Engagement is a hot topic in the community space - and for good reason. No matter the lengths you go to design a winning UX/UI, stand up a state of the art platform, or install a gamification tool, lack of member engagement will stall your community efforts every time. Member participation is the steam that keeps the engine moving and delivers value.
Check out this collection of resources to boost your work:
First let's touch on some of the theories around engagement - What is it, why does it matter and wait ... there are different kinds?
In this article, The Holy Grail of Engagement and Why Communities Matter, Rachel Happe discusses the different levels of engagement and how communities fit into the mix.
This book, Working Out Loud by John Stepper, is a classic for anyone exploring engagement from the ground up and focuses on triggering interactions by first building relationships that matter.
For the folks who are looking for more tactical resources, the following are hands-on ideas you can implement in your community today
For tactical do's and don'ts, hard earned pro tips and engagement best practices, check out Community 101: 17 Community Leaders Share Their Secrets for Success
For quick-hitting and actionable ideas to use in your space today 10 Ways to Make Your Community or Forum More Active is a great read.
Can't get enough of tactical ideas? Try Five Can't Miss Community Programming Ideas
Wondering how you are going to fit these new programming ideas together? Know Your Audience, Create an Editorial Calendar will show you how.
It is also worth noting that building community connections and engagement is not new work - it has simply been adopted by enterprise organizations in an online context. Venture to the source of community wisdom with Community Planning Toolkit, which explores principles and tactics for building traditional, geographically contained communities.