5 tips for surviving the summer without losing momentum in your online group

How will you be facilitating your group over the summer?

Whether you are expecting a temporary dip in activity or aim to continue the same levels of facilitation by sharing the workload, it’s worth having a plan and communicating your plan to your members. They will appreciate knowing what to expect from the group.

Any patches of ‘quiet’ time can be used to your group’s advantage. Think about your members who are around over the summer and would welcome a little nudge to get involved and participate. Just 1-2 simple activities a week could make all the difference, help to keep your group ticking over and get you back in full swing after the summer period.

Here are 5 tips to help keep members engaged over the summer:  

  1. Plan some low maintenance activities to keep members who are around engaged. Polls are always quick wins and members find it easy to get involved in them. Or why not ask members to share some of the things they are currently working on over the summer, what events they have coming up, and who they’ve connected with/met recently in your profession?
     
  2. Introduce a summer activity that can help to kick-start new content, e.g. using the wiki to create a list of useful resources or best innovations or breakthroughs to date, or the ideas generator to identify relevant topics to focus on next.
     
  3. Have a look through your group’s content and summarise or re-use key discussions and activity to make it easy for members to find relevant content and digest it. Remind members of the valuable content available to them and don’t forget to remove content that’s out of date or no longer relevant.
     
  4. Use the summer period as an opportunity to review your group’s purpose and ongoing plan. Get members involved by using your group wiki to improve your current group purpose and plan and ask members to help shape where the group is going by asking them for their views and suggestions.
     
  5. Inject some activity that’s work related with a fun/social twist to spark new levels of engagement, e.g. competitions, an ideas campaign or a summer holiday related poll question that relates to your work topic.

Whatever your plan is for facilitating your group over the summer, don’t forget to communicate it to your members. Send a group message or add an announcement to keep members in the loop. Plus, you’ll find a range of engagement techniques that you can tweak and roll out in your own group on our help pages here (sign in required).

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