Your online community checklist to easy member engagement

Is there anything more satisfying than crossing off an item on your to-do list? Whether you color-code your checklist, or you’ve ditched paper for an electronic checklist, many would say, “No, there isn’t anything more satisfying.”

There are many different types of checklists – chores, vacations, dating. Then, there’s our work checklists. You probably have checklists for your daily tasks. But, do you use a checklist for member engagement?

Engagement comes in many forms. Each organization probably has a different definition and a different strategy for member engagement. Many of your engagement activities are probably focused around face-to-face activities. But, engagement doesn’t have to be in the form of face-to-face.

An online community is the perfect place for online engagement. So, let’s talk about what your online community checklist can look like. 

Daily online community checklist.

  • Review and respond. Dedicate time every day to review new posts and engage in the community. I prefer first thing in the morning, when I drink my morning coffee, and during the afternoon, when I need a break from my other tasks.
  • Post fresh, relevant content. Fresh, relevant content is critical for engaging members. There are countless, different types of content your organization can leverage to drive engagement – industry news and research, blog posts, newsletters, and so on. Sharing and responding to industry news not only positions you as a thought leader, it also assists with member engagement and retention. Fifty-two percent of members view industry information as a top benefit to retain membership*. If you’re posting it on social media, you should also be posting it to your online community.

Weekly online community checklist.

  • Review engagement analytics. Pull the data to see what’s happening in your online community. Are you continuing to see a rise in logins and comments? Also, look through the comments to see if a topic is resonating with your members or maybe there are questions about the organization. This data will assist you in providing the information to your members they want.
  • Verify your to-do list. Dedicate some time at the end of the week to review your weekly activity. Verify you posted everything you planned on posting, and you replied to all the comments and questions. Also, double check your ambassadors are participating in the conversation. I prefer to do this late afternoon on Thursday, so if anything was missed, I can plan it for Friday.
  • Plan for next week. Don’t wait until Monday to figure out what that week looks like. Plan and make your to-do list for next week. What content are you going to post to the online community? Do you have an event registration opening you need to promote, or maybe it’s time for a quick poll on the next location for an event?

Monthly online community checklist.

  • Ambassador check-in. Your ambassadors are key to your online community success. But, you can’t set them up and then forget them. Check in with your ambassadors at least once a month. Discuss with them their activities and what they believe is working and not working. Don’t forget to tell them thank you, and let them know how important they are to your organization.
  • Two-way communication. Your online community is the perfect place to have a conversation with your members. You want to make sure there’s two-way communication, and not just the organization delivering messages. Having your ambassadors ask questions or putting out a call for suggestions can assist in engaging your members. Your online community not only enables your members to build community among themselves, but it’s also easy access to your organization. You can also utilize surveys or polls to listen to your members. Don’t forget to keep the conversation going by communicating about the results and next steps of those surveys and polls.
  • Refresh memory of value. Twenty-six percent of members lapse because they believe the organization provides little value to them*. Your members joined for a reason. They have a challenge for which they believe your organization can solve. If you want your members to value your organization, refresh their memory of the value for being part of your organization. We all need to be reminded of these things from time to time.
  • Reflect and evaluate. Take time at the end of the month to reflect on the past month’s activities, and evaluate the month. You’ve been looking at data on a weekly basis. Now, it’s time to look at it for the month and month over month. Are you on track to meet your strategic goals for your online community?

To be most effective, your member engagement strategies must include a mix of face-to-face and online activities. Get out there and make your online community checklist. When you get the rush from completing your checklist, you will thank us.

Looking for tips and tricks for a successful online community? Check out our Online Community Member Engagement Journey Map infographic.


*Source: Community Brands Member Loyalty Study.

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