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Guest Blog: 16 Community ideas to ring in the holidays

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Outside your window, the leaves have burst into fiery reds and oranges.  A crisp breeze floats in the air.  The birds have long chirped their good-byes.

And you’re sipping a hot cup of apple cider, contemplating the change in season.

The holidays are almost here.

The end of the year is one of the best chances to take stock your community and provide an emotive experience for your members.  It’s a chance to reflect upon what you learned, what new initiatives you started, and what you still have ahead of you.  It’s a chance to provide a sense of closure to the year and to ignite one more burst of community-wide goodwill.  In short, the holiday season is an amazing opportunity to bring your community together one last time in 2018.

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Here are 16 ideas for the holidays in four categories.  Try to select at least one idea from each category for a holiday plan that runs the gamut of the community experience.  Choose the ones that you especially like; gather your staff members to brainstorm; and put together a plan that’ll navigate you better than Santa’s reindeer through the holidays!

Design

One of the easiest and simplest things you can do is to update your community’s design for the holiday to provide an immediate visual impact.  Users love to see fun twists on your theme.

1.    Tweak your logo with falling snow or twinkling lights.
2.    Replace your forum icons with holiday ones.
3.    Go bold and install a whole new holiday theme from the Marketplace.
4.    Coordinate the holiday design across all of your social media and web properties.

Remembrance

Your 2018 was filled with emotional triumphs and tribulations. Did your community accomplish something great?  How many new members did you welcome?  Did you lose any members?  Create a shared experience that binds and connects your community closer together.

1.    Craft a year-end mailer that chronicles your community’s victories and struggles.
2.    Post a “Did You Remember This?” topic that reconnects with all the funniest, informative, and most poignant topics.
3.    Edit a “Top Moments of 2018” montage that highlights the biggest events that transformed your community in the past year.
4.    Memorialize members who have moved on or departed your community.

Appreciation

Holidays are all about demonstrating appreciation for your loved ones, and your community is no different.  Take the time to demonstrate an authentic and warm appreciation for all members who have shared the past year with you. 

1.    Promote new users who have done a superb job of supporting the community over the year.
2.    Send out physical or digital gifts as a token of your appreciation to key members.
3.    Write individualized messages for every staff member that highlights their wonderful contributions.
4.    Send a thank-you note to Invision Community in the comments below on how using Invision Community has helped propel your community’s growth in 2018.

Celebration

Finally, the holidays are a season of celebration.  Spread tidings of joy and merriment to all members in your community, social media, and offline for all-around cheer.
 
1.    Count down to the holidays with different daily announcement using the Announcements feature.
2.    Write a year-end “2018 Celebration Message” mailer to applaud all the great events from 2018
3.    Host a winter giveaway with special holiday packages or gifts.
4.    Throw a holiday party as a meet-up, using Calendar and Venues, to mingle with your members in person.

Reconnect your members one more time in 2018 with a rich and shared story of the past year.  The holidays are an intensely emotional time that can provide an occasion for remembrance, an occasion for appreciation, and most of all, an occasion of celebration of all great things that have happened and are yet to come.  Let your community be the gift that keeps on giving.  

Happy holidays to all Invision Community clients, and may your winter holidays be filled with joyous cheer and community friendship!

Joel R is a mystery wrapped inside an enigma. When he's not running his own successful community, he's peppering Invision Community's private Slack channel with his feedback, community management experience and increasingly outrageous demands (everything is true except the last part).

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