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What is member engagement?
Member engagement is a measure of how much visitors of a website or members in an online community actively interact and contribute—both with the content, and with each other. In order to quantify these interactions, member engagement counts actions like posting articles, asking questions, voting in a poll, and RSVPing to virtual events.
Why is member engagement important?
Keeping an eye on member engagement is important because it’s one of the best ways to assess the value and reach of an online community. It’s also an effective method for figuring out what’s working in the community, and what’s not. That’s especially true when you pair member engagement with member feedback.
For example, if you post a resource for your members but it gets low member engagement, you can then reach out to your members to ask how the resource could be more helpful. Then, in the future, you can use that feedback to tool a new set of resources, and gauge whether it’s more helpful for your members (and therefore gets a higher rate of member engagement).
Best practices for member engagement
There are three best practices to drive member engagement and get your people to contribute to your community:
- Model it. As a community leader or creator, you (and your personal brand) set the tone for your online community. Members look to you for cues on how to behave, so be sure to frequently contribute to the platform and engage with other members often.
- Prompt it. Look for ways to invite others to share their experiences, stories, and ideas. Polls and questions tend to drive a lot of engagement, for example, because they’re essentially an invitation for members to jump in and participate.
- Mix it up. That being said, there are many different ways for members to contribute within your community. Depending on the platform you’re using, you may be able to utilize features like daily prompts, a central activity feed, live virtual events, and more to connect with other members (and to get them connected to each other).
How to measure member engagement
Member engagement is measured by membership engagement software, which is usually part of the “back end” of a community membership site.
Most community platforms have some sort of analytics feature built in. With this feature, you’ll be able to measure member engagement overall, see who your most engaged members are, check out the number of posts they’ve contributed to, and much more.