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Engagement Play #48: Red Light, Green Light

It's time to get more strategic about engaging your members.

Want to get more strategic about engagement? Meet the stoplight method. It’s one of Director of Community Education at Commsor Noele Flowers’s favorite low-tech engagement hacks, she says. “It’s a simple approach, but it can yield some pretty amazing engagement results.”

To use it, set up a simple spreadsheet at the outset of each month, and track three groups of 10 members, categorized by three different engagement types. Color coding them can help (Noele suggests red, yellow, and green — hence the stoplight). Choose:

🟢 10 members you’ve seen interacting regularly, autonomously, positively throughout the month

🟡 10 members who join in only when called upon

🔴 10 members you’ve never seen interact

“Throughout the month, focus closely on this cohort, taking a different approach with each persona,” Noele says. “This is a great way to build a ‘slow growth’ feel in a community you have to grow quickly, or beta test persona-focused engagement strategies before rolling them out widely.”

She suggests the following goals for each group:

🟢  Goal = Elevate. Try sending them swag or featuring them in high-value content.

🟡  Goal = Habituate. Try tagging them in questions you know they can answer, or asking them to take over a ritual.

🔴  Goal = Activate. Try contacting them outside the community and offering a one-to-one coffee chat

“At the end of the month, go through your spreadsheet and re-evaluate where members now fall on the stoplight,” Noele says. “With any luck, some of them will have moved up! The next month, choose a fresh batch and test out new strategies (or continue ones that worked).”

Obviously, this approach isn’t a super scalable one — but that’s OK, Noele says. “It’s not supposed to scale. As a Community Manager, it’s your job to work with small batches of humans to build relationships. This is just a way to scaffold that practice and insert a teeny bit of strategy into it.”

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.

Community Engagement Playbook cover with illustrations of a book, a guitar, a teddy bear, a house, a tea pot, headphones and a calendar, among other things.

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Kirsti Lang
Apr 25, 2022

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