Our Halloween Treat for Online Community Engagement


Happy Halloween! Since it’s a time for tricks and treats our team thought it would be a good opportunity to get creative and help engage our clients’ online communities.

A member of our business development team came up with the idea of swapping all anonymous profile pictures for funny pictures of pumpkins – with our clients’ approval of course.

Anonymous picture to halloween profile picture
We swapped anonymous profile pictures for halloween pumpkins.

Online community benefits

So, why did we like this idea? We think it is beneficial for our clients’ online communities in four ways.

  • Prompts members to add a profile picture. Any online community looks more active and welcoming when members have profile pictures. For members, having a profile picture is part of the basics to get the most out of an online community.
  • Gives Community Managers a talking point. A big part of the Community Manager role is to engage the community and build relationships. A temporary profile picture can work as a great initiative to start a conversation.
  • Keeps the platform interesting. Nir Eryal’s book Hooked talks about the importance of variable rewards to make people return to your online community. Simply speaking, if an online community stays the same all the time, it will no longer be interesting.
  • A bit of fun! As simple as that. 

Personalisation and process

We reached out to a number of clients who we thought would like the idea. To give their teams an opportunity to add a personal touch we sent a selection of three pumpkins so they could pick the one that suits their community the best.

Selection of pumpkins
Let us know which pumpkin you would pick in the comments below!

The picture stays in place for a week, from 27th October until 3rd November. We have already seen good member engagement as a result of the initiative.

Pumpkin on profile
Here’s what the pumpkin profile picture looks like  in the member directory.

What you can learn

Unusual temporary profile pictures might not suit your community, but there are still learnings you can draw from this initiative:

  • Think outside the box to boost member engagement. There are so many things shouting at your members in the online space that you might need to think creatively to stand out and get attention. Here are 3 ways to get started.
  • Seasonal events can add interest. You can apply the same principles that are frequently used by commercial marketers to ‘sell’ why your members should engage with your online community at a specific point in time.
  • Don’t keep the look of your community too static. Just as Google stays fresh in people’s minds by frequently replacing their logo with doodles, you can make your online community more engaging by occasionally tweaking its look or adding new features.

It would be great to hear what seasonal initiatives you take to engage your online community – let us know in the comments below.

By Anna Bjorkman, Marketing Manager at VeryConnect

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