Last updated October 28th, 2019
- Users expect seamless interaction with your platforms
- Provide users with social login, content recommendations, social sharing, prompts to engage, tooltips and personalization to increase engagement
When users visit your website, they expect an intuitive, seamless and uninterrupted experience. If they aren’t able to comment, like, register or use any other functionality on your site without the use of a manual, they’ll go to your competitors.
By removing friction, personalizing the online experience and making it easy for users to engage with one another, media brands can encourage more users to register, return and subscribe to their online communities.
Think of how to turn your properties into a social media site. There, we said it.
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The reality is that people spend, on average, two hours and 16 minutes on social media every day. These are the features and functionalities that, not only are they used to, but they also expect in order to interact with one another digitally.
Below we’ve outlined the ways that media brands and digital publishers can provide their communities with the best possible user experience. Backed by techniques we’ve tried and tested across our network composed of hundreds of brands.
Website Techniques to Reduce Friction
Let Your Audience Register in Seconds with Social Login
According to research by WebHostingBuzz, 86% of users say they are bothered by having to create a new account, and 54% will leave if they have to fill out a registration form. Instead of asking users to manually register for your website, allow them to register in seconds, with just a few clicks, through social login.
Giving users the option to log in with one of their social media accounts not only increases conversions by 20% to 40%, but it can also offer you invaluable data. Data that you can leverage to create better-targeted advertising, inform content creation and even enhance your subscription strategy.
Additionally, logging in using a social media account will automatically create an avatar on your website using their profile picture, making other users more prone to engage with the real individual in that picture.
Give them Additional Content Through Recommendations
Amazon has trained us well. In a lot of cases, content recommendations are table stakes. Make it easy for users to discover trending articles and discussions by including a section on your website for content recommendations.
These sections should be dedicated to top-performing articles, based on the number of comments and interactions from community members in real time. Chances are if an article is getting a lot of attention from users, then other users will want to be a part of that discussion, or watch the conversation unfold.
Make Social Sharing Easy
Include a “floating” social share bar that is accessible from anywhere on the page to make it easier for users to share articles.
Reduce friction even more by pre-writing the message that they will share to their social media account. Most importantly, when they click to share, have a tab open up that stays on your site, instead of clicking through to your social media page. The last thing you want is to push users to another platform where they can be easily distracted by other brands and content.
Prompt Audience Engagement in Steps
The most effective way to encourage users to engage with your content is to prompt them to perform tasks that dial-up engagement slowly and incrementally.
For example, you could post a phrase above the commenting section asking users if they liked the article. Once they perform the simple task of “liking” or “disliking” an article, which requires minimal commitment, then you could prompt them with a phrase like, “Write a comment.” Finally, you might ask users to share their comment to social.
Provide Them With Tool Tips
When users hover over engagement icons, such as the like or flag button, make sure to include tooltips. These are phrases that appear over each icon that clearly tell the user what will happen if they click. This sounds simple, but it could make the difference between someone engaging and not engaging. Give them confidence by knowing what to expect.
Create A Value Through Personalization
Promote Top Comments
Include a section on your website to showcase top comments, to encourage users to engage thoughtfully. Alternatively, you can offer a trusted user badge, or an editor’s pick badge. These will incentivize users to engage because they want to be appreciated and rewarded for their insights and leadership.
Highlighting Authority Figures
When moderators, community managers and authors respond to users, highlight their comments in a contrasting color or with a badge. It may sound simple, but knowing that an authority figure is engaging with a user makes them feel valued.
Notification Feed & Bell
Allow users to follow other community members, authors and sections to never miss an update in their notification feed. By following others, they further personalize their experience and get faster access to more content.
It’s important to note that the notification feed should be accessible and visible from anywhere on the website. That way, users can remain with an article and simultaneously see their recent comments, likes and follows. Additionally, a notification bell will prompt users to check and reply to their latest interactions quickly.
A Seamless User Experience Creates Engaged Audiences
Technology allows us to communicate, but it can also be a barrier. The ideal user experience is one where obstacles and friction are minimal, and the experience is enjoyable.
It’s not just about functionality. It’s also about understanding why people communicate so we can all make human communication the priority of our audience engagement strategy.