3 Engagement Mistakes Your Organization May be Making
Now everyone is on social networks. While it may have started out with the college-aged kids, networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have exploded among the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. Facebook owes so much of its success to the Baby Boomer generation. While it started with millennials, the boomers are the users who drive Facebook's continued success. Baby Boomers are most likely to share content on Facebook, especially when it comes to political content.
So, when it comes to reaching the digital audience, you must be aware that you are going to be reaching multiple demographics. Knowing each demographic and the different kind of media and content that they enjoy engaging with and sharing, you will be able to create content that spreads. In this article, we discuss 3 engagement mistakes that organizations make when communicating on social networks.
- Seeding Your Community
The first engagement mistake that organizations make is not seeding their community. Your role as a marketing manager or online community manager is to encourage engagement. Engagement can mean liking, commenting and sharing pictures, videos and articles. However, it can also mean encouraging conversation and debate between members online. The latter, encouraging conversation, is going to be more valuable for you as an online manager because your users are more emotionally engaged, and spend more type reading, interpreting and responding to others’ comments. Your role is to seed these online communities with all types of content that will start these conversations. Anything from videos, articles and pictures can work. A great way to encourage conversation is to ask a question about the content that you post. Jump into discussions, ask more questions, start conversations and encourage your members to post more content and talk about it!
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- Lacking Moderators / Volunteers
Another engagement mistake is not dividing tasks among your most engaged users. Once your online community hits a certain critical level, which all depends on the potential of your community, you will want to divide some of your responsibilities to people in the community who want to help out as much as they can. The lack of moderators can be disastrous. Without moderators, the topics posted by users can venture off-topic and be unrelated to the community. This will detract people from your community and break apart the community that you worked so hard to build. The opposite situation, having a very strict set of guidelines, can also be detrimental. If the conversation becomes too high level, or only on specific topics, people will be scared to engage, simply because they don’t have anything to contribute to the conversation. Having a member who is an avid poster become your volunteer moderator is a great way to increase efficiency allowing you more time to find the right content and be seeding it in the community, but also, and more importantly, keep your community and its content focused, but wide enough that it is appealing to all your online members.
- Replacing Social Network with Private, Public or Hybrid Online Community
While Facebook is a great place to find and recruit people who could be interested in your online community. You know you are not going to be able to replace Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, so instead you need to compliment it. You will want to drive people from the price social networks, to your branded, personalized private, public, or hybrid social network, where you can gather all of your members in one place. The main problem with working on a network like Facebook versus a private social network is that not everyone on Facebook is going to be interested in your community. You will waste advertising dollars on promoting posts and ads to people who will not engage with them, not because your content is not engaging, but that the audience just is not interested in it. Think of your customized online community as a place to further the conversation that you start on Facebook or any other social networks. The social networks can act as an intro or teaser to the content discussion that you continue on your own network. Plus, as a marketing manager, you have more control over contacting people in your community, setting up events, and distributing learning materials.
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We created rasa.io because we fundamentally believe that up to now, the approach most associations take to online community building has been far too narrow. Networking, resource sharing, and Q/A are just a part of the online community experience, so we created a platform the puts member engagement where it should be - at the heart of your association’s community.