This is for members of my community :) And members of other people's communities too because maybe they feel in similar ways.
I've hosted an online community since 2004. For 13 years it was a private forum right here on my site. For the last 14 months, it's been the Love People + Make Money Facebook Group. I've also hosted live events for the last five years.
Whether the community forms virtually/digitally or in person – I see pure magic happen when people show up and engage with each other.
I know… ‘engage' is one of those annoyingly overused words – but I believe it fits.
Engagement is so important to me, I've decided to trim away members who joined and never returned to post or reply to posts. I shared this decision with my community and received just the sort of participation I'm craving ;)
Interestingly, people who are are naturally plugged in and responsive said they're try to ‘do better' – and they don't need to LOL!
A few people who have been silent since joining piped up to say they want to stay – which is cool. I'm inviting them to jump in to enjoy the full benefit of community.
What I found particularly interesting, a few people expressed ‘I love to come, read and learn – but I don't have time to engage.' Honestly, these are the people I'm trying to call out. We obviously share interest in building our businesses, but you're visiting, consuming the conversations and going away without reaction or remark – THAT bums me out.
I Want Your Engagement!
Imagine coming over to my place for a mastermind. If you showed up, sat in silence even though we ask for your input, then left without a word… only to repeat the same pattern every week – well, that'd just be weird!
I don't know anyone who would do that in person – but lots do it online. The internet makes us all lurkers to some extent, right? From my perspective though, it's still weird and it has an impact on me.
I'm watching my stats, checking to see what kinds of content draws the best engagement. As my group grows and the number of non-active users stack up – I wonder if I'm missing the mark somehow.
I understand coming in search in information. A community, whether it's in person or online IS a powerful source of information, but it's greatest value is in the relationships that develop and relationships can only develop through engagement.
That's why I want to celebrate those who are participating.
I'm making up my own ‘Engagement Archetypes' for the sake of this conversation. Maybe you'll dig it.
- Disengaged Ghost: You Joined But You Don't Show Up.
- Curious Observer: You Show Up To Read Only
- Interested Clicker: You Click Like/React To Conversations
- Responsive Contributor: You Actively Reply To Conversations With Words
- Creative Instigator: You Start Conversations
Keep in mind, these Engagement Archetypes are meant to be playful and descriptive – not definitive of any one person. I know not every person is going to be highly engaged all the time. Engagement is going to ebb and flow for any one individual depending on what's going on in their life.
I'm not suggesting everyone try to be the most engaged Archetype either. All of these Archetypes can describe me depending on the community I'm participating in.
For example, I'm an Interested Clicker in several groups I monitor to keep tabs on what's happening in my friend's businesses. I'm a Responsive Contributor in a few groups and a Creative Instigator in my own groups and at least one group that I've paid to get access to.
My personal preference is to leave groups I don't feel drawn back to or want to click and engage with – so I'm only a Curious Observer for a little while and I'm never a Disengaged Ghost. Either I'm a YES to being an engaged member or I'm not a member.
Kelly, Will You Really Remove People?
Yep. If you join and six+ months goes by with no visible engagement, I'm going to see you as a Disengaged Ghost and remove you. In doing so, I'm going to foster the growth of a highly engaged community of people I'm excited to be in relationships with.
Important to note if you are a Curious Observer – I can't tell you apart from a Disengaged Ghost! If you only show up to read and never react or reply – I have no way of knowing you value the community and it's content.
Does it suck that I might remove someone who loves the content? Yes! But I'm OK with that. They can always rejoin if they realize they miss us. It's not like I'm banning people.
Interested Clickers, every Like and reaction is a blessing to those who've started and replied to conversations. It tells them you value their contribution It may only take you a second – but it means a lot!
Responsive Contributors, when you type out a reply – short, medium or meaty long – you're adding to and increasing the value of the conversation.
Creative Instigator, you are a brave soul! I know it take guts to put your thoughts out there for others to read and respond to. Keep it up! You're keeping us informed and making us think!
Being an active part of online communities have been integral to my business success and my growth as a human being. Creating a powerfully positive space for community to grow is one of my greatest joys.
Goodness, if you've read this far – I'm guessing community is precious to you too – so I hope to engage with you soon!
For even greater intimacy and weekly masterminds calls with me, join the Momentum Coaching Mastermind here.