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Engagement Play #09: The Power of Pets

As many folks are animal lovers, encouraging your community to talk about their pets also offers a uniquely personal way to connect with your members, or for members to connect.

What’s more satisfying than fawning over adorable animals doing cute stuff on the internet? Sharing pics and clips of your own adorable animals — and having other folks fawn over how darn cute they are.

“For many, pet prompts can be an extremely easy way to get people talking and sharing,” Alex Angel, Chief Community Officer at Commsor and The Community Club, says.

“In some Slack communities I’m in, there are dedicated pet channels which often end up being one of the most active parts of the community.”

In The Community Club, Alex and the team kick off ad hoc pet thread days where they share their own pet pictures and encourage others to do the same. Maximum engagement, minimum effort.

“Most of the time these end up bringing people out of the woodwork who don’t engage regularly, and they add a bit of happiness to people’s workdays,” Alex says. “One of us will just share a picture of our pets and encourage everyone else to do the same. Simple, yet effective!”

In Club, these pet prompts are usually a roaring success, Alex says. “We have custom Slack emojis dedicated to a few of the pets in our community, which usually indicates success to me! Everyone loves an inside joke or shared experience.”

As many folks are animal lovers, it also offers a uniquely personal way to connect with your members, or for members to connect. “It’s typical for my two cats to appear on screen for many of my calls with community members, either snoozing in the background or walking in front of the camera if it’s close to dinnertime,” Alex says.

“This often leads to conversations on the members’ pets (or their dreams of having one someday) and becomes an easy way to form a lasting connection. The added benefit is it provides an opportunity to touch base with the member one-on-one or to tag them into any future pet threads you spin up.”

To use pet prompts in your community, Alex has the following advice: “As in most community-building activities, give before you ask for something in return.

“To kick off an initiative like this, share your pet or one that you’re close with (maybe your family or friends have a pet that you see on a fairly regular basis). It’s much easier to get people to contribute their pet pictures if they have some inspiration from the get-go.”

On the hunt for more handy engagement plays?

You’re in luck — our Community Engagement Playbook features more than 50 of them! Head over here to download it for free.

The Community Engagement Playbook Cover

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Kirsti Lang
Mar 30, 2022

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