Virtual Engagement Best Practices

This series has displayed an introduction to virtual engagement, how to start using virtual engagement, and which platforms are best for socially focused institutions. To conclude this series, this post will share recommendations to keep in mind when using virtual engagement in your work.

1. Find your People

You need to identify your purpose by identifying your specific audience before making a larger impact. If you do this, your efforts will be specific, valuable, and effective.

Identifying your audience first will help you:

  1. Scope out how to engage on social media (i.e., which platform to use)

  2. Share the responsibility of disseminating resources and knowledge-sharing with partners

  3. Facilitate community engagement with ease as you understand experiences and needs

2. Utilize the Hybrid Method

If you can do hybrid meetings–do it. We’ve learned that not everyone wants only virtual or in-person meetings. A hybrid option creates consistency and flexibility for those who can’t make it to the in-person location. It is accessible for those with disabilities for which in-person meetings are arduous. Hybrid methods are also known to increase reach and attendance for both internal team affairs and external community events. A study found that 96% of virtual attendees at hybrid events were not planning to attend live because they weren’t convinced enough of the benefits, lived too far away, or were unsure of their interest in the event or person. Hybrid events are a great way to expand your reach and find new folks!

To keep engagement up with the hybrid method, ensure the following:

  1. Share what they can expect and how to use technology

  2. Create an incentive for attending voluntary meetings. For example: Gift cards for the first ten people who attend the event, food delivery for meetings, care packages in the mail for gatherings

  3. Track attendance and follow-up after. For example: Send a follow-up email or newsletter to attendees thanking them for attending and highlighting your efforts and upcoming events

3. Consistency is Key

Consistency means dedicating to goals and staying focused on how to achieve them. For example, if you want to use social media: post regularly. If you send out a newsletter: send it every month. If you want to share culture change messaging: share the same message with different populations and places. No matter what you do, staying consistent will produce results.

Here are some steps to stay consistent:

  1. Create a scope of work, timeline, or Gantt chart to plan the steps needed to engage online, determine roles, and find resources

  2. Refer to strategic plans, mission statements, funding requirements, etc. every month or quarter

  3. Evaluate progress to understand how to adapt to changes, turnover, and success

Well, that wraps up this series. Comment with questions and feedback below!