3 Fundamental Steps to Building an Engaged Community (Part 2)

This is part two of our series where we explore the fundamental steps to community creation while leveraging the Equiem Platform. To see Part I, click here.

Step 2. Create & Test


Setting your hypothesis

Armed with customer data, you can now form a hypothesis about your occupant’s preferences. This will be the central theme for your engagement plan. This plan will consist of content, which is anything your occupants can participate in, such as articlespromotionsevents and activations.

Working with a simple example, let’s pretend that data from your polls and surveys revealed that your occupants love anything to do with health and wellbeing.

You don't need to be too scientific but it is important to have a measurable KPI so that later you can confirm or refute your plan’s success. In this case, your hypothesis (SMART goal) could be:

Content that promotes an active lifestyle, balanced diet and a healthy mind will increase engagement (page views, clicks, likes, comments) by 30%

With the hypothesis set, it’s time to test it out by doing the fun stuff - creating content.

Creating content

The most unique and powerful aspect of the Equiem Platform is that it allows building managers to use both online and offline channels. This means you can create some truly amazing experiences that involve a full spectrum of touchpoints.

To illustrate, let’s do a straightforward example. Let’s say you’ve decided to test your hypothesis by organising a big activation in the lobby - a pop-up health and wellbeing centre - where occupants can get their health checked, sign up for free gym classes, get a free massage, enjoy healthy smoothies and register for meditation classes. Sounds great!

It’s important to note that having data from our polls and surveys comes handy at the planning stage - as it lowers the risk of failure and also gives you ammunition to get approval from up the chain, if needed.

Let’s assume we’ve got approval for our health and wellbeing centre. It’s time to start creating content across our channels. Here are your main channels:

Online Channels

Event Post - This is your first stop. An event post gives your event a dedicated page on the Portal you can point all other channels to. In addition to providing basic information (description, time, location, images) an event post also gives occupants the option to RSVP or buy tickets direct on the Portal.

Promote campaigns and track RSVP's with Event Posts

Now to make sure no one misses your event post, let’s share it to your occupants. This can be done in a number of ways. First, you can ‘sticky’ the post on the homepage of the Portal - increasing visibility. Second, you can share the event via email to your database using Equiem Notify or a Digest. Third, you can share the event to non-Portal users by using the public share link feature.

Find out more about creating your first event here.

Store - The Portal Store isn’t just useful for coffee and lunch! You can, for example, use it to sell tickets to your event. Simply contact your Equiem account manager and our Store Team will create ticket products you can link directly from your event post. You can also promote your tickets onto the front page of the Store by using Store Announcements.

Product Mockup
Sell tickets without using a third-party with the Store

News Posts - Now that we have an event post we can link to and a way for occupants to buy tickets, we can start promoting your event. A news post will be your fundamental building block for this. Although they are straightforward, news posts do come with lesser known, powerful features.

News Mockup
Promote your campaign with supporting News Posts

First, you can schedule news posts to be published at a later date. This means you can write all your articles at once then queue their publication at intervals leading up to the big day. Second, you can embed rich media onto your news posts - photos, gifts, tweets, Instagram photos, and more - to create dynamic articles. Third, news posts come with the same powerful sharing tools as event posts. We’ll talk about these next.

Find out more about creating news posts here.

Digest (automated newsletters) - With our event and news posts are set, we can start sharing our content to our building occupants via email. This can be done via two main ways: Digests and Notifies. A digest is an automatically generated newsletter that pulls the latest content from your portal and sends it to your subscribed occupants.

Equiem Digests have an average open rate of 30% versus the industry standard of 18%, so they are an effective distribution channel. As the building manager you can modify the behaviour of digests in certain ways. First, you can modify the frequency settings users can choose to receive a digest (i.e. daily, weekly, etc.). Second, you can modify the content (for example, ensure an article is featured at the top of the digest).

Digests are useful if you want to share a range of articles with your occupants. Find out more about managing digests here.

Product Mockup
Equiem Digests are automated newsletters that compile your latest news posts

Notify (targeted emails) - The most powerful tool in your arsenal. With “Notify”, you can share any article (news or event post) to your occupants.

Equiem Digest
Equiem Notiify lets you send high-impact targeted emails

You can choose to send a notify to your entire database, or specific areas (i.e. high rise, low rise), buildings (i.e. Tower A, Tower B), levels, companies or a combination of these filters. You can also preview your email before sending and even queue your notify to be sent at a later date.

Find out more about Equiem Notify here.

Offline Channels

With our digital content complete, let’s complete our campaign with complimentary offline touchpoints.

Posters & Flyers - Traditional media still has a place in tenant engagement, especially for buildings without digital screens. Promote your event with banners and posters at key traffic points of your lobby, shared facilities and the concierge desk. Although costly, having your staff hand out flyers on event day can also improve RSVP’s. All collateral should point back to the Portal - so that you can more easily track user's preferences.

Competitions - Competitions are great way to spur engagement. All you need is a great prize. With the Equiem Portal, you can run a competition with both online and offline components. For example, during our fictional health and wellbeing centre, you could accept entries to the competition on the Portal through a news post, but announce the winner at the event itself, to encourage attendance.

Flower Auction Winners
‍Flower Auction Winners at MLC Centre

Workshops & Classes - If you don’t have the space or budget to host a major lobby activation, workshops and classes are a great alternative. For our health and wellbeing centre, you could for example, bring in an expert speaker and host a seminar on staying in shape. Or bring one of your healthy food retailers to workshop their menu with your occupants. The possibilities are endless.

Active Lifestyle Workshop with Lorna Jane at 175 Eagle

Lobby Activation - The ultimate offline channel is however, an activation in your lobby. This enables you to showcase your building, strengthen your brand, support retailers and service providers and stir up excitement amongst occupants. Like workshops and classes, possibilities are limited only by your budget, logistics and feasibility.

By setting up your workshop/classes and activations with relevant event and news posts on the Portal, you can utilise the myriad of promotional channels described above to maximise attendance and your return on investment.

‍BUPA Lobby Activation at 80 Collins

Step 3. Analyse


Congratulations! Your event is complete. The health and wellbeing centre was a roaring success!

Or was it?

It’s now time for the most important step - analysing your results. Only through data can you confirm whether your hypothesis was correct and your event did in fact achieve its goal. Without data, you are effectively guessing - which will inevitably lead to misunderstanding your occupants and an ineffective engagement strategy.

Thankfully, if you’ve been following the steps in this guide, analysing your data is easy. This is because the results of every digital channel on the Portal we’ve employed so far can be tracked. And if you’ve been linking all of your offline channels into your digital ones, that means we can track those too.

Let’s go over reporting tools:

Impression reports - Each post on the Portal can appear in many different contexts. Impression reports allow you to see exactly how your community is engaging with your content. For example, you’ll be able to see how many people viewed your article on the homepage vs. as a click-through from a notify or digest.

Find out more about impression reports here.

Impression Report
Impression reports let you understand how your content is consumed at a glance

SONAR dashboards - SONAR is the Portal’s built in reporting suite. There are 10 different reports you can access including general Portal performance, content engagement, retail performance, poll data and more. From here you can, for example, determine your total article views and their impact on your Portal traffic or signups. Like all analytics tools, you can export your data for Excel or CSV for further analysis.

Find out more about SONAR reports here.

Weekly & monthly reports - All Equiem clients receive a monthly report prepared by their account manager. This provides you with an in-depth view of your platform’s performance, from Portal stats to engagement campaigns. In addition, if also have an Equiem Community Manager, you would also be receiving weekly reports, giving you regular updates on your building’s activities.

Google Analytics - If you want to take your analysis to another level, the Equiem Portal integrates with industry standard toolset Google Analytics, enabling you to use its full suite of features.

Find out more about Google Analytics here.

Custom Reports - If the data you are looking for isn’t available in any of the tools above, that’s OK. You can always ask for a custom report to be made. Simply talk to your Equiem account manager who will walk you through the steps. An additional fee may be needed depending on the complexity of your report.

What’s next?

Now let’s tie it back to our example. Let’s propose two alternate realities: one where our data confirmed our hypothesis and another where it didn’t.

Hypothesis confirmed - using our data analysis tools, we can confirm that our campaign did in fact increase engagement by over 30%. Brilliant!

Hypothesis refuted - despite running polls and surveys prior to our planning, to our surprise our health and wellbeing centre just didn’t catch on. Engagement stats only increased by 10%.

Whichever reality, the next step is the same - take what we’ve learned and apply it to our next campaign. The only way to truly crack tenant engagement is through iterative learning.

So what’s the end goal? Even though tenant engagement is an ongoing process, through repeated cycles of the fundamental process outlined here, you will gain a better understanding of your occupants. And with that understanding, you’ll be able to more effectively cater to your occupant’s needs to grow an engaged and happy community.

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