The Single Best Strategy to Increase Community Engagement - Tom RossThe Single Best Strategy to Increase Community Engagement - Tom Ross

The Single Best Strategy to Increase Community Engagement

This strategy is so simple, it’s almost blindingly obvious. Yet, 99% of community builders aren’t doing it. If you want to increase community engagement, keep reading…

The ultimate strategy to increase community engagement

This week, we welcomed a new cohort of around 40 members into Learn.Community. I’ve experimented with different onboarding methods before, but this time I wanted to try something new.

I private messaged each new member in our Circle community.

Here’s the exact message:

“Hey (name), I just wanted to reach out and personally welcome you to Learn.Community. I’m so thrilled you’re here, and so excited to help you on your community journey. I’d love to know – what would you say is the key area you need help with the most right now, when it comes to your community? I can then advise of how to best make us of this community to help :). Thanks!”

Increase Community Engagement - Onboarding Strategy

The response rate? Virtually every single person replied.

This initial message does a few things:

  • It shows a level of personal care most members don’t expect
  • A conversation starts that leads to me getting greater context of where members are at and how to best help them
  • It leads nicely into the next step…

What happens next is most members respond with something like this:

“Wow! Thanks so much for the personal welcome. I guess right now, my biggest hurdle is probably growing my member base. I’m struggling to attract new members. Can you help?”

The member appreciates the personal touch, and opens up about what they need help with.

My response is then typically as follows:

“I would love to help with that, and definitely have plenty of strategies to share. However, would you mind posting your question in the main forum? That way our conversation can also help your fellow members too :).”

The idea is simple. You take a private conversation (which typically gets a higher response rate), and then turn it into a public conversation (which helps the collective membership and boosts engagement in the community).

This strategy works to increase community engagement!

When I say this strategy has been a game-changer, I mean it. Our engagement is THROUGH THE ROOF.

New members get into the habit of immediately sharing questions in the main forum, whereas before they would have passively sat and waited for others to share.

Whilst I’m helping all of them directly, I’m also seeing a huge increase in other members jumping in to offer advice and help for their fellow members.

This one technique has probably X10 our engagement, no joke.

When I shared this on Twitter, this response said it all:

Firstly, thank you Matt and Daniel for the kind words. What I loved about this tweet from Daniel is that it shows just how under-utilised this strategy is. Hardly anyone is deploying it, and that’s what makes it so powerful. This is still a very controllable way to exceed your member’s expectations. It’s not something they’ll typically have experienced.

Check out this recent article I wrote to learn further strategies to boost community engagement.

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  1. Hazel says:

    Great advice!! And this also works with keeping customers happy in general. People always comment how nice it is that I quickly reply to emails/questions/issues. Love the Learn Community!! Thanks Tom.

    1. tomross says:

      Thanks so much Hazel, I appreciate the kind words.

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