2. Make your members the star
This next principle of engagement is one of my favorites. I strongly believe that in a community, the focus should be on the people and their connections.
At BigCommerce, we let our members shine by proactively looking for opportunities to highlight individuals, their expertise, and successes. We want the spotlight to be on them! This could be as simple as giving someone a public shout-out for their contributions or achievements. When we can make our members more visible, the more likely it is for them to find connections and build genuine relationships with people like them.
3. Make it easy to participate
Start small. A great hack for spurring conversation is to begin by offering discussion prompts in your online community spaces. These prompts should be fun questions that any member can answer regardless of their expertise level.
We have a weekly engagement ritual called 'GIF Wednesday'. Each week, we publish a prompt asking for a gif reaction. Our members get a kick out of finding the perfect gif response and it helps build a sense of togetherness in our group.
Engagement opportunities don’t have to be time-intensive for your community. Some members may not have time to participate in an hour-long webinar, but do want to contribute to a simple group question. The nature of your community will help dictate the direction for your prompts and, over time, you can increase the amount of vulnerability and time that you’re seeking.