1. A human face. Whenever you see content, conversations and engagement across successful communities it's usually from known individuals with a profile and an avatar. It might be a bit of a generalisation but people engage with people. This isn't feasible for all networks, but where possible try to publish from a personal account rather than a brand or company one. Adding a personal touch and human face to the content will really help with engagement. This also goes for the type of content; posts with opinions and personal content will tend to be more successful.
2. Video. It doesn't matter what platform we're talking about, video content always does well. This is especially true on community sites with informal and chatty content that makes you feel like you're listening into a conversation between friends. This kind of video content makes a site feel like a community rather than just another website. On the Zapnito platform we have a brilliant feature called Video Panels where you can chat to another user on the site, record the conversation and then post it as content. The most important thing to remember when trying to build this kind of content is lead by example. If you want your users to engage, comment and chat when you have to do it yourself first.
3. Email push. There is an inbuilt email option on the Zapnito platform for you to send newsletters to all users which can get recipients engaging with the latest content or the highlighted 'editors picks'. However we've found that the customers who've had the most success have also made the most of GoSquared. GoSquared allows you to create highly targeted emails and campaigns around events and user behaviour relevant to your community.
Depending on your pricing option GoSquared is included in some Zapnito packages and we can help you integrate it into the community to take the best advantage of all it has to offer. We would love all users to treat their community like they do Facebook and have it open on their browser to keep dipping in many times a day, but realistically we know this is uncommon. This means that targeted emails are even more important for encouraging people to come back and engage with the site.
4. Social media. On one hand your community can be seen as an alternative to social media as it's a much less noisy and cleaner experience. However, integrating social media into your Zapnito community can be really valuable; Our customers who are the most successful at getting their users to come back and contribute time and again are the ones who build up their users profiles on social media. It's such a good feeling as an author to see that you've been noticed by your community and your content has been highlighted, it makes you want to come back and write more. The best way to keep on top of this is to hire a community manager to look after the promotion of your community and users.
5. Being part of the community. I've said this before and it's so important; the best way to get people engaging on your community is to lead by example. Get as many people from your team to join the community as active members. This means they need to be liking, commenting, participating in conversations and seen to have a presence. This shows other community members what to do and hopefully get them involved. As a community manager, you and your team can't be shy - get out there and get involved!
If you have any questions about the above or just want to chat about what Zapnito can offer please drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org