Last updated June 14th, 2018
When users visit your website, they have a goal in mind. Any hurdle along the way could give them reason to switch over to your competitor instead.
But 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.
Below we’ll uncover the ways that media brands and digital publishers can provide their communities with the best possible user experience, using techniques we’ve tried and tested across our network of hundreds of brands.
Website Techniques to Reduce Friction
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 even leave if they have to fill out a registration form. Instead of asking users to manually register for your website then, 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 about that user, such as their demographic information and interests.
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.
Finding Content with Recommendations
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. You can further reduce friction 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 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.
Add in Tool Tips
When users hover over engagement icons, such as the like or flag button, make sure to include tool tips. 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, since users are hesitant to click if they do not know what action to expect.
Website Techniques to Create a Personal Touch
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 can 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 followers. Additionally, a notification bell will prompt users to check and reply to their latest interactions quickly.
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.
At Viafoura, our solution is designed to streamline audience engagement and communication. It’s not just about functionality. It’s also about understanding why people communicate, so we can make human communication the priority of our design strategy.