What are you doing to drive staff engagement internally? 👩💻
One of the things that comes up time and time again in my conversations with community builders is how to get staff members more involved.
I've found that these 3 key things work for me:
- Thinking about what’s in it for them & communicating value
- Personal, 1:1 relationships
- Specific, clear asks
📣 Thinking about what’s in it for them & communicating value
As community builders, we know the value of community and what problems it can solve, but sometimes we’ve got to take a step back and think about the staff member we’re trying to inspire to get more involved in community – what’s their role? What makes them tick? What are their pain points and problems? What are they awesome at?
If I was thinking about asking a colleague in support to participate in community, I might ask about current ticket drivers to see if we can collaborate on an education piece. If it was someone in sales, I might ask what they’re hearing from prospects and what kind of content they might want their leads to see.
🙌 Personal, 1:1 relationships
I used to pop into team meetings, send emails to half the company and post in random slack channels asking for community posts – these aren’t bad practices, but (at least in my experience) they don’t always get the reaction I’d hoped for.
The problem with asking a huge group of people a broad ask (more on that in my last point) is that it’s just to easy to get (halted/slowed) by the bystander effect or imposter syndrome.
With the bystander effect, it’s just so easy for folks to think “there are ten other people in this meeting/email thread – I’ll let them reply” – we feel ok ignoring an ask directed at a large group and are much more likely to reply to a 1:1 ask.
Imposter syndrome can factor in here as well – folks sometimes think they need to have a background in writing to make a community post, or that they need to be a next level expert for people to want to hear what they have to say. When asking a colleague to make a post or reply to something in community, think about what they are already good at – what conversations are they having with your customers today? What problems are they already solving? Take the time to get to know the person and what they are good at.
📌 Specific, clear asks
Ever try and choose something to watch on Netflix with your family? There’s just too much out there and everyone has decision fatigue – you can avoid a lot of stress by providing clear options -- asking your family something specific like if they just want to watch Happy Gilmore again or check out Guardians of the Galaxy 3 can save an hour of scrolling and debate.
If I ask someone to ‘post in community’ they’ll likely agree, but the ask might fall through the cracks with everything else on their plate and ultimately the post may or may not happen.
However, if I think about what they know, what great conversations they are already having, or problems they’re solving, and tie that to a specific program or date, I almost always get buy in.
“Do you have bandwidth to make a community post about that cool integration you mentioned last week for our #TipTuesday series on October 7th?” just works so much better than “Can you post in community”
🎯 Tactics & Asks
Here is a graphic I sometimes refer to when thinking about how to get different departments involved, but it really needs to be used in tandem with the tenets above:
🤔 What are you doing?
There are so many strong community builders in this community, I'm so curious to hear what you all are doing to drive staff engagement in your communities — do you agree or disagree with my advice above? Have you found anything that works well (or fell flat, the best way to learn!) I'd love to hear what you've been doing!
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