Module 1: Foundations
Building Engaged Communities

 engaged membersAnyone can start a social network, but to foster an engaged community that produces user-generated content is something special.

Engaged communities are built over time and by example. Earn their trust and your members will follow your example.

Action Step 1.

Read How to Increase Participation in Your Online Community to start getting a grasp of the concept.

Action Step 2.

Think about websites you have joined in the past. In what cases did you use your real name and upload a photo? On which sites did you not choose to share personal info and why?

Inspiration & Learning

I always say, “Earn their trust and your members will follow your example.” Here is a related article,  8 Key Points to Build Trust that speaks to the trust moms must feel to engage authentically and keep coming back to your site and translates to our greater purpose at MFMC.

Ah-ha Moment?

How do you want your new members to feel when they join your site? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Next Step

Whoo-hoo! You’ve finished Lesson 5. The next FeverBee Module chimes in perfectly here.

Leave A Reply (19 comments so far)

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  1. MelissaUtley


  2. LauraMeyer

    I want our members to feel comfortable, informed, curious and most of all excited. I know that if the members are excited about their visit to BMFM then they will be returning and they will also be more inclined to link back to us through social media making the connection solid.

    Janine Reply:

    Laura, You are now the face and heart behind BMFM, when the members hear your voice on the Forum, in the Events you promote, the Chat-Worthy blasts you send, reading your FB posts, they will feel all those things. You will always be setting the example, which in turn will be a cue to your members and followers and they will follow suit!

  3. VirginiaEdelson

    I want our members, new and old, to feel:

    Janine Reply:

    Virginia, I love that you added “relieved” to how you want your members to feel. I literally felt my shoulders relax when I read it, no one has ever mentioned that feeling before. You are so right, as a new mom, or mom seeking advise, or looking for information or solace, finding it on the site would be a great feeling of relief!

  4. TracyHolcombe

    I want my members to feel comfortable, to feel like this is their site that should help fulfill their needs. I want them to have that warm fuzzy cared for feeling. That comes with a sense of belonging to a community. I wonder if we could set up a group for those that need a meal, people with new babes, or who have just moved. This would be a good place to organize that. <3

    Janine Reply:

    You’ve found your own tagline Tracy, Warm Fuzzy! You nailed it here, its all about how the members FEEL when they engage with CMM. They may come to your site to find something specific or ask a question, but its how the site and community makes them feel that will bring them back over and over again. Its those positive, happy endorphins that keep us literally addicted to social media! Once they have 1 warm fuzzy feeling on CMM they will come back for more, and want to give that feeling to others.

  5. IaFaraoni

    I want them to feel safe and have trust to the community site… I want them to feel supPorted… I want them to feel recognized and that they matter in building our community to be stronger… I want them to feel informed…

    Janine Reply:

    Great Ia! Show them they are safe and the site can be trusted by aknowleging their posts and replies. Comment back to them!

    If you know of a mom doing something awesome, recognize her in a Chat-Worthy blast, add a Spotlight box about her, write a FB post and link to her cause/business page.

    Inform them with a full Events calendar and valuable, relevant Chat-Worthy blasts.

  6. AndreaOwens

    I just went back and read this over and I like the idea that was suggested in the “How To Increase…” that stated to have a topic of the week to try and get things going.

    Janine Reply:

    Great Andrea, glad you are going to try a new strategy on your Forum. What are your first 3 weeks of topics going to be? Perhaps…

    * Help! I need some gift ideas. What are your favorite local businesses for holiday shopping?
    Then describe a few people you are shopping for…
    * Christmas Dinner Menu ideas?
    Share a personal story like “I’m trying to decide on a salad, what is your favorite crowd pleaser?”
    * What Holiday traditions does your family follow? or Help! I need Elf on the Shelf ideas
    Heres what we do, would love to hear what others are doing…

    Write out a long list worth of Forum topic ideas based on the month/season/school calendar and then each week just refer to it and choose one. Then it won’t feel like a chore and you’ll avoid writers block 🙂
    I’m sure all the owners would adore you sharing your Topics of the Week on the FB Group – they would all be inspired to follow your lead!

  7. AimeeRoseborrough

    I want my members to feel welcome, and free to post anything without being judged. I also want them to feel connected to other moms.

    Janine Reply:

    Great point Aimee, creating a space where moms feel free to post anything on their mind without being judged is so valuable.
    To foster that culture, start by responding to every post on the Forum. Make them feel they are being heard, they will respond by replying to other forum posts.
    Then also start posting your own topics that are relevant to you. As you open up and show vulnerability, moms will follow suit.

  8. AndreaOwens


    There is nothing worse then being new to something or a part of and feeling excluded. Especially if it is something already established so I hope to make everyone feel welcome.

    Janine Reply:

    Agreed Andrea! Coming up in a few lessons you will learn how to post the Welcome Message to your new moms who join your site. It is such a powerful way to make them instantly feel everything you mentioned: welcome and appreciated which will lead them to engage.

    I noticed that Gretchen stopped adding the welcome message after the first hundred or so members. I highly encourage you to pick up where she left off and welcome those members. You could even start from the beginning and include a sentence introducing yourself as the new owner.
    The welcome message is also so important because it teaches the members to follow the forum which is how posts and replies will increase!

  9. SiennaSolberg

    I want Missoula MfM members to feel:
    an asset to the community,

    Janine Reply:

    Sienna, you and Laura both listed safe as your first feeling. Click back to this lesson and read the response I wrote to Laura, it applies to your answers too.

  10. LauraLawyer

    Safe, connection, and a sense of community

    Janine Reply:

    Laura, when you have a feeling of safety, the connection and sense of community will follow. Your membership moderation is the first action to create a sense of safety. Then once moms are on the site, welcoming them straight away and offering some personal insight will make them feel comfortable and welcomed. Then you will set the example for your members in the encouraging, courteous replies you make to posts. The members will follow your lead to achieve connection and that sense of community!