What do you do when your dealership’s online social media community has many members and very little participation? You activate them!
It is just as easy to do, as it is to say. The first thing you need to understand is why you may have non-participants hanging out in your social community.
Why are they silent?
It is possible that they had a question, got the answer through searching the community and then disappeared. Others get all the information they need by reading and have no need to participate in a discussion.
They might be socially anxious and content to read other people's discussions rather than participate. Their fear of appearing unintelligent may keep them from offering excellent advice or asking relevant questions.
They may be getting to know the community, so they are observing interactions, discussions and how you manage the community. Some might even look for others that they can relate to before they jump into a group.
The Community Manager's Job
As Community Manager, when you see conversations lagging or the group going stagnant, it is your responsibility to get it moving again. You can plan a week devoted to bringing your "lurkers" out from the shadows.
Here is a simple plan to get people engaged:
Build Excitement before You Start - When you decide to engage your car dealership’s community "lurkers", then throw a "Lurker Party". Start the campaign by building excitement within the community. You want members to become emotionally involved from the start. You could even ask the community the definition of "lurker" and whether it is negative or positive. Expect a lot of interaction with this type of post. You may learn a lot about your silent members as they define why they lurk.
Use Pinned Posts - Use the pinned post option on Facebook to remind the community of an upcoming "Lurker Party".
Do a Giveaway - Give something of value away to those who are posting for the first time.
Post Everyday - Once the "Lurker Party" starts make daily posts to start discussions.
Here are some daily post ideas:
Idea #1: Posting Tips on how to post and what topics will get the most results. You may include a link to your Community Guidelines or a list of terms that may be unfamiliar with them like FWIW (For What It's Worth.) This will help eliminate the fear of appearing unintelligent once they are clued in on the "secret" language of your group. You can also ask frequent posters to offer their own tips on posting within the group.
Idea #2: Post a reference list of some of the best posts and their discussions. This lets the quiet members connect emotionally to the group's history. This is particularly true if your community has active members that reference some of the older posts during current discussions. They now know another "secret" of the group.
Idea #3: An Influential Members list will help quiet members connect with mentors. It could be a list of your members who work hard to help others. By recognizing them, you help to build their emotional commitment to the community.
Idea #4: Social Value can be reached when you ask active members to explain the benefits of community participation.
Idea #5: Offer your assistance by reminding members that you are there to help them. This post may not get a lot of interaction, but it is crucial to remind members that there is a Community Manager who is there to help them.
Once your "Lurker Party" has concluded, post a note in the group to acknowledge the new posters and their contribution to the project. Remember to thank your active members for their help in driving the project forward.
While you will still have silent members within your community, this type of exercise goes a long way towards engaging a number of lurkers.
If you need help activating your car dealership’s silent members or if you would like to talk about your automotive marketing needs don’t hesitate to reach out to our automotive marketing community specialists here at Turbo Marketing Solutions by calling 1-800-262-0081.
Lucie Gauvreau is the CEO of Turbo Marketing Solutions. You can contact her by email here or reach her by phone every weekday at Turbo Marketing’s head office.