During the Essentials of Community Building Webinar last week with OpenView Labs, we had a few questions that I was not able to answer. I’m going to provide some of those answers here over the next few weeks:
Q: Once you get your following, how do you get them to really start engaging and sharing your content?
A: My recommendation would be to make it all about them. Figure out what your community really wants. You’ll know you’ve hit it right when you’ve accomplished the goals you’ve set forth: more engagement and more sharing of your content.
If you’re wondering how exactly to better engage your community and discover the content they would love to read and share, ask them. Try doing some surveys to determine what’s on their mind. If you’ve got a large community like you’re suggesting, you should get some really good data.
There are a few companies that I’ve seen do the survey thing really well.
Wistia’s Take Our Survey Video
Wistia put together a video that asked their community what they wanted to learn. Not only was the survey conducted in a manner that fits perfectly with Wistia’s culture and values, but it provided them with some really important data about their community.
Wistia received more than 780 responses in just 1 week. The video was so successful that Wistia had to take the survey part down so that it didn’t collect any more responses (and just allow people to link to the video). It was a really creative way to connect with their community and figure out how to get them what they want.
Moz’s 2013 Blog Survey
You certainly don’t have to create a video to administer a survey. Moz put together a survey to ask their community what they thought of their blog and then they published the results.
This survey helped Moz figure out what their community really wants, and it also lets their community know they’ve been heard. What’s great about that is, in the coming months as the Moz blog fills with all of the content that they know their community wants, they should receive more engagement, more shares, and many other indicators of success that they’re tracking.
As with everything in your marketing (and your community building), it’s all about experimentation. You’ve got to try some things out and see how it works (or doesn’t). Start by really listening to your community and let them help you determine your direction.