The SalesForce Trailblazer community is a good example of an enterprise community that’s cultivated a unique sense of identity and culture. (Keep in mind that this is the support community for SalesForce, which is a massive and popular enterprise on its own right.)
Let me ask, how supportive is your executive management of your engagement goals? If your business’ primary goal is for your community to be a support community and to hit deflection / support metrics, then that needs to be your foundational goal. You should make sure you do everything you can to prove the value of your community’s metrics in meeting and exceeding those standards: reducing speed to first answer; reducing speed to resolution; increasing the percentage of questions that get successfully answered; increasing the number of peer-resolved questions versus company reps; measuring the metrics of hits on your knowledgebase.
You’ll probably also earn bonus points from management if you can deflect and coordinate other at-scale initiatives through your community, like onboarding new clients, hosting digital trainings, etc. (and to prove the cost reductions / effectiveness of running those initiatives through community versus more traditional methods, like onsite or hosted physical events). If executive management doesn’t care about engagement, then … neither should you.
If you really, really want to pursue engagement then … get personal and emotional and build identity:
- Ask emotionally disclosing questions like, “what’s the hardest challenge you’ve faced at work this week? what’s your fear at work? monday showcase, etc”
- Get personal … if your community is new, you should absolutely be reaching out to them one on one to say hello, interview them, and draw them into the community. You can also post fun photos from the office ,etc. People love AMAs and interviews
- Build identity. What makes your users or clients unique? Lean into that psychographic profile and make it fun, positive, and whimsical.
Support communities litter the Internet, so you’ll need to find a unique and compelling proposition to build engagement on a support community.
On a last note, and not to be blunt, but you’re running a support community, not Facebook. You only need to pursue ‘engagement’ to strengthen organizational goals.