Eight ways to engage young people online

Eight ways to engage young people online
SHARE
THIS



Why do people participate online? How can a community definition inform our behaviour as community managers?  Community is a mis-used term, but understanding what a community truly is can help our every day actions as community managers.

Whether engaging young or old, the first rule of community management is understanding why people engage online at all.

Communities are made up of a “specific group of people who form relationships over time around a strong common interest”. They participate online for several reasons including reputation, efficacy, altruism, anticipated reciprocity, a sense of belonging, and emotional connections.

Of those participating in online communities, a vast number are young people and with over 45% of Facebook’s population aged between 13 and 24, engaging with this demographic is more important than ever.

Here are 8 tips on engaging young people online:

1. Look beyond the short-term to long-term engagement

Just as with display advertising, you may only have a few seconds of someone’s attention. That said, you don’t want to exploit that opportunity for short-term likes or engagement. Building connections and loyalty via social media is a long-term process, so use that time to start slowly building a relationship with your audience.

You can start doing this by thinking about ways to better involve your members. Is there a project you can involve your members in? Is there a change they have wanted that you can give them? Is there something you can give them that makes them feel more strongly connected to your community? Things that genuinely build loyalty in members lead to more long-term involvement.

2. Listen

Give members the opportunity to share their thoughts, ask you questions and interrogate your policies. Encourage them to talk to you – you’ll gain valuable insights into what they want from you, as well as how they want to communicate with you. Always be careful about asking for feedback you can’t act on though!  

3. Use their native language

Talk in a language that your followers can understand. Industry jargon, abbreviations and buzzwords mean nothing to them, and will most often turn them off. Saying that, it doesn’t mean you have to end every status update with “LOL ”. Young people expect businesses online to maintain a certain level of professionalism and respect. So, be friendly, courteous and interested in what they have to say, and just remember that it’s important to balance being personable with being too casual.

4. Be relevant

Whatever you’re talking about, try to frame it to match particular self-interests of young people. It’s important to frame things within the context of what a young adult might ask themselves when they see your content: “How will this benefit me right now?” Post content that’s relevant to them right now, that interests them right now, and that’s worthwhile spending their time with right now.

5. Show humour

It can be tough to make a dry topic interesting. Don’t be afraid of using humour – when appropriate. Humour is a great tool for Community Managers. The Australian Bureau of Statistics did a fantastic job with their 2011 twitter account, and received international attention for this joke.

6. Be relatable have a face!

Although you’re expected to behave like a business, it can be difficult to relate to a business. Put a human face to your communication and ensure that face is someone who is helpful, understanding, and is relatable to your audience.

Do things that will take your membership on a ride with you. Don’t be afraid to rebel against the status quo to stand out from the crowd — young people are often doing this themselves among their own peer groups.

Ask them to share their own experiences as they relate to your topic or industry. Whenever you can, respect their position in the argument (even if you disagree), empathise with them, and work with them to bring about the change they want to see. A business can’t be a friend but it can still act like one.

7. Show respect

Always maintain a healthy respect for your members, not just while you’re building your community but also once it’s built. You don’t own them, they don’t owe you anything and, given a good enough reason, they can turn against you. At the same time, those who feel like they “own” your business — who have shared their thoughts with you and have seen you, and in turn themselves, benefit from their contributions — won’t need a reason to defend you.

8. Allow pseudonymity

If you’re engaging with your members outside of Facebook, consider allowing users to choose their usernames, and not have to use their real names. Pseudonymity can help provide a safer, private space where people feel more comfortable discussing certain topics and sharing information and advice. If you have effective community management you can avoid bad behaviour by enforcing the rules.

Alison Michalk, CEO Quiip

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Queensland Government Apologies To Upset Tradies For Commonwealth Games Ad
  • Advertising

Queensland Government Apologies To Upset Tradies For Commonwealth Games Ad

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has issued an apology to tradies who have been offended by a new ad campaign that urges people to consider alternative transport during the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April. The ‘Get Set For The Games’ cartoon campaign depicts a tradie riding along a traffic-congested road on a children’s pink bicycle, […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Fairfax Appoints Philippa Walker As Head Of Travel
  • Media

Fairfax Appoints Philippa Walker As Head Of Travel

Following the recent restructure of its commercial division, Fairfax Media has appointed Philippa Walker to oversee the Travel vertical within Australian Metro Publishing (AMP) business which includes The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian Financial Review, Brisbane Times, WAtoday and more.  In late 2017, the commercial teams were reshaped with a vertical focus under […]

Australia’s OOH Industry Grows Revenue For Eighth Consecutive Year
  • Advertising
  • Media

Australia’s OOH Industry Grows Revenue For Eighth Consecutive Year

The local out-of-home (OOH) industry increased its net media revenue by 6.03 per cent in 2017 to $837.1 million, signifying its eighth consecutive year of growth. According to figures released by the Outdoor Media Association (OMA), net revenue for the OOH industry grew 4.5 per cent in the final quarter of 2017 to $252.7 million. Digital […]

SpotX Appoints Gavin Buxton As Asia MD
  • Advertising

SpotX Appoints Gavin Buxton As Asia MD

Video advertising platform SpotX has announced it has appointed Gavin Buxton as managing director of Asia to lead the company’s expansion in the region. Buxton has over 17 years’ global experience in the digital advertising space, having worked in leadership roles at tech and publishing companies, including Microsoft, Turner Broadcasting, and LinkedIn, with the last […]

Big Mobile Doubles Down On Ad Tech & Rebrands
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Big Mobile Doubles Down On Ad Tech & Rebrands

B&T Awards 2017 finalist Big Mobile has unveiled a fresh look to reflect its new ad tech credentials. The company successfully pivoted its business from ad network to mobile ad tech vendor when it announced a joint venture (JV) with Widespace in October last year. As a result of the business changes, Big Mobile wanted […]

March One Appoints New Senior Account Manager
  • Advertising

March One Appoints New Senior Account Manager

Independent ad agency March One has appointed a fresh face to the team, with Melanie Tozer to reinforce its mission to put humans first as a senior account manager. Tozer (pictured above), an up-and-coming talent from New Zealand, will align her extensive experience in FMCG marketing with March One, having worked on accounts for Bunnings […]

What To Expect From The App Economy In 2018
  • Opinion
  • Technology

What To Expect From The App Economy In 2018

Here's an insightful, authoritative synopsis of the app economy. So, you're right, it wasn't written by a B&T journo.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine