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Best Practices for Member Engagement

When creating a dealership sponsored Ning Network as part of an Automotive Social Media Marketing Strategy, member engagement is more than just social networking buzzwords. It’s the difference between a successful Dealership Community or Network and a stale Web site. Once a dealership has maximized member engagement, it creates a feedback loop:

  • Members post content
  • Contribute to discussions
  • Invite their friends

Their friends, in turn, do the same thing. It leads to more members on your Dealership sponsored Automotive Network (and less work for you).

Whether you’re just getting started or your Dealership Network is already up and running, everyone can use a healthy dose of new ideas. The people at Ning have put together the following Member Engagement Strategies with examples of how other Ning Networks get people excited and involved.

What’s My Hook?

What’s the single most important thing you can do when launching your Ning Network? It isn’t adding snazzy CSS, tricking out your home page or inviting your entire address book. Before you ever do any of that, you need to define the hook for your Ning Network: Why will people join, contribute content and interact with other members? Read more.

Keep It Simple

Your Ning Network offers dozens of features, hundreds of third-party applications and limitless ways to customize it. Your first impulse might be, “I should add all of these!” If you can… resist that urge. Make the experience easy for your members by keeping it simple. Read more.

Make Your Main Page Work

How much time do you have to persuade a visitor to join your Ning Network before they hit the back button or move on to another Web page? Five seconds? When one of your members returns to your Ning Network, are they going to see the same static content? Or will they immediately see new blogs, discussions, photos, videos and profile comments that pull them in? Read more.

Create a Launch Plan

Building a vibrant social network doesn’t need to be an all-consuming quest, but it does require persistent attention and nurturing over time. Creating a launch plan can help break the effort into a series of small steps while keeping you on track to building a thriving community. Read more.

Acquire Your First Members

You’ve picked out your features, added snazzy CSS, created an awesome welcome message… and then you realize you have no members. As much as we wish it were true, “if you build it they will come” doesn’t always apply to getting your Ning Network off the ground. Read on to learn a few simple steps to recruit your initial set of members. Read more.

Make New Members Feel Welcome

Have you ever walked into a party and not known anyone, or started a new job and didn’t know what to do on your first day? What was your first instinct? To leave quickly and quietly? Some of your new members may feel the same way. Luckily, it only takes a few steps to turn new members from wallflowers into the life of the party.Read more.

 

Kick Start Activity 

Is it so quiet on your network that you can hear the crickets chirping? You launched your new network, attracted dozens or even hundreds of members — yet no one is participating? Why? Even older networks can encounter this problem after the initial excitement of participating in a new community fades. Don’t panic! A few simple steps can re-ignite activity on your network.Read more.

Accelerate Member Growth

Congratulations! You’ve built a vibrant online community around a core group of like-minded people, avid fans or passionate customers. You’re getting great feedback from members, so you know you’re on to something. But what’s the best way to attract more members? How can you make your idea really big? Read more.

Make Your Members Stars

Here’s a secret that most successful Network Creators have learned: The easiest way to get a member to contribute content is make them a star of your Ning Network! It’s simple – just feature member videos, photos and blog posts on the Main Page, showing your members that you care about their opinions and efforts. Read more.

Recruit Admins to Help Moderate

As your Ning Network grows, the demands of moderating it can become too much for one person alone. You have two main choices: You can appoint Administrators, which have almost all of the rights that you as a Network Creator have, or choose to assign specific Roles of moderation to your members. Read more.

How Should You Earn Money?

Sell and service more cars! At some point, most Ning Creators will ask themselves a big question: Can I make money? Every network is unique, so there isn’t a simple answer. However, based on your answers to a few questions, we can help point you in the right direction. Read more.

Tags: Best, Communities, Dealer, Engagement, Member, Networks:, Practices, and, for

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