5 Unique Methods to Build An Engaged Online Community

In the digital age, fostering an engaged online community is crucial for growth and connection. We’ve gathered five unique methods from CEOs and marketing specialists, ranging from hosting virtual hackathons to facilitating expert AMA sessions, to help you cultivate a vibrant online space.

  • Host Virtual Hackathons
  • Launch Themed Shopping Challenges
  • Organize Online Travel Hangouts
  • Create Curated Community Challenges
  • Facilitate Expert AMA Sessions

Host Virtual Hackathons

At Startup House, we’ve found that hosting virtual hackathons is a great way to build an engaged online community. By bringing together developers, designers, and tech enthusiasts to collaborate on projects, you not only foster creativity and innovation but also create a sense of belonging and camaraderie among participants. 

Plus, it’s a fun and interactive way to showcase your company’s expertise and connect with like-minded individuals in the industry. So, why not give it a try and see how it can help grow your online community?

Alex Stasiak, CEO and Founder, Startup House

Launch Themed Shopping Challenges

We build a strong online community by focusing on what people love. Instead of constant sales pitches, we launch themed shopping challenges. We create several challenges where people can share photos and experiences. This approach excites people, lets them show off their skills, and highlights various products. 

The key here is connecting with people over shared passions, not just transactions. It makes us more than a store; it’s a place to connect and be creative. We offer small rewards for participation to keep things fun. We have built a loyal following that is engaged and excited about the brand by focusing on what people enjoy.

Faizan Khan, Public Relations and Content Marketing Specialist, Ubuy Australia

Organize Online Travel Hangouts

We found a cool way to get our online community more involved. Instead of just posting stuff, we started hosting online hangouts about things we all love related to travel. We talked live about cool places to visit, how to travel in eco-friendly ways, and shared photography tips.

This turned our followers from just viewers into active members of a fun, interactive group. These meetups were a chance for everyone to swap stories and tips, making everyone feel like they were part of something special.

The results were amazing. Our engagement shot up, and the genuine connections people made during these sessions made them super loyal to our brand. It showed us that when you focus on bringing real value and creating real conversations, your community becomes stronger and everyone benefits.

Swena Kalra, Chief Marketing Officer, Scott & Yanling Media Inc.

Create Curated Community Challenges

One unique method I’ve seen for building an engaged online community is through curated challenges. This involves creating specific tasks or prompts that encourage members to actively participate and share their work.

For example, a fitness community might host a weekly healthy-recipe-swap challenge, where members post their favorite recipes and provide feedback on others’. This fosters a sense of connection, showcases member creativity, and keeps the community dynamic and interesting. It goes beyond passive consumption and sparks interaction, which is key for long-term engagement.

Perry Zheng, Founder and CEO, Pallas

Facilitate Expert AMA Sessions

One unique method I use and recommend for building an engaged online community is hosting virtual “ask me anything” (AMA) sessions with experts or influential figures in your industry.

Here’s how it works:

Identify Experts: Reach out to experts, thought leaders, or influential figures in your industry who have valuable insights to share with your community. This could include professionals, authors, entrepreneurs, or anyone with expertise relevant to your audience.

Plan the AMA Session: Coordinate with the expert to schedule a virtual AMA session, typically conducted via a live video platform or a dedicated forum thread. Determine the topic or theme for the session and promote it to your community in advance.

Encourage Participation: Encourage members of your community to submit questions for the expert ahead of time or during the live session. This helps generate interest and ensures that the content is relevant to your audience’s interests and concerns.

Facilitate the Session: Host the AMA session according to the scheduled time and format. Introduce the expert, facilitate the discussion by asking questions, and moderate audience participation by selecting and presenting questions from the community.

Engage and Follow Up: Encourage active engagement and interaction between the expert and your community members throughout the session. After the AMA, follow up with a summary of key takeaways or highlights, along with any additional resources or follow-up actions discussed during the session.

Marc Bromhall, Founder, Dentist Hub

Want to be featured like this? Click here to share your story.

More Insights