Why ‘Highly Engaged Members’ are so important

By Rob Fawkes on 25 May 2022

All successful communities have one thing in common: engaged members. Members are the heart of your community and nothing works without them. But there are different types of members and the most important ones are the ones we call HEMs.

HEMs, short for Highly Engaged Members, are the core members of your community. As the name would suggest, these are the most active members and contribute the majority of the activity in the community, despite only representing a very small percentage of your total members (around 0.5%).   

Although you would think such a small percentage of members can’t make a huge difference, don’t be fooled. They may be few, but they are mighty, providing, on average, 80% of Accepted Solutions, receiving 60% of thumbs up (likes), and providing 40% of the content! 

As HEMs are generally very influential members of the community, getting them on board and ensuring they feel listened to is really important. They spend much more time in the community, they care much more, and they know much more than other members. Just one of these members can completely change the sentiment of the community. For example, if they are unhappy with something you or the business has done, the whole community can turn negative (and we’ve seen that happen). 

However, these members are mostly a positive force for good! Here are a few examples of the great work HEMs do:

Guides:

HEMs are the experts, they sometimes know more than you about the product and service. Their guides and how-to’s can help reduce customer service calls and requests. They often enjoy creating topics to help others and their posts are sometimes the most read content in a community.

Help:

The core of a peer-to-peer community is members helping other members. HEMs generally answer most of the questions (as they’re often online and are knowledgeable) and they’ll often jump right in with an answer before you even notice that a question was posted. 

Report Content:

HEMs help you keep your community safe and tidy. Whether it is someone posting sensitive private information,  someone that breaks the rules and is rude to others or just a classic spammer causing havoc, HEMs will often spot it first and report this content so you can take action more quickly. 

Pretty helpful right? This is only the tip of the iceberg of all the ways in which HEMs keep communities going. Without them, there would be no engagement and your community would just become another Customer Support channel. So look after them and make sure they feel appreciated!  

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