For our third blog post “Managing Your Community”, we are diving into something that hits close to home for all online businesses, whether they are app or website based. We’re going over the fundamentals of growing and retaining your community. By the end of this blog, you should have a better understanding of how to increase user engagement and retention on your platfom.
Websites and apps are constantly being added to the virtual space. Whether you have just launched your product or have been established for a while, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find, grow, engage and retain an active user base.
To put things into perspective, a January 2018 Netcraft Web Server Survey said there were 1,805,260,010 (over 1.8 billion) websites. Furthermore, Statista reported over 2.8 million available apps on the Google Play Store and 2.2 million apps featured in Apple’s App Store.
As a result of these numbers, the competition is fierce when it comes to engaging and retaining an online community. There is so much on offer that the average user will naturally migrate from one platform to another. Once the engagement goes down on a website or app, so does the retention rate, as users won’t find it worth their while to visit frequently. In contrast, some online platforms have become a staple of most users diets. The majority of people with a PC or laptop will have a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter profile. Likewise, a lot of Smartphone owners will have Candy Crush or Pokemon go installed on their device.
It’s not by any luck, that all the major apps and websites have remained at the top of the food chain for so long. Their successes are measured in the countless upgrades, patches, and content they are endlessly pushing out to their users. Above all, it takes dedicated resources and a lot of hard work to keep engagement and retention levels up.
For the purposes of this blog post, we aren’t focusing on the big players, rather, we want to talk about the average indie app or website and small teams of people that are giving their time in the hopes of making a sustainable living. Below we have a great Q&A session providing insight into boosting your user engagement and retention rate.
Prize Rebel is an awesome rewards site, that was established over 10 years ago. They have shown great success in their growth and retention strategies. We thought we would sit down with them and ask a few questions about their success.
What is the most important aspect of keeping your community engaged?
“We believe good customer service is key to positive community well being and engagement. Whether it’s responding to members’ questions and feedback in a timely manner, or keeping them updated on any maintenance or new features; responding to our members, whatever their concerns are, help reinforce that they are part of a community.”
How do you keep users excited?
“We try to keep things fresh and are constantly looking for ways to improve our UI and UX. For example, we re-designed the user’s homepage to showcase each survey provider with direct linking to their dedicated page with notations of survey availability. This helps our members navigate more quickly to the provider of their choice and also prevents the potential pain point of reaching a page only to find there is no inventory. Creating the best and most efficient experience for our members helps develop a positive relationship with them and keeps them happy. This translates to excitement knowing that they can rely on PrizeRebel to achieve or exceed their survey taking goals.
Are promotions a concept you find important to member happiness?
Yes. We do use promotions within our site and on our social media to keep our users’ experience positive. For example, we offer promo codes for extra site currency, create daily challenges for bonuses, run gift card raffles and various gift card giveaways on social media. This encourages our members to be more engaged with us outside the realm of solely survey taking and prevents stagnation in the overall experience. Creating more positive and fun interactions with our site keeps members happier and in turn, helps keep PrizeRebel more in mind.
Have you tried any “outside the box” engagement strategies and how did they perform?
“We haven’t used any extreme “outside the box” engagement strategies. The most outside the box strategy we have used is making a limited collection of PrizeRebel branded items and sending them to our members, which our members loved. In our experience, our community’s engagement tends to be highest when it is within the site and direct social media platforms. Strategies that lead the members to activities outside that realm tended to garner low engagement and disinterest. We’ve learned that there needs to be a consistent correlation between the engagement we’re looking for and our member’s purpose for using PrizeRebel.”
As we can see from Prize Rebels answers, the key to engagement and retention is a mixture of good customer service coupled with keeping things fresh, such as constantly updating your UI and running promotions. It is worthwhile experimenting with outside of the box strategies to keep loyal members even more loyal. For even more insights check out our top 5 tips for retention below.
Building a community is only the beginning of the journey, the hard part is keeping users engaged and maintaining a positive and healthy online brand presence. Check out our 5 tips below to help with your retention rate and keep users coming back regularly to engage with your platform.
Awesome User Support
From time to time, every company gets complaints, even the good ones – it’s an inevitability. Whether it be a bug they have noticed or a payment issue, your users need to be able to contact you, not only for their sakes but for your business’s. Be sure to set yourself a realistic timeframe (24-48 hours) to reply to a user and a personal goal of replying to every single query. Deal with complaints head-on, users will appreciate that you have acknowledged the issue they have experienced. Software such as Drift can be a great benefit for getting real-time feedback from users regarding their issues, HelpScout is another great hands-on user support system. Deploying an awesome user support system will show your members you care about their issues. This will help to drive your user retention and engagement in the right direction.
Let’s outline some exciting and fun ways you can engage your community. Firstly it is important to create an atmosphere or voice for your platform, to let people know your company is friendly and approachable. Here are just some of many different ways to boost user engagement on your platform:
- Weekly/monthly giveaways or promotions.
- Frequent social media posts with relatable content or posts about upcoming international holidays and events.
- Hosting user polls with fun questions.
- Host a live “Question & Answer” session on your business’s social media accounts.
- Email blasts with the latest features on your product.
Establish Some Community Guidelines or Rules
Having guidelines or rules on your platform gives your users something to reference to better understand the tone of your website. It’s important to set the tone for your community. If you want your platform to be family friendly then it needs to be made clear, any adult content will not be tolerated. A useful thing to consider is to appoint some of your regular users as Moderators, that way you will have more eyes and ears combing over content that users upload, making sure nothing inappropriate is being shared. The last thing you want is an unruly member of your community spreading unsuitable content that could put off some of your legitimate members and potentially contribute to negative reviews being posted about your app or website online.
Evolve Your Look And Keep Updating
Creating interactive content is a great way to keep users coming back, but mixing things up is also good. Never settle for how your app or site looks. Always try and find new ways to improve not only how everything looks, but also how it performs. Take on board any feedback your users give you regarding performance or navigation. Just make sure you aren’t rebranding every week, keep the name and make it better with each update! Another good habit is to regularly check out what your competitors are doing and see if you can do it better. The last thing you want is user’s engagement drifting from your platform to another because of better features provided by competitors.
Acknowledge Your Users
No matter how many hours of updates or content you share, one thing will always create a more lasting effect on your users – acknowledging them. Go above and beyond the competition and make a big fuss over your users, they are your business’s lifeblood after all. Whether it be earner of the week, or selecting someone as a winner of a competition you are running, make sure you are highlighting the user. Most people find this extremely flattering and will more than likely repost what they have been featured in, which is free advertising for you. Above all else, it shows that your company is thinking of its users, which creates a positive online community and a higher rate of engagement.
Before we end the blog, we want to draw some attention to how SaySo Rewards will help you with your engagement strategies and also your user retention.
We are always looking for ways to improve our marketing materials and will send updates to our partners to allow them to easily put out social media posts, email blasts, banners and more. You will never be short on content to share when you are promoting SaySo Rewards surveys.
User complaints can become overwhelming and the back and forth between user, publisher and advertiser can be a slow process. Our helpdesk team is on hand to aid your members with their queries related to our product and you can simply refer them to us for support, taking some of the weight off of your shoulders.
If you are having issues with fraud on your site or app, we will work with you to help you weed out the fraudsters and retain the quality members.
So that’s it for this blog post. We hope you found these user engagement and retention tips helpful. Be sure to check in each month as we are constantly adding new content to our website. If you found this blog useful and would like to find out more, either use the contact form if you are an existing partner or the “Register Now” button if you want to create a free account and start working with SaySo Rewards today. Thanks!
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