Steve Outing, formerly at Poynter Institute for Media Studies and now founder of the Enthusiast Group, has posted a white paper titled “Talk, Why Don’t You” about increasing online user engagement.
In the paper there are 9 tips on how to get your website users to be more engaged and participative.
Tip No. 1: Support and encourage user comments
Tip No. 2: Use alerts to keep comment threads going
Tip No. 3: Get your key people involved in comment threads
Tip No. 4: Have a human leader — preferably a celebrity
Tip No. 5: Develop a user points system
Tip No. 6: Cultivate and promote volunteer site editors or moderators
Tip No. 7: Everybody loves contests
Tip No. 8: Showcase the best from your users
Tip No. 9: Produce a newsletter featuring the best from users
Several of the tips above are based on the wise view that one should not just take users’ content on a social media-based website and not give anything back, in some form.