The die is cast, the cards have been dealt anew. In the post-COVID era, the time has come to move beyond cultivating a passive following. This year, the imperative is to unite and actively engage a vibrant community... for the long haul.
But then, how do we move from idea to action? How do we effectively animate a community and foster maximum engagement? All the best practices from MeltingSpot are featured in this article. 👇
Community management: A (truly) recent topic?
The concept of community (or community building, community management, etc.) is not new. Communities have been flourishing for decades, whether in personal or professional spheres, online or offline, with a common thread of bringing together individuals who share the same values, vision, or interests.
💻 With the rise of digital platforms, these communities have expanded without borders. For businesses, creating a community has never been easier. With just a click, a group of customers, prospects, or employees can be brought together. However, the focus should no longer solely be on creating communities. It is the animation and engagement of these communities that will make them thrive in the long run.
This awareness is starting to spread, particularly in the B2B sector. Means and resources are being developed to animate and engage communities. Newsletters, webinars, and social media posts are examples of common formats. But are they truly sufficient to ensure genuine engagement?
"Community management" doesn't always go hand in hand with "community engagement."
In 2023, engaging a community will require debunking certain misconceptions. For instance, thinking that "community management" is synonymous with "community engagement" is a common mistake! ❌
Many businesses mistakenly believe that building an audience on social media is a sufficient strategy. However, simply posting on LinkedIn, seeing a rise in followers, and responding to comments is not an end in itself. These community management actions do not always strengthen long-term connections.
Here are some limitations to be aware of regarding the most common formats for content creation (and building relationships) in the B2B sphere:
Community management: Information overload on social media can lead to disengagement.
According to the latest figures from DoubleVerify, the time spent consuming content has increased from 3 hours and 17 minutes before COVID to nearly 7 hours today. While this indicates that consumers and professionals are more connected, it also means they are susceptible to information overload.
With the mass of information and commercial stimuli disseminated daily on social media, our ability to retain a message and engage with it diminishes.
The conclusion is clear: for your communities, "too much" is the enemy of "good"! Broadcasting excessive content without genuine personalization or added value can have a counterproductive effect on your communities. The result is simple: disengagement.
Blogs alone are not enough to engage a community.
Today, more and more businesses are opting for Inbound Marketing, often relying on blog articles. This strategy can be successful (and if you're reading this, you know that MeltingSpot relies on blog articles for content creation!).
However, a blogging strategy should be part of a broader content strategy. Relying solely on blog posts is not enough to animate a community. Since articles are typically one-way transmission mediums, it can be challenging to encourage interaction... and therefore, engagement!
Community management: Newsletters are perceived as intrusive solicitations.
Among the formats commonly used by businesses to engage a community, newsletters are frequently employed. Whether they are internal (for an employee community) or external (for a community of customers or partners), newsletters help disseminate contextualized information. Personalization, such as including the recipient's name and even the reason for contact, can be incorporated.
📩 However, this outbound marketing format can be seen as intrusive. We all know it: our email inboxes are filled with newsletters... But do they truly create a sense of attachment to a company and foster an engaging experience? Are they truly effective for sustaining long-term community engagement?
Given the limitations of the most common content formats in the business world, the lingering question remains: in 2023, how can we engage and animate a community over the long term? What formats and strategies should be prioritized?
Community Management in 2023: 3 best practices
Thanks to social media, newsletters, or a blogging strategy, you've managed to gather an audience that consumes your content. Congratulations! However, this effort alone is not enough to transform passive readers into an active community.
Here are a few tips from Jayvee Nava and Céline Riemenschneider at the CLG Summit 2023 by The Community Lab to help you in your Community management journey:
In 2023, engagement is primarily driven by consideration, interaction, and personalization. The good news is that events encompass these three criteria... and in the post-COVID era, organizing events seems to be the key to effectively bringing together, engaging, and animating a community.
To transition from building an audience to successfully animating a community through events, here are our best practices:
Relevant events for an engaged community
Engaging a community is not only about the format of an event; the substance (event theme, content, speakers, etc.) is also a key element.
For example, in the B2B context, engaging a community of employees will necessarily depend on a topic that provides value to them. Even before participating in the event, participants should perceive the benefits of such a gathering.
To animate your community, surround yourself with committed partners.
To ensure the engagement of a community during an event, it is essential to collaborate with reliable and engaged partners!
Our solution enables you to animate and engage your community. From an all-in-one tool, you can communicate about your event and share content with participants on a news feed, stream the event on the day, and collect essential data to boost your marketing strategy... In short, you have the opportunity to personalize a white-label platform to create the event that best suits you.
Community management: The need to anchor in a long-term strategy
Whether we wear our professional or consumer hat, we all have one thing in common: we quickly get bored. We need to be stimulated and experience new things. Therefore, organizing a standalone event would not be sufficient to engage and animate a community in a lasting way.
It is essential to engage your community throughout the year, by varying event formats and activities. All of this should be done with regularity, to offer frequent rendezvous.
You now know that...
✅ Being on social media, sending newsletters, or publishing blog articles is not enough to create a community.
✅ In 2023, a well-defined event strategy is crucial to engage a community over the long term.
✅ And to support you in animating your communities, MeltingSpot is by your side!