Creating brand or community advocates is only half the battle. Keeping them in that place requires time and effort too — but doing so can yield some phenomenal engagement results, as Christina Garnett, HubSpot Senior Marketing Manager, Offline Community & Advocacy, can attest to.
In 2021, she created the INBOUND Correspondents program — an immersive experience to showcase top advocates, Community Champions, and influencers in the HubSpot ecosystem, during their three-day INBOUND event (virtual for 2021).
Correspondents were given tickets to INBOUND, had social cards made for them, and encouraged to share their thoughts and takeaways on social media. Some of them were even invited onto the After-Hours Show with George B. Thomas, a daily wrap-up show, to answer questions and share their thoughts as subject matter experts.
“It was a way for our HubFans Community to truly be a voice for INBOUND, sharing their insights, learnings, and driving conversations around the event,” Christina says. “These programs offered a way for advocates to be more than our fans. They were subject matter experts who are deeply knowledgeable about what they do and now had a platform to share that knowledge with others.”
The results spoke for themselves: over three days, the initiative saw over 1,200 pieces of content created and shared by the correspondents, driving conversations both within the community and across social platforms.
“More importantly, it gave our HubFans a place to shine as the thought leaders and subject matter experts they are,” Christina says. “They got the spotlight.”
Even if a project of this scale is not on the cards for your community, it’s the rationale behind it that’s the real engagement play, Christina says. “Look for opportunities for your community to shine. How can you make them the hero of the story? Then, they will step up to the plate, take ownership, and share exactly what makes your community so unique.
“The health of a community is driven by its members. So let their voices be heard. As I like to say, be a fan of the fans and a champion for your community.”
You’re in luck — our Community Engagement Playbook features more than 50 of them! Head over here to download it for free.