Engagement. We want it, but don’t always give it.
Companies want us to buy and engage with their apps. Managers want us to engage and be productive, and we want our social media followers to engage with our content.
So, why is it, when faced with two products that do the same thing, we gravitate to one over the other? Why do we smile when we remember one boss, but another evokes an eye-roll? And why do we comment on one person’s posts but ignore another who delivers the same message?
In each case, we receive something that is easy to understand; fulfills a need we have; and catches the eye or stays in our memory.
When you do all three better than anyone else, your audience wants to use your app, work with your team, or engage with you.
This No BS Guide to Increasing Engagement with The Get Engagement Checklist shares an easy-to-use checklist and examples of how to use it.
- What is The Get Engagement Checklist?
- Where Did the Checklist Come From?
- Real-life Examples
- How to Use The Get Engagement Checklist
- Final Thoughts
What is The Get Engagement Checklist?
When we create an app or marketing collateral or a new process for our team to follow, we want it to be successful. Focus groups, editorial reviews, and feedback can be helpful, but to ensure our creation is successful, it needs to pass the following checks:
- Is it easy to understand and use?
- Does it fulfill a need?
- Is it memorable?
How many process “improvements” have you endured that neither improve the process or solve the problem? Quite a few, I bet. And why? Because they didn’t fulfill a need, nor were they easy to follow. As for getting your attention, they did that, but for all the wrong reasons.
Where Did The Get Engagement Checklist Come From?
A few years ago, when looking for ways to encourage more people to use the services of my Web & Design Team, I came across the book Simplify, by Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood. The authors looked at companies such as IKEA, Apple, and Uber and found that a critical element to their success was simplifying their price or product.
What piqued my interest was their statement that, “The objective is to make the product a joy to use: first and foremost, easier to use; then, if possible, more useful and more aesthetically appealing.”
It’s such a simple concept, isn’t it?
- Is your product, service, or content easy to understand and use?
- Does it fulfill a need?
- Is it memorable?
Real-life example of using the checklist to increase the number of our customers
The first time I used The Get Engagement Checklist was as the manager for an IT team that supported 400 websites at a large research university. My goal was to increase the number of websites the team supported and replace our aging central content management system (CMS).
The chosen CMS met these requirements:
- Has features and functionality that people need
- Is easy to use and add content, and;
- Users feel confident and competent when they use the software
The option we chose ticked all the boxes. How do we know? We went from supporting 400 websites to over 600 and saw a significant improvement in the team’s reputation.
Real-life example of using the checklist to increase the viewership of our content
In this recent example, my goal was to increase the awareness and usage of our training materials.
We started with 400 reference guides, a single channel to access them – a large search box on one page of the knowledge base – and a monthly view count of 6300.
Two critical needs we needed to fulfill were to increase the ways people could access the guides, and categorize them so users could easily see the guides that related to their work function. Without having to wade through hundreds of guides that weren’t relevant.
We met the need by adding separate landing pages for each work function, and each page shared links to important guides and other helpful resources.
I began a program to improve the formatting of the guides to make them easier to read, use, and find through the knowledge base search bar. The new landing pages also made it easier to access the guides. These changes left a positive impression about the guides.
Lastly, I told employees at the organization about the changes. I used department newsletters, managers’ meetings, and our own monthly newsletter. Throughout, I was quick to implement feedback and to thank the employees who had offered suggestions.
The tangible result was a 150% increase from the per month view count of 6300 to over 9400.
We didn’t increase the number of guides or the number of employees. We simply listened, made the guides easier to find and use, and provided a reason for our users to keep coming back.
How to Use the Checklist
When planning out your product, service, or content look to the checklist for guidance:
- Is your work easy to understand and use?
- Does it fulfill a need?
- Is it memorable?
Make your end-product easy to understand and use
This one speaks for itself. The easier something is to remember and do, the more likely you are to take action and do it. The more complex the process or procedure, the less likely you are to take action with all the barriers.
Easy to understand and use examples
- For your team to report their progress accurately in their task tracking software, their assigned tasks must be easy to get to and quick to update.
- If you want your team to behave a certain way, the reason needs to be clear and easy to understand.
- The enterprise software you want your organization to use needs to be intuitive, the information displayed needs to be easy to follow, and the next steps need to be obvious to perform.
- The content you publish to your website and social media needs to be concise, easy to understand, and tell a story that others can relate to.
Your product, service, process, or leadership must fulfill a need
What makes something useful? Is it the bells and whistles and whizz-bang animations, or the simple fact it solves a problem and meets the requirements you have?
We use the products and services that fulfill a need and, rightly, ignore those that don’t.
Fulfills a need examples
- We engage with our task management software when the need to do so is clear and beneficial.
- As employees, we use the software our organization has implemented because it clearly fulfills a critical need.
- We engage with social media posts that fulfill our need to grow and learn or laugh and relax.
Your process, product, content, or leadership style is memorable – for good reasons
Take a moment, if it doesn’t drive you nuts, and think of the procedures you’re required to follow at work. Are you left with a sick feeling and the constant thought, “there has to be a better way?”
How about that article you hoped would provide a solution, but turned out to be click-bait and an advert masquerading as helpful content?
The last checklist item can be physical or psychological.
The physical aspect is the visual cues you develop in your user interface to encourage people to engage with your products or posts. Is the information on the screen easy to review? Are the action buttons obvious? Is it the antithesis of dark web design?
The psychological side is how do people feel when they follow your processes or use your products? Do people feel confident about the action they’ve just performed? Are they willing to come back and do it again?
When your users think of your products or leadership style, do they get a sense of confidence and the warm fuzzies or a sense of dread and panic?
Hopefully, it’s the warm fuzzies.
Is your product or service memorable examples
- When asked to update project documentation, the team’s response should be “no worries, I can do that.” Not an eye-roll and thoughts of quitting or frustration.
- A team engages with a leader’s requests when they trust their leader to follow through on promises made, and lead by example.
- The interface and visuals in your software are clean and free from distractions, allowing the content and functionality to stand out.
- Visuals are a large part of encouraging social media engagement: a catchy headline, a photo that tells a story, an intriguing video screen grab, content laid out in easy to digest pieces.
- There’s an emotional connection when we recognize content creators and trust what they have to say. Loyalty and authenticity come from consistent, useful, and interesting content, and engaging with followers in the comments.
Final Thoughts: How to Increase Engagement with Your Apps, Leadership and Social Media
Central to encouraging engagement with your products, services, or content are these three items:
- Understand what your audience needs and fulfill that need
- Ensure your offering is easy to use and understand; and
- Make it memorable
Straightforward, isn’t it? Now go out there and encourage your users to engage with you and your products and services.