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partyWant to increase engagement? Not sure why it’s not happening? Wondering why your followers spend more time liking statuses and communicating with brands that aren’t related to your brand, or – worse – are your actual competition? Maybe it’s time to shake things up…maybe it’s time to throw a party.

Breaking Free of Constraints

Far too often, digital marketing and community building are blurred by shades of tradition and elements of constraint. The fear of negative reactions leads to limitations that work against the point of social communities – the engagement and connections that are built by shared and common interests.

Instead, as marketers, we start to become complacent. We post information that’s helpful – but doesn’t cross any boundaries. We share statuses in the same way we always have – without paying attention to current trends and modifying our strategy. We go about marketing in the same way we always have and our efforts fall short.

Have you found yourself in a similar situation? Are you wondering how to take your branded community to the next level?

It’s Party Time

By turning your online community into a party, you’ll be providing the information your followers and potential customers are looking for in the format that attracts them and leads to the level of engagement you’ve been looking for. This is not a one-time thing, it’s something that’s ongoing, something followers will come to expect; now’s the time to up your game. Follow the ideas below for best results.

Exclusivity Matters

What makes a party enticing? The fact that not just anyone can show up. By making a party exclusive to a specific group, you’re raising interest; who wouldn’t want to be a part of something that not everyone can?

To do this, consider a private branded community – something that is only accessible by members of your organization, something that only your clients can log into, something that sets your brand – and your followers apart. Branded social networks, like those available through Social HubSite make this possible.

Making it Special

If there’s a special at the party that only those who choose to attend will receive, you’re increasing the grab-bag effect.

By offering special promotions and discounts that are only available to your community members, interest is generated and excitement – and sharing – is likely to grow. The larger the community, the more likely engagement is to occur. Consider what your community members are likely to be attracted to and offer it regularly for best results.

Recognizing Attendees

Who wants to go to a party without being noticed? No one. Instead, the host is expected to engage attendees, to make their attendance mean something and to show a genuine interest.

As a community manager, this responsibility falls onto you. Take the time to recognize community members, to share photos of events, to welcome new members and to publically ask questions. In private, thank community members who regularly participate and offer special incentives to continue.

Taking the time to recognize individuals who keep your community growing can go a long way. Make a regular effort to do just that.

Now is the time to shake up the way you see your community. An online community should never been stagnant, static or habitual. Instead, it should be an exciting place that your members want to visit regularly. Think of the last party you attended that had the “wow” factor and incorporate some of what you saw into your community. You won’t regret it.

 

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