We know that managing an online community platform sometimes can be hard. With so many different ways to approach creating content, moderating member input, and keeping your members meaningfully engaged, the possibilities can seem endless and we know that your time is not.
Since you will inevitably have to pick and choose what you want to focus on, we have compiled a list of Absolute Do’s for Community Management.
Tip #1 Create a content schedule
Do you know what you are going to ask your members before you start building your online community? If the answer to this question is ‘no’, then you might want to start thinking about this right now. Because these questions are what should guide the kinds of content that you create for your company community. To create a content schedule, you want to start by having a look at how long your community will be running.
If you have a community that will run for 3 months or less, you can probably plan ahead your complete content schedule all at once. Remember, this is just a plan and doesn’t need to be set in stone. Don’t feel like you’ll have to stick to every little detail in your schedule. It’s a good thing to make adjustments based on how your members are responding.
If you have a community that runs for a longer period (maybe a year?). You might want to make a general schedule for months or quarters down the road. Then work on a more detailed schedule for only a few weeks at a time. Based on the feedback you get from your community.
Tip #2 Group members and content
Many community tools come with a great system for grouping your members. These systems will help you to manage your community members, assigning content to only certain groups so that you have control over which members will see which items. You can even dynamically create groups based on answers your members give to items within your community. This will help make your findings look less like “Big Data” and more like focused insights while simultaneously creating a better, more tailored experience for your community members.
Tip #3 Use incentives
Make sure your members feel special by rewarding them. Thank your members for participating at every step along the way and get in touch with them personally. A private message with a “Thank You” note can sometimes make all the difference. You may also be able to make use of tools like our CMNTY Gamification Engine, which can be implemented into your platform. Set point and badge triggers to give your members the ability to earn points and badges through their participation. You can even reward people with real prizes, if you let them spend their points in the webshop.
Tip #4 Avoid forcing participation
For community managers, it is important to keep members active in their platform. Providing valuable content that engages and challenges members is one of the most effective ways to encourage member participation. If your community platform allows it, you can also use gamification reward systems to keep members motivated and to guide their interactions so that when they participate, they are being maximally helpful to you.
We know that you will want all of your community members to be on your site at all times, but remember that it is okay when members step away. It is better to have fewer active members in your platform who give you genuine feedback, than 100% participation from members who aren’t invested in giving quality input to your community.