Note: This content appears in a slightly different form in our ebook: CMGT 101: 17 CommunityLeaders Share Their Secrets for Success.CMGT 101 is packed with engagement ideas, governance tips, career advice, and more from community leaders working at innovative organizations like CA Technologies, Aetna, Electronic Arts, SAP, Pearson, Akamai, and Atlassian.
Lori Harrison-Smith is a Community Strategist at Steelcase and has worked in community management for six years. Her community has ~8,000 members. She shared her best practices for creating engaging programming in CMGT 101.
We use a question of the week to successfully engage our members. Posting a weekly question in your community can help to spur some of your hesitant users to get engaged. It’s a simple, low-effort way for users to participate and get to know each other – around business or personal topics. And from there it will become a habit to interact.
DO KEEP THINGS SIMPLE
Questions shouldn’t require a novella to answer. This is important, especially in the beginning. One of the first questions asked in our campaign was “Where are you from?” It was super easy for people to jump into the conversation.
DO GET USERS INVOLVED
We reached out to some of our power users with some sample questions and had them start the conversations. That way it didn’t come across as a “planned” promotion, but instead seemed more organic.
Some questions are easier to jump into than others. If we noticed a question was sitting without a response for a few hours, we would reach out to some of our users behind the scenes and ask if they would help generate some interest.
Come up with a wide list of questions beforehand so you can carry out the campaign for a while. We then built a “calendar” with people who agreed to participate and had them post their questions each Monday.