Once you have your community ready for beta launch or public launch, your main concern around your community should be "How to have high retention in my community".
Tribe offer many solutions to make sure that your community will have a high retention level. You will have a high retention when:
- You promote your community perfectly, so that you can attract more users into your community.
- You encourage the users who are already using your platform, so that they come back to the community more often.
A. Let's see how you can perfectly promote your community:
- Add your community to the main menu, top navbar, and the footer of your main website
Your main website is the most important channel to attract users into your community. Make sure you are giving enough attention to your community in your website.
- Enable Tribe SSO (Single Sign-On) app to have seamless sign-up process
Tribe SSO20 app automatically connects the user-base of your main product/website to your community. This way, if someone already has an account on your product/website, an account will be created for the user in community automatically. The user's community account will have the same account information such as name, email, and profile picture on your main website. Therefore, users will be able to use the community without even realizing that they are directed to a new platform, as it automatically logs them in to the community. Tribe support the most popular SSO methods.
- Embed Tribe community widgets on your main website
The embeddable widgets19 offered by Tribe ensured that your website users and visitors don't have to move to a separate web property for the community -- they could instantly register in community, participate in a discussion, and gain knowledge right through the website. This is proved to be a viable channel to convert visitors to community users and loyal customers of yours.
When members participate in a discussion, ask a question, and join groups through widgets right inside your website, it increases the engagement and users tend to come back (therefore driving the retention rate). This, combined with the community notification tools, gives an additional boost for member retention.
- Promote the community on all your social media, newsletters, events, email campaigns, and any related web pages
Think of your company as a marketing tool for your community. You do it for a few months, and once your community is matured and well-engaging, it will serve as a marketing tool for your company for lifetime.
By following the steps above, you will have more and more members joining to your community everyday.
While you are continuing promoting your community and attracting more members, you need to think of "how you should keep community members engaged, so that they come back to the community more often".
B. Here are the tools and features Tribe offers to improve engagement and retention for existing members:
- Enable notifications on your community: Email notification, Firebase App, Telegram Messenger, Facebook Messenger
Notification is one of the most powerful tools to tempt users to come back to the community. The notifications can be sent natively as a push notification in mobile devices and web pages using Firebase app21, or, through email13, telegram, and Fb messenger.
Tribe send notifications to user when there is a new post published in the community, and you are following the author, you are mentioned in the post, or the post is published in a "Group" that you are member in. Tribe also sends notification when there is a new reaction (like/comment) on your posts, someone follows your profile, or someone requests you to answer a question.
- Enable Welcome Email app on Tribe community
By enabling welcome email24, an email will be automatically sent to your new community members. It improves the first impression and helps your community members to learn more about the culture, policies, values, ... in your community.
- Publish attractive content in your community
Discussions shouldn't be boring, and they should sound like they are really coming from a human being. Remember, people in all communities like to feel that they are talking to other real people, not bot users.
Discussion shouldn't be oriented. Discussion like "what is the coolest thing about our product" just sound fake. It is forcing your community members just to mention the positive points about your product. It is not giving them the freedom to actually share their feedback, bad or good. Your discussions shouldn't sound like a self-praise. No wonder if you get zero responses from the real member of the community for these types of discussions.
If you have many of these types of discussion that no one is responding to, then other community members won't respond either. It is a chicken and egg situation. Your community members would be like: "If no one has responded, why should I respond then? I am not getting any values out of this conversation anyways."
So, talk in a way that real people talk. It might sound very basic, but this is something that is forgotten often. Here are the rules you need to follow when you are posting something in the community for your members:
- Make sure your discussion are posted by specific persons or profile accounts, not the brand accounts.The more familiar the person who is posting the discussion, the more likely to get responses from the community members. It means that if you are a community manager, it is very important that you, as an individual, participate in your own community. Because people like to respond to actual people and human beings. If you create the sense of individuality for your account, more response you will get when you share something in the community.
- Title should be simple, clear, understandable, and engaging. Very long, serious, and technical titles are less likely to attract people. If you really want an answer, then you should "ask" a question. The subject lines with the question formatting usually get more responses than any other types. There are different types of the question you can ask:
- Open questions: "What do you think about X?" This type of question people are more hesitant to give a response, because they don't know where to start from, how long the answer should be, what kind of format they should follow, ...
- Closed questions: "Do you thing that X is Y?" These types of question get more responses because they are easier to answer.
- Specific question: "How much do yo spend on X?" These questions are looking for specific numerical values or specific word answers, something which is really simple to answer. These types of questions bring back people to the community, because people want to compare their own answers with other's.
- Hypothetical question: "What would you do if X happens?" This is the best type of question that receives lots of participation from community members. It it fun and interesting fo the people to answer and to read other's answers.
- The content of the message should be something that people really care about or like to discuss about.
- Keep the number of replied high. More replies you have on a discussion, more replies you are going to get later on. So, if your team member posts something in the community, make sure that you are replying to the post as soon as possible.
- Frequency of posts should be compatible with the number of members. Number of the posts should be compatible with the number of the users in the community. If you do not have that much members in the community, but you have many posts in the community, then you are doing something very wrong. Every time you have more members, you should post more contents comparing to before as well.
- You have perfect posts, now you need to sustain those discussion
Respond within 24 hours and it makes users feel that the community is alive and they get motivated to participate more. If members do not receive a response within 24 hours, not only the discussion dies, but also the user most probably will not post a discussion ever again.
- Acknowledge unique, useful material, but avoid genetic terms like "thank yo for the question".
- Ask a clarifying question (or two). You can respond to a discussion and dig more into details by asking a few questions from the person who published the discussion. For example, if the community member is requesting a feature to be added to your product, you can response and ask questions like "who do you see this feature to be useful for" or "what other use-cases do you think can benefit from this feature"...
- Add your own thoughts and opinions. It is always good to show your community members that you, as an individual, not a brand name, are willing to help the member by sharing your personal thoughts and opinions. It is good to talk sometime on behalf of yourself, but not your company.
- @Mention other members by name who might have an opinion on that discussion. It makes the other members feel that you recognize and appreciate their existence in the community. Nudge members to participate. Turn the discussion to resources/columns/documented info, and here is a chance to turn the discussion to the best content sources you have.
You can use the bot accounts to do the activities mentioned above more than once.
- Use Tribe gamification methods to improve sense of competition
Tribe gamification tools allows you to recognize, appreciate, and introduce top contributing community members. This is one of the simplest, yet most powerful gamification tools that can incredibly improve the engagement in your community.
Tribe offers gamification tools such as, Reputation app24, Virtual Currency app25, Reward system, and Badging20 system.
- Have your home feed engaging and well maintained
Now that you have the right structure for the discussions and you also know how to sustain the discussions, you need to think of how easily they are accessible for your community members? We want to make sure that no matter when, but whenever a member comes to the community, there are at leas a couple of very good discussion in the very first page that they can participate in. This will bring the high conversion rate into your community.
Use can achieve this goal using Tribe "Pin Post" feature, along with adding the highlighted topics and groups to the side menu. Remember that the community home page is the most valuable asset of your community, Therefore, items on the side menus should be managed in a way that helps users find what they are interested in in the shortest time.
- Ensure your long-term relationship with your members
Using regular events and the activities you do in the community, you can make the habit for the members to check the community everyday. These events can be:
weekly introducing most engaged members and new members, Monthly Product Launches updates, posting links for monthly Webinars, Weekly Problem Solving, Awards, Elections, Weekly/Monthly Meet-ups, Decentralized Gatherings, Annual Gathering like Christmas and New Year, and many more that applies to you community.
By following the steps above, you can improve the retention and growth of your community, which mean you have a "Successful Community".