate within their first month of joining an online community. Additionally, the likelihood a new member will engage in the community, or even visit it, drops significantly over time.
Clients of Higher Logic and Personify came together last week to discuss the best ways to take advantage of both platforms, and to increase community activity and communication. Currently, over 47 mutual association clients have utilized the Personify Gold Star Integration and Activity Sync back to their databases to offer single-sign-on, secure data exchange and find new engagement opportunities for their online communities.
If you're involved in community management, you've likely heard of the 90-9-1 principle. The numbers represent speculated percentages of engagement in online communities, with 90% of participants only viewing content, 9% responding to content, and 1% actively participating in the creation of new content.
Even though these numbers are meant to guess at online participation as a whole and not specifically address engagement in online customer or member communities, they still seem pretty dismal. It's difficult not to get discouraged by such speculation when your member engagement is so critical to the success of your online community and association as a whole.
What's the one thing almost all associations have in common? It's formal volunteer leadership programs. Volunteer leaders are highly visible, engaged MVPs in the association, lending credibility and encouraging other members to attend events and participate in activities. There are volunteer trainings, guidelines and formal committee structures and procedures, all of which boost the program's credibility and desirability; members aspire to join the ranks of these MVPs.