The foot-in-the-door technique is a persuasion technique based on the principle of consistency. It involves making a small initial request that is likely to be accepted, and then following it up with a larger request. The idea is that by gaining initial agreement to the smaller request, individuals are more inclined to comply with the larger request later on. The technique works by capitalizing on the human desire for consistency and the tendency to align subsequent actions with previous commitments.
In the context of an online community, the foot-in-the-door technique can be applied to encourage desired behaviors or actions from community members. For example, a community manager may start by asking members to participate in a quick poll or provide feedback on a specific topic. Once members have engaged and complied with this small request, it becomes easier to ask for more substantial contributions, such as volunteering for community initiatives, participating in discussions, or providing in-depth feedback. By leveraging the foot-in-the-door technique, online communities can increase engagement and participation by gradually building commitment and involvement from their members.