Activating Community Support: Moving Beyond Engagement to Action

Learn how to create content that not only drives engagement, but compels your community to become active supporters of your mission.

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As Christian leaders in the digital age, we know that social media engagement helps shed light on the impact and effectiveness of our content. To monitor engagement is to keep a finger on the pulse of our community and their apparent interest in our cause.

However, we must not confuse engagement with action. 

Engagement is the spark, but action is the flame. Our mission is to turn the warmth of our community’s engagement into the fire of tangible support. 

Join me, dear Beacon, in exploring the path by which we can guide our followers from simply engaging with our content to actively and enthusiastically supporting our cause. 

Understanding Social Media Engagement Dynamics

When measuring the growth of our online communities, we often dig into the data, analyzing engagement numbers like followers, views, “likes,” comments, and shares. These numbers are useful for helping us understand which types of content reach and resonate with people the most, and which types of content aren’t worth the effort. 

The key to social media engagement is to begin with a deep understanding of the community you’re trying to build. What are their interests, values, struggles, and passions? And how can you create content that aligns with those things?

In my experience, when someone struggles with driving engagement in their online community, it’s because there is a disconnect between what they want to share and what their audience wants to see, read, or experience.

Bridging the Gap Between the Individual and the Community

True engagement begins when personal values align with communal aspirations. It’s in this shared space that our community finds its strength and purpose.

To find this shared space, we must take the time to listen to the members of our community and build our content around the topics that truly speak to their hearts. 

In our Facebook community for Christian authors, for example, we discovered that:

  • Our members struggled with making time to write consistently
  • Many of our members lacked a support system that shared their values and passions

With these needs in mind, we implemented three weekly posts:

  • A writing prompt to inspire creative thinking and act as a springboard for other writing projects
  • A support thread where members can post about their events and activities and receive encouragement and support from fellow authors
  • A prayer request thread for members to share what is on their hearts and pray for each other

While these three posts are not the only content we share with that community, they do tend to drive the most engagement — all because they reflect what we learned was truly important to that community. 

Striking the Balance Between Broadcasting and Nurturing

Remember, creating content that speaks to your community doesn’t have to be a laborious process. Uncovering their needs and desires can be as simple as having a conversation with a few key members or posting a question and inviting members to share their thoughts. 

It’s a balancing act between broadcasting the news, events, and services you have to offer and asking for input on what the community wants to receive. 

As you learn to craft messages that resonate on a personal level with your community’s passions, you begin to encourage them to move from passive to active support — to join your cause, not just your follower count. 

Because building a community isn’t just about aggregating numbers; it’s about nurturing spaces where shared values can flourish, guiding us toward collective action and mutual support.

Showcasing Impact and Drawing Support Through Storytelling

Social media engagement is important, but it’s only the first, most passive form of support for your cause. True impact moves beyond engagement, moving supporters to act, be it by donating funds, volunteering time and energy, or spreading the word.  

But how can we inspire active support?

The journey from words to action begins with a story that touches the heart, a call that cannot be ignored, and a path that is clear to walk upon. Through powerful storytelling, we can emphasize the tangible outcomes of people’s support, encouraging others to join the collective efforts. 

  • Explain a specific need your mission addresses, including the real people it affects and how their lives can be impacted for the better by having that need met.
  • Tell the story of when you started this initiative, why it matters to you, and how you plan to make a difference in the world with your community’s help.
  • Share firsthand accounts from people who have directly benefited from your organization’s donations or actions. 

Every story shared, every voice heard, weaves tighter the fabric of our community, grounding us in shared values that transcend individual differences. 

The more your community members feel part of a movement that is greater than themselves, the more strongly they will feel compelled to join the ranks of active supporters.

Leveraging Social Proof to Encourage Action

Another storytelling technique to inspire your community to collective action is to showcase the stories of existing supporters as social proof, encouraging other community members to get involved. 

Examples of impactful social proof include:

  • Testimonials and reviews: Short, firsthand accounts from existing supporters. Testimonials tend to focus on the specific benefits supporters have received, while reviews typically take a more transparent and holistic approach, weighing both pros and cons of the overall experience. 
  • User-generated content: Promotional content created by supporters rather than the brand they are promoting. Whether it’s a video, image, or written review, many people trust user-generated content more than brand-created advertisements, viewing it as more relatable and honest. 
  • Volunteer stories: Long-form videos or articles about supporters’ experiences partnering with your organization and inviting others to get involved in the same way they did. 

These and other types of social proof not only demonstrate positive results supporters can receive, but they also highlight the impact of community involvement in your cause and allow members to encourage each other to participate. 

The Final Step: Creating Clear Calls-to-Action

Within our online communities, every “like,” comment, and share is a potential step toward action. Our task is to guide those steps with clarity, purpose, and a vision for the change we wish to see. 

It’s not enough to create content that stirs up excitement or provides valuable information; effective content should also include a clear, compelling call to action (CTA) that prompts people to take the next step. 

A good CTA has three key components: a direction to follow, an easy way to follow it, and a reason to follow it. 

For example, if you want people to sign up for your monthly newsletter, your CTA should 1) explicitly instruct them to sign up, 2) provide a link, and 3) succinctly explain how signing up for the newsletter will benefit them. 

To strengthen your CTA even more, ensure that it is directly linked to the content it accompanies, such as placing a call to donate funds alongside the stories of past or future beneficiaries. 

Building your content around the CTA creates a sense of relevance and continuity, priming the audience to take action as the next logical step even before presenting them with the opportunity to do so. 

Dear Beacon, true support transcends the digital space — it’s when the stories we share inspire hands to lift, voices to speak out, and hearts to open. 

If you are ready to transform your impact and lead your community into the future, then here is your call to take action today: Become a Beacon leader and join a movement that is reshaping Christian leadership for the digital age. 

Meet me faithfully in The Beacon Fellowship, and let’s transform engagement into a force for good.

With courage and conviction,

Tamara Jackson

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