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Maximize Your Online Community to Increase Citizen Engagement

The notion of e-governance has become prominent in recent years. Agencies around the world are now implementing technology into how they function and deliver services to citizens. Their objective: to distribute information more effectively, universally, and clearly to people.

While the Internet undoubtedly fostered the evolution of e-governance, a new development has emerged that can maximize the vision of e-governance in a way that is cost-efficient, as well as quick-and-easy to adopt. This technology is called “cloud computing,” and our focus will pertain to the establishment and upkeep of virtual communities. With a proactive approach and practical use of online communities, the goal of increasing citizen engagement and consumer experience can be achieved.

A virtual community is a dynamic habitat; the success of which can be a distant target that is hard to quantify. Once a community is operational, progress is not warranted, and value is not guaranteed for your organization or your end users. Without ambitious attention and focus on improvements, involvement in your online community can dwindle faster than it came.

Recently, government agencies have created and sustained virtual communities for improving their service delivery to American citizens around the world. As a testament to their success and the possibilities that online communities can provide, we’ve compiled the top 5 tips to boost citizen engagement in online communities.

Best Practices for Community Engagement

These guidelines were arranged to assist your agency in establishing a successful online community:

  1. Make it Easy to Find - Simply put, if your citizens can’t find your community, they will not use it.
  2. Properly Organize Your Community - Visceral organization of your community will ensure easy navigation, and help curb potential maintenance problems before they arise.
  3. Specify Your Community’s Policies – The policies tell your users what really goes on in the community. By establishing (and showing) your terms and conditions, you can clearly outline what behavior is encouraged and discouraged, and what the possible risks of participation are.
  4. Cultivate and Reward Good Behavior – If you want to foster a truly unique culture, you must go beyond simply defining who you are. Espoused values are much different than enacted values; encourage constant participation in the culture, and build trust between your agency and community members.
  5. Continuously Track the Performance of Your Community – Problems occur, engagement may fall, and opportunities to improve will arise. By tracking the performance of your community, you will know when to act.

Becoming accustomed with these simple guidelines is the first step to ensure your online community’s success. The next step is taking action. To learn more about creating and improving an online community for your organization, download the full guide, “Best Practices for Community Engagement.”

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