The feeling of a bustling online community talking about your product or brand can be exhilarating. However, building and fostering an engaged community is not as simple as you may think.

Even if you consistently bring in new members, they may not actively participate in the community. While some members may come back day after day and contribute to group discussion, others may leave after only a few hours.

So how do you create an engaged online community? It all begins by building a group with a strong foundation, where members will not only flood in but also stay and wish to come back. If you're unsure where to start, then we’ve got some excellent ways to help you improve your engagement with your community members.

P.S: Even if you have an existing community that has died down the to point of disengagement, don't worry - you can revive your group by following this same advice.

Why Online Community Engagement is Important

Let’s start by discussing why you should care about maintaining an engaged community. After all, can’t you just focus on attracting new members once your “old” members leave? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, and there’s a reason why online businesses spend tons of time and effort nurturing large member groups on platforms like Discord or Telegram.

The most successful online businesses rely on their strongly knit communities, making each member feel like family. These emotions help create a deeper connection between your brand and members and effectively make them feel more invested. In turn, this increases their brand loyalty, and combined with the average person’s tendency to stick to a product or service they enjoy, you lock them in for good. 

Not only that, they’re also far more likely to advocate for your brand, which basically acts as free marketing and can get you even more new community members. After all, if you are enjoying the connections and opportunities inside of an active, engaged online community, why wouldn't you invite your Discord friends to join the party?

Signs of a Disengaged Community

If you don't maintain engagement with your online community, it will begin to deteriorate. It might begin with feedback and messages slowing down and end with people not caring about your new services or products.

If you already have a community and get the feeling that you’re losing your grasp on your members, ask yourself the following questions (if you have not yet created your community, keep these points in mind for when you have launched your group):

  • Are people communicating with you and your brand?
    Do you often receive direct messages from members with feedback about your group, products, or services? Are these messages insightful, or are they just empty praise or bashing of your product with no explanation?
  • Do members discuss things among themselves?
    Is there a dedicated space where your members can safely discuss your products and services? Or do you just rely on them to give you direct feedback?
  • How do they respond to your content?
    When you release new content, what kind of engagement do you see? Do all your members consume it, or just a small percentage of them? Do they actively share it with other members or their peers?

These questions are not the only things you should consider to determine if your online community is dying down. However, they can be a great wake-up call if you see your numbers and analytics drop and attribute it to other factors.

8 Ways to Improve Your Community Engagement

So, what can you do to bring your community together? The simple answer is that you can try to find new ways to get involved with your members.

Here are eight great ways to elevate the engagement levels of your online community and in turn, improve your business.

1- Become more personal

be more personal

One key aspect that ties together a community is a relatable leader. You want your members to view you as just another human rather than an authoritative figure.

The simplest way to do this is to interact directly with members on chat rooms, Discord servers, etc. Show them a glimpse of your everyday life, things you enjoy, and issues you struggle with. This will allow them to connect with you and your brand on a deeper level and feel more like family.

You can also organize frequent livestreams or AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions and encourage members to come to you with their questions and issues. You can even time these sessions with new product or service releases to present their features and get first-hand feedback from your members.

2- Ask the right questions 

Asking questions is the way to unlock another person and get them to participate in a community. But not just any questions will do. You need to find the right questions to make your members want to answer with their personal experiences.

Even a simple question, like “What’s your opinion on the subject?” can be a great way to encourage members to discuss their views and opinions. Or if you’re debating on something, ask them things like “Would you rather be in one or the other situation?”. Some members may even relate to others’ stories, which will drive them to keep the conversation going between them.

When you ask insightful questions, you’re also much more likely to gain useful feedback on your products or services. Instead of generic questions about whether the member likes a certain feature or not, ask them something like “What do you value the most in this product?” or “If you could change one thing about the product, what would it be?”. Reviewing the feedback might take longer, but each member will feel like their voice is heard.

3- Reward loyal members

reward loyal members

It’s no secret that every member loves to feel special, so giving them rewards for participating in the community can be a great way to increase your engagement. You can even gamify it and provide achievements and badges for completing milestones, like writing in chat rooms, participating in polls, and mentioning other users directly.

You can also increase engagement by offering sneak peeks into your content for community members. This way, they’ll feel incentivized to participate and can even provide early feedback before the general public release.

Another important thing to consider is new member rewards. A good new-member experience will instantly hook anyone in and keep them for a long time. You can give out perks to new members who complete community tasks, such as introducing themselves, or even help them make their first friend and let them take it from there.

Here are a couple of ways in which you can reward your members:

Give engaged members VIP access
One incentive you can offer members to increase their engagement is access to certain VIP features. These can include personal calls, invitations to exclusive events, or special content just for them. To earn access, members need to complete certain milestones that revolve around community engagement. 

Create an affiliate program for those inviting their friends
Since your most loyal members will already look to bring in their friends, it’s a good idea to set up an affiliate program to reward them for doing so. It can be as simple as giving them free extensions to their community memberships, free merch, or a commission based on how much their affiliates spend.

4- Bring in disengaged users

Member disengagement is something that large communities on Discord struggle with a lot. Too many channels with alerts constantly popping off can feel very overwhelming and even intimidating for members. Thus, they either become completely inactive or turn into the so-called “lurkers” who mute everything and don’t talk or participate at all.

You want to identify your disengaged users and study the metrics behind what makes them inactive or lurk in the shadows. You should also reach out to them directly and politely ask why they’re not participating.

You can also do this automatically through engagement campaigns. Just make sure to adjust to their needs to make it more attractive for them to get active. For instance, consider creating small talking groups for those easily intimidated by huge chat rooms.

If you manage to successfully integrate disengaged users into the community, chances are they’ll remain engaged. That’s because they will have overcome their initial fear about participating, or you’ll have solved the issues that got them to leave in the first place.

5- Make diverse content on a predictable schedule


One of the best ways to keep members engaged in your online community is to create a plan for how often you’ll release new products, features, or content. You need to ensure there’s frequent content to keep people talking about it, but not too much that it feels overwhelming.

You must also ensure there’s enough diversity in your content to keep all members engaged. Some of them may only interact with a specific type of content you put out. So, you need a reliable schedule that ensures content diversity and consistency to maintain engagement.

The best approach is to keep a public calendar with all upcoming content releases so your members know when there’s something new. This way, they’ll know when it’s time to tune in and discuss the new content in the community.

You can also leverage your release schedule to run promotional campaigns about it, including countdowns, on social media. Those may get spotted by otherwise inactive users, who might be intrigued by the new release and re-engage in the community.

6- Create safe spaces

Many members will leave a community if they don’t find a dedicated space where they can safely express themselves and discuss your products. This can be as simple as a Discord server or Telegram channel, or as extensive as a dedicated forum with dozens of subthreads for each of your products or services.

The key here is to keep things moderated to maintain a respectful, positive, and inclusive environment. If members feel like they’ll be targeted for expressing themselves or sharing their identity, they’re far less likely to engage with the community.

You can achieve all of these by implementing community rules and guidelines that every member must follow. They don’t need to be particularly strict, either. Just ensure everyone treats all members with respect, doesn’t spam in the chat, and doesn’t use your platforms to promote their work. 

You can also employ Telegram and Discord moderators to ensure members follow the guidelines. They are basically like online security guards who strike down our outright ban members who don’t follow the community rules. If you use Discord as your community platform, then you can also use AutoMod, which is a powerful tool for automatically blocking unwanted content.

7- Spotlight your members


Don’t forget that members are the cornerstone of your community, so they deserve the spotlight from time to time. You can set up a form where members can sign up if they want you to give them a shoutout.

This can be a weekly show, where you introduce some of your most engaged members, talk about their experience and role in the community, what they enjoy about it, and more. This will make them feel they are an integral part of the brand and not just another username on a Discord server.

Then, you can leverage this even further by asking them to create User-Generated Content (UGC) discussing your product or service and how it has helped them. You can ask members if they want you to share their content on your social media pages. 

8- Ask for feedback

Finally, a crucial aspect of an engaged online community is proper feedback. If your members can communicate with you or with each other about an issue with your service or product, it’s much easier to find a quick solution.

To expand upon this, a dedicated space for your community members to suggest new features or products can help you make informed decisions. You can experience first-hand what they would like to see from your brand instead of shooting in the dark and hoping to land a bullseye.

How to Capitalize on an Engaged Community

Once you achieve an active and engaged community, you can put it to use to benefit your company. There are a few ways to do this, including:

  • Utilize community metrics
    An engaged online community will happily participate in polls and surveys regarding your products, which leads to some excellent feedback. Combined with other metrics, you can get an in-depth look into your business’ performance and find ways to improve it.
  • Collaborate on projects
    What better way to reward your most active members than to include them in new product designs and improvements? Their feedback and insights can be particularly helpful in improving existing products and services, and their involvement will ensure each new product will align better with your members' needs.
  • Find monetization opportunities
    When you have an active online community, it’s easier to monetize additional services, like content previews, premium content for members, and VIP events. Your loyal members will love them, and they’ll want to spend a bit extra to support you and receive something in return.

Cultivate an Active and Engaged Community with Whop Today!

As you can see, it’s crucial to have a solid foundation for your community engagement from the get-go to ensure it doesn't decline. To avoid this issue in the first place, you need an online selling platform that will help you engage with your members to ensure they don’t become inactive – and that’s Whop!

Whop is an online marketplace for digital products, including access to paid communities. Whop is home to some of the best trading, sports picks, and ecommerce communities on the internet - including the likes of Team Bull Trading, Beat the Books, and Divine. The communities on Whop have thousands of members who are all active, engaged, and support these businesses to grow.

Plus, with Whop, you can sell extras to work alongside your community, like digital downloadables, plugins, trading indicators, online courses, and more. Whop supports creators to create and manage thriving communities with its range of benefits, integrations, and unparalleled support. You can offer different features and perks through membership tiers and use Whop’s Discord bot to help with all transactions.

Best of all, you can control and manage all of the above with the Whop business dashboard. This dashboard helps you to deploy membership plans and tiers, offer rewards like coupons and other special discounts, upsell and cross-sell, engage your members with automated customer emails, and so much more.

Whop is easy to get started with and has several benefits:

  • A transaction fee of just 3%
  • Built-in course creators and other publishing tools
  • New apps being released frequently
  • Easy-to-implement affiliate program
  • A thriving marketplace that's sold over 5 million memberships so far
  • Connect to your existing platforms to increase discoverability
  • 24/7 365 customer support

If you’re ready to get started, sign up and start selling on Whop today! It only takes a few minutes to create your account, list any digital products or services you have, and get exposure to millions of potential new members!