For organizations launching an online community for the first time or for companies trying to revitalize an existing community, user adoption can be frustrating. Many struggle with how to not only drive customers or employees to the community, but entice them to participate and return on a regular basis.

To help you overcome this challenge, here are five ways to grow and sustain community membership:

#1: Position Community as Part of the Experience

Your community should be positioned as a central feature in your customer or employee relationships. When onboarding new users, introduce the community and explain how it can be used to solve problems, ask questions, and offer feedback. Also, remember to create a dialogue where community members tell you what they want to accomplish. Listening allows you to incorporate user feedback into your vision and deliver a community they’re excited to join.

#2: Prominently Display FAQs

Community adoption and engagement will plummet if users can’t find what they need. The “Make Sticky” feature in AnswerHub pins posts such as FAQs and announcements to the top of the page. That way, users can quickly and easily find knowledge at the moment of need.

#3: Create Excitement

Develop an engagement strategy that entices users to visit and participate in your community on a daily basis. Regularly communicate community achievements and milestones with members to keep your community top of mind.

Also, don’t be afraid to have some fun! Drive users to your community to access exclusive content or register for events. Or, hold a “Question of the Week” contest and reward the best answer with a t-shirt or small prize.

#4: Re-engage Your Audience

To increase adoption, create a roadmap of user experience enhancements or new engagement strategies. Customers and employees will be more likely to join a community – and come back – if you offer exciting new offerings based on their requests.

#5: Evolve Your Community

To serve as a dependable resource, your community must evolve to meet new trends and user needs. Frequently assess the relevancy of community content. Monitor what members are searching for and proactively add new content. Determine where members drop off and create a strategy for providing better help.

Also, remember that updating existing content is just as important as adding new content. For example, refresh knowledge base articles for each product release to better address questions.