Engagement - maybe the most misunderstood word in the community tech space....
Connected users are on board! You have communicated your organization’s mission and direction in such a way that these users feel like it’s something they should be a part of. And it’s moved beyond feeling. Here and there, they have actively taken steps to positively engage with your brand and feel a sense of responsibility to continue doing so. The engagement level could be considered medium at this point - definitely involved but not necessarily the one leading the charge.
You could say that user has been supportive and feels, well, satisfied.
But here’s the thing about satisfaction – it’s not particularly useful for propelling them forward in any meaningful way. Things are fine, so why is there a need to change?
The key lies in understanding what motivates the user. Right now, motivation stems from their belief in “the company” itself. On one hand, this sounds great! It means your brand is communicating something the user believes in.
But it’s an external motivator, and while external motivators certainly aren’t bad, they’re not enough, are they?
Users want to know they matter, that they personally have something invaluable to contribute to the sustained success of your brand. While believing in your mission can lead users to feel like they SHOULD engage and participate, feeling valued and like a part of the ever-moving organism that is your brand can help them WANT to continue engaging.
So how do you help them discover that internal motivation and move them to the next level of engagement?
Find opportunities to highlight the ways users can make a difference - ways they already have made a necessary and impactful difference by their engagement. Focus your communication methods on specifically pointing out what users uniquely have to offer to the advancement of your organization. Whether we already know it or not, we like to hear from others what we individually bring to the table.
It’s time to help users shift their focus to the long-run. Like our New Year’s attempts to eat healthier, exercise more regularly or any other new lifestyle habit, it’s the long-term vision and results that can be the tipping factor between success and failure. The same applies to engaging in your brand. Remind your users of the overarching bigger vision and the specific long-term rewards of continued participation in fulfilling that vision.
Actively encourage the user to take the next step. But don’t just tell them, ask yourself (and maybe even them), how you can help. Maybe it’s providing customized communication, or helping them set goals and giving them progress reports on how they are doing. Whatever the method, find ways to champion them as they build your brand.
So far, the user has been the cheerleader on the sidelines. And while we all love cheerleaders, it’s time for them to get in the game.