Core Digital Community Engagement Skills to Master in 2023

Digital community engagement has emerged as a practice in its own right. When established well, you can realize profound benefits. Digital engagement has the potential to rapidly reach broader audiences than traditional engagement whilst also creating inclusive, more accessible experiences. As digital engagement continues to evolve, there are four core digital engagement skills you should learn in 2023.

Leading digital community engagement practitioners look a little different from traditional community engagement professionals. They must be multidisciplinarians with a broad set of communication, digital, engagement, and analytical skills. They need to be able to communicate effectively, shape visual content beautifully, assert influence internally, and interpret data accurately.

These skills also can’t be mastered overnight. They take time and effort to cultivate and grow.

And, with shifts in digital offerings, being able to remain adaptive is also essential.

Today, we are reflecting on the top four skills we think every digital community engagement practitioner needs to stay at the cutting edge of the practice. Allowing them to achieve great results, and inspire participation in their community.

Community Engagement

I mean, this one may seem a little obvious at first, but you must have an understanding of the importance of all kinds of community engagement, not just online.

This means a fundamental grasp of core community engagement skills and practices. It also means taking a holistic view for planning each stage of engagement. A basic knowledge of the IAP2 spectrum is needed to understand where everything fits within the different levels of engagement.

Facilitation skills are also a must, as you may find yourself delivering hybrid consultations where digital meets the real world. It is also important to have internal facilitation and stakeholder engagement skills in order to unite teams that feed into community engagement projects internally.

You will need to know how to identify the stakeholders with interest and influence who will be impacted by decisions leading from an engagement project. An understanding of the importance of, and strong skills in communication, especially listening, is crucial, as is the ability to provide feedback, close the loop, and share evaluation results.

Digital Content Design

To be an online community engagement specialist, you must be a digital content master. Having flexible and sophisticated communication skills and experience working in comms and/or graphic design can be a big advantage.

Copywriting skills are also a great skill to have, as you may often need to distill complex concepts for different audiences and media. You’ll need to know your audience, and align communications to user research and personas, perhaps using stakeholder or customer mapping exercises.

Content should be tailored to the channel or platform. You need to understand your audience’s expectations and needs for each channel to make sure your message cuts through. Content should utilize visualizations, imagery, and rich multimedia content to hold people’s attention and give them a reason to care and drive engagement.

Data Analysis

Data analysis is a much sought-after and under-utilized skill that can make all the difference to the success of a digital engagement project. As a digital engagement pro, you should have some grasp of data science, statistics, and using business intelligence tools.

Digital engagement requires a data-led approach. That means understanding the data outputs from each participation tool and understanding which tool is appropriate for the job based on the data outputs it provides.

A sound understanding of analysis methods is required, including statistics, so you can interpret how representative your data is of the community and how statistically significant your results are, and therefore how reliable they are for informing decision-making. You may need to assist decision-makers to interpret results and create reports that turn data into meaning.

It is also useful to research or mine existing or previously collected data to maximize its value and ensure you aren’t collecting the same data repeatedly or unnecessarily. Understanding data privacy principles is quite important to ensure you are only collecting data that you can and will use.

User Experience (UX) Design

Working in the digital world necessitates a strong understanding of user experience (UX) design, as well as some knowledge of how behavioral psychology can inform good design choices.

Good UX design means creating inclusive and accessible experiences that help the community tell their stories and communicate their values and priorities. It can help people use technology to translate their dreams and aspirations into high-quality, actionable data, and can present engaging experiences that capture attention and drive participation.

When faced with design decisions, you can problem solve by uniting the user research, design, and digital journey.

This means that you can easily apply design thinking processes, putting the customer or end user at the center of the solution. For instance, think about how an end user would expect a function or element to behave, and ensure it always meets their expectations so experiences are intuitive and never frustrating.

Finding a Digital Engagement Partner to Help

Perhaps you feel you are on the journey to becoming a true digital engagement expert, but you see some gaps in one or more of the above areas.

Thankfully, this is where a good online engagement platform provider can help. Social Pinpoint provides the tools, support and training to enhance your practice and advance your projects.

We pride ourselves on working closely with our customers to build capacity, elevate their skills, and grow confidence so they can achieve great things for their communities. Getting the best value from our platform is key for our clients.

If you are already a Social Pinpoint client, reach out to our friendly team to see what advanced training options are currently available.

And, if you are looking for a digital engagement partner to help, get in touch with our expert team. We not only supply cutting-edge online engagement software, but support, services, and resources to help you take your digital engagement game to a whole new level.


Start engaging with your community today.

Our expert team is available to show you how to get the most out of your online community engagement platform.

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