Most brands start with this question: How do we get people to join our online community?
Savvy community managers who’ve been in the business for more than 15 minutes, on the other hand, ask better questions... like this:
How do we engage the people we already have?
In today’s post, we’ll talk about a simple way to do just that: the digest.
Like the name suggests, a digest is a short summary compilation of the day/week/month’s best content. Its value rests in its promise to deliver a lot of value in not a lot of time.
As a community manager, you've chewed up and swallowed all the content to hit your community. Rather than force your members to do that themselves, the digest processes everything and shares only the choicest bits.
Here are a few simple types of digest content you can develop:
- A weekly newsletter
- A bi-weekly blog post
- A monthly Facebook Live roundup
In addition to the intrinsic goodness of providing a low-effort, high-value content piece to your community, here are a few more digestive benefits to consider:
3 Benefits of a Periodic Digest Piece
1. Drive Engagement with Regular Contact
By definition, digest pieces are some of the highest value content you can find — or, at least they should be. A digest takes the swirling mass of material found in your corner of the internet, filters out the garbage and provides a useful summary.
By offering your community members a digest, you’ll give them a way to drown out the noise and engage with the content that matters most to them.
Especially in larger communities, this cuts through any sense of analysis paralysis your members may have. It gives them an incredibly simple way to jump into the mainstream and engage with your content.
2. Promote Top Community Content
On the flip side of engagement, a digest piece allows you to attract attention to some of your most important pieces. This helps capture any stragglers who may have missed your initial post. It also helps shape the overall focus of your community content.
On top of all that, the digest is a permission-based approach to reaching your community members on additional channels. You may have disappeared in the noise of your member's Twitter feed, but you're far less likely to do so in their email inbox.
Consider the digest piece as a friendly, unobtrusive way to tap your community members on the shoulder and say, “Hey, did you happen to catch this important piece we shared?”
3. Identify, Recruit and Showcase Power Users
In addition to promoting your own content, a digest allows you to isolate and shine a spotlight on user-generated content.
This gives you a valuable incentive to motivate users to generate content.
It also gives you an organic way of picking out and amplifying your most productive users. On one side, it will incentivize them to continue contributing to the community. On the other, it’ll prime them to step into a more formal advocacy role.
So what are you waiting for?
Setting up a digest email or blog post is one of the quickest, easiest things you can do to attract more attention to your community. Don’t let your content lay fallow; pick it up, weave it into something useful and engage your community members while you do.