I am often asked, how do I improve my engagement within my community? The problem is common and the solution is easy to define, but a bit more difficult to execute.
It is imperative to understand, that not all the people in your community are the same! What does that mean? According to Charlene Li, Forrester Research Analyst, in her book, Groundswell there are six types of influencers in your community. They are; Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators and Inactives. Each group must be engaged differently according to their behavioral characteristics.
Your brand can not be pushing the same marketing message at every ‘influencer’. My view is that you should adapt a strategy or strategies dependent upon the kind influencer someone might be.
For example, for “creators” you should pose questions and allow them to create content for your community. This kind of person does not want to be spammed with your content but they enjoy the process of a discussion that promotes or debates their theory.
Conversely, this approach would be less successful with Collectors. To engage with this group, you need to give them excellent data that they can use for other purposes within their business or personal life. There is a perfectly valid reason why we need to understand influence. Brands and marketers have limited time and money so we must engage with the people that count in the right manner…the manner by which that want want to engage with your brand.
Only if we truly understand who we are talking to within our community can we hope to have our message spread and create true engagement. Remember engagement in 2012 means creating content, sharing that content and allowing your audience to interact with that content.