Someone, please tell Sasha what engagement in a community is!!!
Community engagement is a debatable topic of discussion. Community and Cold Coffee has always been a space that allows panelists and hosts to share and brainstorm candidly. While we were thinking about how this would turn, we were surprised by the panelists’ perspectives. There were bags of knowledgeable insights, but we missed our cold coffee😬. But that’s okay because the insights were more potent than the caffeine we needed after a hectic week.
And this means this week’s C3 was a great success, and most importantly, they all knew what community engagement was, unlike Sasha.
People who forgot their Cold Coffee 😛
Srithi Abhinitha - Program Manager, Kraftshala
Sai Bharath Jagannath - Customer Success Manager, Joveo
Aditya Oberai - Devrel Engineer, Appwrite
Harsh Jain - Community Intern, Progate
Megha Anotra - Risk Analyst, American Express
PS: One of our hosts forgot to get her cold coffee from her refrigerator
And, this week’s quest was to find out what is COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT and what could be its associated METRICS that resonate with the definition.
What is community engagement?
According to our panelists and hosts. Here are some exciting perspectives on “What Community Management” is. (Remember, brainstorming, candid discussion?)
Srithi- “An ideal Community engagement is very synonymous with creating an amicable space that acts as a trigger to elicit participation. And, of course, peer-to-peer interactions.”
Aditya- “One voice interacting with all cannot be a state. It should emulate multi-way communication, and it should also create a safe environment for members to communicate. And, this secure environment is what incites engagement.”
Deepak- “Community engagement = Participation in any form. It can be a simple nod for a conversation that expresses engagement and support, which is undervalued at times, but it still plays an important role.”
Varu- “Not all will have opinions, but participation is what creates the sense of engagement. And it can be of any form. Be it a smile, a nod in the real world and a virtual world in the form of like, reaction, comment, etc., In a virtual world, this acknowledgment needs a number attached to it for it to be valued.”
Harsh- “Engagement need not be content-based. If that’s the case, then people would start engaging just for the sake of it. Effective community engagement is an environment that converts passive engagers to active engagers by simply striking simple icebreaker conversations.”
Megha- “ Simple definition of a community engagement is communication between the people in the community. There is a creator in everyone and a platform that can make a contributor a creator; then it is what an engagement is all about.”
Bharath- “ A forum that allows users to participate without a filter but creates value for members. Engagement equals impact created for members.”
Having defined what Community engagement could be, it is also essential to differentiate between Meaningful and empty engagement.
If content shared helps solve an issue or makes someone come back for it, it is impactful. This impact is what makes an engagement meaningful.
When likes or random or irrelevant comments measure community engagement, a baby pic can get 100s of likes and comments saying ‘aww’ when posted. Still, if it’s not relevant to the community, it has no value. Engagement with no value is empty engagement.
Consumers interact with the content shared. So, community engagement becomes meaningful when both the content creator and the consumer strike that balance.
More content = More engagement. Conversations and content are not valued when there is no listener, consumer, or contributor but only a creator. This results in loss of creation: consumption ratio, which means it decreases engagement in reality
Meaningful engagement relates to the community’s core values and purpose
Empty engagement happens for the engagement sake, and it does not bring that connection with the community
The content creator listens to the contributor and understands what a user could get connected to in the community.
Empty engagement can be a distraction. It is not related to community enrichment but advocates attention
Numbers do matter. But what matters the most is the number of issues resolved, conversations closed, the impact created
When the number matters and the solution is not in the picture
This whole idea had a different perspective, put up by Megha and backed up by Aditya saying,
“In today’s world, social image is our image and so, likes and comments do play quite a role in gaining confidence, it might be shallow. Still, it does have a part, cause at the end of the day; these are tangible.”
With all this in hand together, we could conclude by saying engagement defines approval from the consumer (can be in the form of likes, comments, emojis, etc.)
Well when we talk about community engagement, how can one leave metrics out of the picture.
Community Engagement Metrics
Harsh Jain - Percentage of active members, Member growth (Due to meaningful participation), No of consumers transitioned to contributors to creators
Sai Bharath Jagannath - Member growth, Feedback shared, Feedback acknowledged and feedback resolved.
Aditya Oberai - How actively feedback loops are functioning (Resolved conversations, queries: resolved conversation ratio), Pattern of engagement sustenance (Dip and jump frequency)
Srithi Abhinitha - No of conversation loops closed, No of conversations that helped close the loop
We understood the correlation of community engagement is not just with several conversations alone; it is the result of good conversation and what the conversation entails.
1. Result of participation
2. Valuable insights
We are confident that Sasha is now clear about what Community engagement is.
Community engagement- Engagement cannot have a constant definition. So far, we may have come across the community engagement definition pointing to sharing perspectives that are reciprocated, accepted, or debated about by others in the community.
But, here in the conversation, we were able to arrive at a definition. Community engagement equals a sense of freedom a person feels to express and emote even when their emotions contradict the existing ideas yet feel safe. Now, that’s where a community has a successful engagement.
Metrics - Starting with non-tangible elements to getting to the most relevant tangible metrics, Community and Cold Coffee Ep 5’s panelists have helped us figure things out by sharing their insights around engagement. And, in a nutshell, community engagement can be measured by the result of participation and the valuable insights that one can take from conversations.
Did you love our conversation? Show some love❤: You can share this or comment here. If you simply choose to nod to what we have conversed, feel free to do, we love that too.
And, if you want to check out our previous Community & Cold Coffee conversations, here is the link.
C³, aka Community & Cold Coffee, is an initiative to candidly bring community professionals or enthusiasts together to discuss the Community ecosystem, methods, techniques, etc. No agenda is our agenda. Community & Cold Coffee happens on all Saturdays at 2.30 PM, which means you can hop in at 2.30 PM on Saturday and chat your heart out about communities.
NOTE: Don’t forget to bring your Cold coffee :p
To be a part and have a look or contribute ideas, join our Community and Cold Coffee by booking the slot with us.