Problems of Community Engagement

Everyone wishes to keep their community engaged. But gradually, this becomes quite a challenge. With time, interests wane off and people become less active than the initial days. To solve this,  it is important that community members leverage the ideas that their members have to bring in freshness.

Looking at the problem statement in a structured manner helps to properly diagnose why engagement decreased. Much like any application domain, diagnosing the problems is the key to improvement.

Diagnosing The Engagement Problem

The pedestal of diagnosing the problem seeps in through introspection and careful analysis. A top-level clarity is needed to understand the plausible reasons why people aren’t visiting your community, or why they are part of the community at all? Think over and top about the possible scenarios that may be contributing to these two and one may come up with various problems to diagnose. 

Audience Doesn’t Visit Your Community

This is the most redundant problem. On the basis of priority suggested by leading Community Expert, Richard Millington, they can be broken down into 4 prioritized groups :

1) Lack of awareness. No-one can drops into your community if they don’t know about its existence or have forgotten it. This can be taken care of by asking or surveying a random sample of the total audience. Asking them to name communities they have heard followed by a note of how many actually mention your community does the trick here.

2) Low-value perception. This is the crunch of the pie. It basically means that people don’t have a high opinion of the value they can derive from your community – an indication of low motivation.

Enquire people about the challenges they face and check if this matches the discussions and activities taking place in the community today. Keep your community engagement centered around trending topics makes it much more relevant.

3) Trust. This is the toughest part to achieve. Even if some people understand the goal of your community, they may not be confident in you to deliver it.  This is primarily the reason why people don’t visit a community the second time if they don’t find it worthy after the first visit. This can be diagnosed by asking members about the value they got or expected to get from the community versus what they would ideally want to get from it. 

4) Competitor groups. The world is bustling with communities and you are probably not the only one there. Other communities might just be doing something better than you in captivating the crowd. Clearly analyzing and figuring out a unique niche you can dominate is the key here. This can also be diagnosed by asking your audience what other communities’ members participate in today.

These being the fundamental problems. We will talk about the diagnosis in the next blog post.