Tips For Membership Retention and Engagement

If you’re already in charge of running or managing a community, then you know that improving community engagement is crucial for success. Nobody wants to be part of a community that seems — for lack of a better term — “dead.” 

But how do you boost community engagement and make sure you retain members who are happy to be there? Well, improving community member engagement often requires more than just consistently posting on social media.

It also takes patience and a willingness to learn and try new things. That’s why we’ve put together a short list with some tips on improving community engagement and getting the conversations rolling

Understanding Your Members

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s vital to understand who your members are and to predict what kind of actions they might best respond to. And to do this, you need to dig through the analytics. 

Analytics can give you so much insight into what kind of content your members respond to and what stage of their journey they’re in when it comes to the community. 

For example, people who’ve been with a community longer might be more interested in hearing from fellow members and less interested in posts targeting newbies or beginners. On the other hand, the opposite might be true for new members. 

Additionally, it’s important to understand that while your members all share something in common, they all interact differently and might have different goals. That’s why it’s essential to immerse yourself in the numbers and work out a strategy based on any patterns you find.

With that said, let’s get into some tips to improve community engagement.

Increasing Member Engagement

Create an awesome onboarding experience

Making sure your new members feel welcome and encouraged to take part in discussions and threads is vital. Most communities do this by sending them an automated message with everything they need to get started. 

An automated message or email is great, but there are a couple of extra things you can do to capitalize on the excitement new members usually have. 

Firstly, consider throwing out the automated message or email and sending a direct message instead. You could also have a community manager send the message.

It doesn’t have to be unique, and you can write up a template to send out to each new member, but it does help show that you value new members more than an automated message or email would. 

It’s also important to have a dedicated channel or group for introductions. You can point to this group and encourage new members to introduce themselves whenever you send them their onboarding message. 

However, be sure to either respond to the introductions yourself or have a community manager respond by welcoming new additions. 

Lastly, you could consider setting up special events or threads where you have members introduce themselves and tell the community a little bit about themselves. These could be weekly or monthly, and you could think of them as ice breakers.  

Encourage dialogue 

If you’re interested in improving community engagement and retention, then you’ve likely already tried to encourage dialogue among your community members. However, there are certainly a couple of different ways of doing this that we thought would be worth going over. 

When you interact with your community and ask them to participate, you must craft your questions and posts to be open-ended. For example, try to ask questions that might elicit a range of different responses and stay away from anything that could be answered with a simple yes or no. 

By doing this, you’re encouraging your community members to think, and you’re also guaranteed to formulate more thought-out posts. 

Another great tactic to get members talking is to encourage them to share content. We’re not talking about documentary-length videos here (although that would be fun!). Instead, try encouraging members to share screenshots or photos regularly. 

These screenshots and photos could involve things like weekly goals, or they could be something much more casual, such as what people are up to over the weekend (as long as they’re community appropriate, of course).

Other fun activities can include debates, contests, and group Zoom meetings to discuss advice or projects. All it takes is a bit of thinking outside the box. 

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    However, with that said, you’re never going to be able to get all of your community members to talk to one another. Some people are just content with sitting back and soaking up all of the information presented to them. And that’s okay. But, you should be able to get a couple of more conversations going with some of these ideas.  

    Be responsive and communicative

    At the end of the day, a community can’t thrive if the host never seems to be around. This is especially true for creators. You can’t expect to simply post a comment or question and then not respond or give advice to members who took the time to comment. 

    Not only might this dissuade them from participating in future posts and conversations, but it might also dissuade others. 

    Instead, try following up with commenters and having your community managers do the same. Also, try to make your follow-ups meaningful. For example, instead of offering a simple “Congratulations!” to someone who managed to hit a goal, you could say, “Congratulations! When did you start?”

    It’s a simple comment, but it opens the door to so many other things and shows your community that you really do care if they succeed or fail. 

    Share stories and feature members 

    Humans respond and learn exceptionally well from stories. So, why not incorporate some stories from community members into your posts?

    Not only does this allow you to interact and feature your outstanding members, but it also gets others talking. For example, you could ask a member for a story about how they got started or how long it took them to reach a goal. Odds are, there are a couple of other members who had a similar experience and will chime in to say so. 

    Depending on what kind of community you’re a part of, it might also be a good idea to feature interviews with community members. These can be as simple as a one-on-one interview done through Zoom or even a live event where the member acts as a co-host. 

    It doesn’t matter so much how you incorporate your members; what matters is that you give them a space to share their own experiences. Doing so makes them feel heard and gives other community members a chance to relate and ask questions. 

    Go live

    One of the best tools you have at your disposal as a host is the ability to have live events. These are an awesome way to interact directly and in real-time with your members. 

    A live event can be something as simple as a Q&A or something more complex, like a networking event. Either way, do try to host live events regularly or as often as you reasonably can. 

    At the end of the day, most of your community members are there because they feel like they can learn from you or they really enjoy your brand. Hosting live events is a great way to give back to the community by answering questions, discussing specific issues members have, or acting as a host during networking events. 

    Ask and listen to feedback

    Many online communities don’t do this one enough, and that’s asking members for feedback about what they think is working and what’s not. 

    It doesn’t matter if you run the most successful business, organization, or online community in the world; there are always going to be ways you can improve and build upon whatever it is that you do. 

    So, consider throwing out a simple poll to get responses from members or if you already have an inkling about an issue, ask members for specific feedback on a topic. You’ll get direct suggestions from members, and they’ll feel like they’re being heard. 

    Keep it light

    It (slightly) depends on what kind of community you’re a part of, but in general, you want to keep things fun and light. Nobody joins a community because they think it’ll be another boring networking group they never (willingly) tune into. 

    People join communities because they’re passionate about something and want to share that passion and learn from others. 

    This also applies to hosts. If you’re having fun with your community, then people will take notice, and the joy will spread. Try to figure out what your audience enjoys and then build activities around those things, such as contests or live events. 


    Improving community engagement and retention can be tough, but if you’re willing to put in the effort and really devote yourself to coming up with ideas and hosting events, it’s totally doable. All it takes is time and consistency. 

    Of course, the right tools don’t hurt either. That’s why Nas has created a platform with creators and brands in mind. A platform with a suite of analytics, custom-made resources, access to other creators, and, if you choose, a community manager to help you run your day-to-day. 

    With Nas, you get insight from industry professionals and tools that were made with engagement in mind. So, why not get started with Nas today? 

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