It was the last week of June and a discussion started inside TheCR Network on dips in community engagement. The member who started the discussion had a newer community (under 1 year), was seeing a continuing decrease in participation and starting to feel panicky. It’s something that is not uncommon, here is a great article from earlier this week on the subject.
Community engagement will ebb and flow throughout the year. Each community is different but there are some common reasons for slow downs:
- Busy holiday times
- School vacation
- If there is something to distract – like a large industry conference or a major news story
As always, other TheCR Network members came to the rescue with thoughts, advice and a calming voice. The overall tone of the comments was that this was normal as school had just gotten out. They assured the member that they had all been there, experienced that. But there were also some very specific recommendations:
- Use this time to plan ahead – put together your fall content & programming calendar
- Do something out of the ordinary with members – interview them for blog posts, have a special summer activity, run a contest
- Encourage your community to share vacation stories/photos
- Keep measuring monthly in order to see patterns emerge
- Don’t panic, yet
We are no stranger to this phenomenon either. So in TheCR Network we have started our summer book club, dialed back our formal programming and are looking forward to the fun summer activity our community manager Hillary Boucher has up her sleeve. Last year’s idea was a hit and helped us learn more about our members while they learned more about each other.
What do you do to combat the summer doldrums in your community?
TheCR Network is a membership network that provides strategic, tactical and professional development programming for community and social business leaders. The network enables members to connect and form lasting relationships with experts and peers as well as get access to vetted content.