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Using Milestones to Drive Engagement in your Community

By September 25, 2014

by Alicia Schmidt, Director of Customer Communities

This week, I was thrilled to be able to welcome our 10,000th member to the Power of Us HUB, the online community for nonprofit and higher ed Salesforce users. While welcoming our 10,000th member might not help one of our users in need get a quick answer to a problem, marking a community milestone can help your organization drive deeper engagement among your current members and raise the visibility of your community with potential new members.

HUB BirthdayWhen you approach a milestone in your community (number of members, launch anniversary, number of posts, etc.), consider celebrating the milestone with tactics that will:

  1. recognize top contributors
  2. nurture a shared sense of belonging
  3. highlight what the community has achieved together

For the HUB’s 1 year anniversary, for instance, the Foundation honored 30 of our most active community members in a campaign we called “30 Days of Community Heroes.” Each day for a month, we posted short profiles on our blog of our top members including an overview of their contributions and a call to connect with that member in our community. Then we used our social channels to promote the blog. And we also posted the blog inside the HUB community where other users chimed in to say thank you to these super contributors. The campaign kept the focus on the community and the people that make it great, while also allowing us to promote the HUB as a resource. You can check out some of the posts on Twitter or inside the HUB.

Other ideas to consider . . . infographics that show visually what your community has accomplished, highlighting top users and groups; giveaways (people love free stuff, especially if it is related to a mission or cause they feel passionately about); and community events that bring folks together in person.

Reaching a community milestone is also a great time to complete a touch point analysis of your community. A touch point analysis ensures that your messaging is consistent and on-target for each point of contact. And it can help you identify critical touch points for future success.

Generally, as you review your touch points (like your login page, welcome emails, your home page, Chatter digest emails, etc.) be sure that your key branding in terms of theme, tone, and style is consistent throughout all your communications. Also be sure there a clear call-to-action at each point of contact.

Milestones are a great launching point for recognizing community success and driving engagement and you should integrate the celebration of community milestones into your engagement strategy from the start. The better you plan, the more engagement you can drive off these markers of your success.

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