You want to build a digital community, and you're wondering how to do it. You are on the right article! We have identified for you the best practices and the keys to success to animate a community. These keys to success are based on our experience, the use cases we have encountered, and the successful devices we have accompanied.

Animating a community means first asking the right questions

Before animating a community: what are your goals?

You want to animate a community, OK. But what is the purpose of your community? First, ask yourself the right questions. In other words, ask yourself what the members of this community want, and what your goal is for this community.

To help you formalize your goals, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are the members of the community?
  • What do they expect? What do they like?
  • Why does this community exist?
  • What do I like about the similar communities I belong to?
  • Who are the active members of my community?

If you want to go further in this structuring phase, we invite you to download our Guide Book " Generate employee engagement on your platform". Designed as an activity book, it will help you structure your approach to animate a community in acollective intelligence logic.

Who are your allies?

In this video on launching a community, the speaker reminds us that on average in a community, 80% of the members are passive and 20% of the members are active.

It is important to know before you start: there is no need to set impossible engagement goals! It is better to set logical goals that are related to the nature of your members.

With this in mind, it can be very beneficial toidentify allies, or ambassadors. These are people you know are likely to participate a lot, because they are passionate, or simply motivated. Value these people! Make them shine, by making them real local facilitators, who will take over the facilitation from the members.

Leading a community: who are your allies?

Animating a community through content

Animating a community means offering it something. This may seem obvious, but you must regularly offer them attractive content that interests them.

Some examples of content we have tested and approved by the communities animated on Beeshake:

  • Informative articles
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Interviews / cross interviews
  • Watch contents
  • Inspirational Mantras
  • Skills enhancement course

Your community members will be particularly sensitive to several elements:

  • Regularity of content : create regular meetings with them
  • The quality of the contents
  • The human aspect: does your content feature people? Do they tell stories? Can we easily identify with them?

Highlights, key moments to animate a community

A community comes together. It is therefore essential to organize special events to enable it to come together around a common theme.

The best part is when these highlights can be organized physically. Indeed, people meet or get together for real, which is very beneficial to the creation of links. They will be more active digitally the rest of the time.

You can also organize events remotely. Depending on the format of your highlight, you have 2 options:

  • The "meeting" mode via a videoconferencing tool (Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, Skype, etc.). It will allow you to offer everyone the opportunity to participate. This is ideal if you are organizing a workshop, for example. On the other hand, beware of the risk of cacophony, or on the contrary of shyness due to this mode of interaction. It may be more difficult to set up ice breakers and rules for speaking from a distance.
  • The "webinar" mode via a live tool (YouTube live for example or a platform like Beeshake). This will give the opportunity to one or more opinion leaders or experts to speak on a topic that animates your community. The members will be gathered digitally around these speakers and will be able to participate by asking them questions in writing.

Whatever option you choose, you must keep in mind the objective of creating a quality and exceptional moment (for example with a prestigious speaker), thus reminding each member of the community of the value you bring to it.

Animating a community: organizing highlights

Engage your community

Surveys and polls to animate a community

If you want to have an engaged community, it's essential to provoke some engagement. Sure, posting content can generate reactions, but you need to "go after" your members more. For this, surveys and polls are very good tools.

Indeed, they allow an easy participation, which often requires only to answer one or several simple questions. Be careful though, for members to participate, they must find an interest in it. This can be for example :

  • A survey for collective decision making. Members will want to participate because you are giving them the power to influence something that matters to them.
  • A survey on a theme that interests them. You can then announce that you will share the results in the form of an infographic for example. This is an opportunity for the members of your community to make their opinion heard.

Finally, never forget to communicate before, during and after a survey phase, in order to boost participation!

Calls for ideas

To animate a community, it can be very dynamic to organize a call for ideas. Also called hackathons or innovation challenges, these short or long events are an opportunity tolisten to the ideas of your community members to improve a situation or solve irritants.

To make a call for ideas, you simply need an idea box that can be easily configured, and that will allow you to collect all the suggestions and ideas from your community. You will then be able to moderate, classify and organize them in order to make real projects emerge.

Did you know that? Beeshake is a collective intelligence and participative innovation platform that allows you to efficiently animate your communities and to bring out ideas, best practices and innovation projects in a co-construction logic.

Animating a community: organizing a call for ideas

Send reminders to your members

Regular notifications

Don't forget to notify your community members when new content is published, when a highlight is organized or when a call for ideas is launched!

Notifications must be regular, and reach people in their daily life (email, smartphone, etc.). Thanks to them, members will come back regularly to the community.

Attractive newsletters

To animate a community, newsletters are very useful. Indeed, they are a good opportunity to "recap" the activity of your community.

When writing a newsletter, pay attention to its length (not too long, not too short!). Also, be sure to adopt an engaging tone: be enthusiastic, share figures or the results of a survey, make people want to go through your content, etc.

Reward the most active members

At Beeshake, we believe in gamification. The principle? The more active a member of the community is, the more you have to value him. Once the active members are identified, don't hesitate to ask them to answer an interview, to give them badges, or to promote them in your newsletter!

This will create a virtuous loop that will make them want to participate even more. And very quickly, these "top contributors" will in turn become true ambassadors of your community.

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