What sorts of posts elicit replies?
1. Not being a newcomer.
2. Post on topic.
3. Use first person, I, and convey what you are thinking and feeling.
4. Ask a question.
5. Use simple language.
So found J Arguello , et al, in “Talk to Me: Foundations for Successful Individual-Group
Interactions in Online Communities” 2006. Community Managers can use these techniques themselves, and coach their members as well.
Of particular interest to those in health communities:
Health communities are probably more likely to respond to initial posts.
Thus, a Health CM should be sure initial posts are replied to in a timely fashion, putting more effort into this than perhaps for other communities (except tech support).
Health groups are more about friendships and bonding than the topic.
Posts with this slant would, I think, garner more replies in health communities.
In the bigger picture, this really puts forward a roadmap for the Health CM. It may also make it harder to show a direct ROI to an organization focused on a topic.
However, bonding can be used to further topic based initiatives. An example may be a group effort to create an FAQ. Plus, an otherwise engaged membership can provide a unique audience for occasional topics. An example of this may be asking members to comment on a news article the organization is trying to gauge interest in.