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It’s here. The holiday rush has arrived. Forget the lazy days of summer and the easy pace of fall, the holiday season is upon us and everyone is officially in “go” mode.

Your community members are no different. As a community manager, this makes this time of year especially tricky to navigate. How do you attract the attention of your community members and keep them engaged when there are literally thousands of distractions coming their way every minute?

It’s not impossible, it just takes a little creativity, a little patience and a commitment to seeing it through. Ready to go? Follow a few of the ideas below to keep your community members engaged and active during the holiday season.

Gauge Their Interests

Take an honest look at your community members. Whether you’re an association, athletic club or any other member-driven group, you’re likely comprised of a variety of people. These people have various interests and goals, however, they likely have something that binds them together. In some cases, that might just be your association; in other cases, it might be a cause or belief. It just depends.

Understanding what these commonalities are, along with which subjects have been successes and which subjects have been touchy in the past will help you move in the right direction this holiday season. Because stress levels run high, it’s in your best interest to avoid any controversial subjects, or subjects that have caused less than desirable conversations in the past. Instead, consider the interests of your community members and post positive posts that put a lighter spin on the holiday season. This sets your community up to be a place of relief, rather than an additional holiday stress. You can become your community members’ escape!

Be Helpful!

Why not help your community members during the hustle and bustle of the season? Encourage your members to share positive experiences, deals they’ve found (that may have nothing to do with your association) and other holiday tips. Likewise, post articles you’ve found that relate to easing holiday stressors. Just like you set yourself up as a resource throughout the year, you can set your community up as a holiday-related resource during this season.

Stay Active Yourself

You may be feeling just as much of the holiday rush as your members. That’s fine, however, your commitment to your community says a lot to your members. It’s also the model they’re likely to follow.

Think about it; if you take more time away from your community than usual during the holiday season, your community members are likely to do the same. Instead, commit right now to staying just as active – if not more – this holiday season. Take the time to post daily, to continue to welcome new members and to start discussions on a daily basis. The more you contribute, the more your members will engage.

Start a Contest

Why not add a little fun as the holidays approach? Who doesn’t love a good contest?

You’ve probably seen brands you follow and groups that you are a part of on the more traditional social networks host contests throughout the year. You can do the same – if not better – by using your private community inside of Social HubSite.

Ideas for contests include:

  • A theme contest. Post a daily theme and ask users to share posts (photos) that relate to that theme. Think easy (“red,” “shopping,” “Santa,” and so on). This gives members a reason to check in on a daily basis and will increase their interest in your community which should continue into the New Year.
  • Video contests. Ask your members to submit videos relating to specific subjects – these could be holiday related, or, even better, reasons they’re a part of your community or association. Randomly choose a winner from the submissions.
  • A popularity contest. Have members submit video or photo entries relating to a specific subject. Then, open up the entries for votes. Votes could be comments or “likes.” The one with the most wins. The beauty in this contest is that it encourages your members to interact with one another, which helps in the long-term engagement factor that you are hoping to build inside of your private social community.

Pick a prize that’s big enough to encourage submissions, but won’t break the bank – a discounted membership, a gift card or a prize kit. The options are endless.

The holiday rush doesn’t have to pull your members away from your community. Instead, use this month to hone in on your community engagement efforts and work to keep your members involved and active, regardless of the busyness that surrounds them.

Have questions about how to keep your community active during the holiday season? Ask us! We’re here to provide the support you need to make your community a success. Interested in learning more? Check out how Social HubSite could increase your ability to engage, share and connect with your members today!

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