• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
Join:  7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community - Ebook
 

Join: 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community - Ebook

on

  • 1,492 views

Since the dawn of the web, tribal clusters have formed organically online. They evolved into today’s online communities—interest-based groups that empower marketers with a central place to reach ...

Since the dawn of the web, tribal clusters have formed organically online. They evolved into today’s online communities—interest-based groups that empower marketers with a central place to reach their audiences. Here are 7 steps you can employ.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,492
Views on SlideShare
1,492
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
3
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

CC Attribution-NonCommercial LicenseCC Attribution-NonCommercial License

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Join:  7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community - Ebook Join: 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community - Ebook Presentation Transcript

    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online CommunityA Free e-Book by Michael SilvermanFounder & CEO Duo Consulting and Author ofCapturing Community: How to Build, Manageand Market Your Online Community DUO C O N S U L T I N G msilverman@duoconsulting.com www.duoconsulting.com 312.529.3000
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 2 Contents 1: A Clearly Defined Purpose A true bonding experience. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 What makes them tick?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Their very own flag.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Get in with the in-crowd.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 2: Software Control The framework to tweak, change and grow.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 3: A Starting Corps of Audience Members The pioneers of your community.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 This is how we do it.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 4: Tons of Content Create a digital library. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Stay cool.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 5: Incentives for Interaction Clarify the value and gain the interaction.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Reputation is everything.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 6: A Plan to Spread the Word The word-of-mouth blitzkrieg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Take a human approach to marketing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Build brownie points with the search engines.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 7: A Keen Ear & An Open Mind Listen to your community members.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 3 1: A Clearly Defined Purpose A true bonding experience. The term ‘social’ has taken on a whole new context in today’s web-driven world of communications—but do marketers truly understand the power they wield? While businesses across the country pump marketing dollars into social networks, they continue to ignore the real powerhouse in word-of-mouth marketing: the online community, a website with potential much greater than that of Facebook or Twitter. ! What’s the difference? Shouldn’t every networking-based site fall under the ! ? category of social media? Yes, that term includes every web presence driven by real people. But that doesn’t mean every website or application is treated ? ! the same way or showcases the same behavioral habits. While social networks demonstrate real-world connections based on various factors, online communities are meant to focus discussion, supplement networking around a specific topic and promote meaningful information sharing between experienced, passionate members. Online community managers understand the power of rallying an audience under a common purpose, goal, identity or interest. Whether you’re already tied up in community management or just getting started, you’ll find a handful of important tips within this ebook, many of which were sourced from today’s online community experts. If you find the information helpful, I encourage you to pick up Capturing Community: How to Build, Manage and Market Your Community Online, my new book about online communities.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 4 1: A Clearly Defined Purpose What makes them tick? To create a community that accurately represents them, Community Find Your you must understand them. In many ways, it’s best if you’re one of them. Get behind the motivations of your audience. What do your members need? How will your community fill that role for them? Research your audience on the web. Find out where your community lives and how they communicate with each other online. But don’t underestimate the power of one-on-one communication.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 5 1: A Clearly Defined Purpose Interview Tips The interview is one of the most beloved of marketing techniques. Interviewing is a proven way to reach out to your audience and give them a pedestal in an honest, personal environment. If you can put together around 10 interviews to get started, you’ll be able to define natural audience segments, putting you well on your way to constructing a better overall vision of your audience. Here are some tips on how to conduct a successful interview: 1.  onduct interviews in person, rather than over the phone. C Face-to-face interviews offer a more personal experience and facilitate a more direct conversation. 2. Ask insightful, targeted questions.  To hit a little closer to the mark, narrow your questions in a way that will provoke a thoughtful response. The more specific the question, the easier it is to answer. Recognize the difference between questions that can lead the interviewee to a specific answer and questions that will bring something more insightful to the table (e.g., questions that make assumptions about the previous behavior of the interviewee). 3.  isten, don’t talk. L The important part of the interview isn’t what you have to say, so let the interviewee do the talking — even when they’re off topic. They may lead you to insights you hadn’t considered when you developed questions for the interview.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 6 1: A Clearly Defined Purpose Their very own flag. Your brand is the image associated with your purpose — the colors, shapes, images, tone, language and vision for your community. Keeping your purpose and audience in mind are crucial to developing an effective brand. To build a brand with which your audience can identify, define several aspects of your brand based on the user personas you’ve created and the vision you have for your community. Focus on narrowing your understanding of the following areas: • Themes: While researching your market, you should have identified the overarching themes that unite your members. Weave those themes into your overall message. •  one: T How do your members speak to one another? Apply the right tone in your community’s message and day-to-day communication with members. Conversations will flow more easily. • Issues: What issues get your community the most riled up? Promotion and engagement initiatives require a firm grasp of the issues. They’re key to how your brand evolves, especially on the strength of member involvement.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 7 1: A Clearly Defined Purpose • Networking Value: What value will your community members get from connecting with others? Potential job opportunities? New friends? Business partnerships? Or the simple pleasures of agreement or debate? • Imagery: What kind of imagery does your community respond to? Photos and graphics hold a powerful sway over defining the tone of your community. Use them effectively and your members will feel more at home. • Colors: Are there specific colors that resonate with your brand? Any web designer will tell you that colors send very specific messages. For instance, the color blue is associated with perceptions like trustworthiness, success, and professionalism. • Ethics: Different communities may require you to stay focused on certain values and ethics. For example, you wouldn’t expect to see profanity or obscenity in an online community for Methodists. • Related Topics: Because your community will ultimately define your brand, it’s important to keep all elements of your site open and welcoming to related topics. Remember: community is about interaction, and any non-threatening interaction is positive for your brand. • Representatives: If your community begins with a core group of members or you have other staff members with active roles, they should reflect on your brand in a cordial manner. Instilling the components of your brand in your representatives is a must. A clear position for your community will translate into the identifying force for your membership.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 8 1: A Clearly Defined Purpose Get in with the in-crowd. v is the outcome of your research and branding efforts. Your members should feel like insiders — they should be compelled Target your Community •  eave the brand name out of it. L If your plan is to create a community to bring more exposure to your company brand, potential customers won’t rally around a brand they aren’t already immersed in. Only your current customer base will feel like insiders; if your goal is to create a support community, brand integration is fine. But if you want to extend the conversation to engage non-customers, leave the brand out of it.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 9 1: A Clearly Defined Purpose •  ake a list of symbols relevant to your community. M Symbols — words, images, people, etc. — come in many forms and represent a powerful stimulus for your community members. Your audience already recognizes and identifies with certain symbols. Make va list of them and figure out which ones are most relevant and unique. •  e completely original. B Community expert Richard Millington, founder of FeverBee (a great resource for community developers), says that “often random words are easier to rally behind than corporate symbols.”1 That doesn’t necessarily mean your name should have no relevance to your market. Experiment with different sounds and images that may evoke a strong response in your community. • Consider nicknames. As we saw earlier, the nickname can build a more attuned sense of identity. You don’t necessarily have to use the nickname right off the bat; providing for an obvious nickname and letting it grow organically through your community can help give insiders more ownership over the brand. •  ounce ideas off potential community members. B Brainstorm a list of ideas for names and run them by your audience to see what resonates the most •  ash-ups are popular. M Successful iPhone community Instagram is a mash-up of “instant” and “telegram,” offering a quick and illustrative identity for community members. Pinterest, a content sharing site, combines “pin” and “interest” to demonstrate how the community’s billboard sharing works. Experiment with two concepts and find a catchy combination that accurately describes your community. •  ake sure your URL reflects your name. M The more unique your name, the better chance your URL will be available. The URL is a powerful identification tool and works best when it accurately reflects your community’s title. Make sure to snatch up the URL that represents your name as soon as you’ve decided on it. 1 http://www.feverbee.com/2010/03/naming-your-community.html©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 10 2: Software Control The framework to tweak, change and grow. At the dawn of your community, you have an opportunity to put the tools in place that will sustain your website for years to come. Take serious consideration in the software you place as the foundation for your community and you’ll be rewarded for years to come. Between open source and proprietary software options, the market for community management software has come into its own. If you don’t take care in your software choice, you could lock yourself into an inflexible situation that could jeopardize the future of your community. As you evaluate your options for your online community, place careful weight on the areas below. • Scalability: Will your software solution grow with your community? We can’t always predict where the community will take us next, but you better be prepared — and that means having software that can handle growth. • Flexibility: Once you’ve built your empire, will you have the opportunity to expand the role of your community? That feature your community has been clambering for may not be available with every software suite. An open source solution gives you the ability to build it from scratch. A forward-looking proprietary solution may let you suggest a feature or, if they’re savvy, they may already be ahead of the game.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 11 2: Software Control • Dependability: What happens when your community experiences downtime in the middle of a hot conversation? Your community can’t afford to lose its steam, so your software solution (and hosting provider) must be extremely dependable. • Customizability: The identity you create for your online community should resonate throughout the site. To maintain the unique face of your site, the software should be simple to customize. An open API and the ability to integrate outside applications can help you stay current with new developments in the market. • Usability: No matter your level of tech expertise, it’s always great to work with an easy-to-use content management system. With custom development, this requires a knowledgeable developer to configure a platform like Drupal for simple use. With proprietary software, play around with the backend during a software demo.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 12 3: A Starting Corps of Audience Members Start Your Community The pioneers of your community. Seeding your community with content and members helps you present the façade of activity in the early stages of your community’s development. It’s worked for some of today’s most successful online communities, including crowdSPRING, a business-focused collective of creative workers. In the fall of 2006, crowdSPRING founder Mike Samson was engaged in research to test the viability of his concept: a community website where companies would submit creative projects and get multiple responses from the community. Part of that research required surveys targeting creative workers and businesses separately. The research produced around 130 responses from designers and 75 from buyer companies. As part of the survey, Mike and his team requested permission to contact the respondents when the site launched. What crowdSPRING can teach us about seeding an Prior to the official launch, crowdSPRING contacted the respondents to take part in the beta launch of the site. Around 150 seed members began online community is that it is people who make a populating the site, creating a foundation for future interaction. Instead of community successful. Following that logic, seeding launching a blank community, crowdSPRING debuted with a solid population should start with people, not content. It’s easy to take that helped entice new members to participate. matters into your own hands and write a few articles or start a few forum threads. But using that as your basis for seeding the site is to ignore the human element that will drive your community forward.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 13 3: A Starting Corps of Audience Members This is how we do it. Not sure how to get started seeding your community? Here are some tips on what kind of people can help get your website started on the right foot. • Online Advocates: First and foremost, seek out people who already play an active role online in conversations of interest to your community. • Industry Voices: Get in touch with prolific voices in your industry and ask them to participate in the early stages of your community. You may not think you have a chance at prominent bloggers, journalists, and independent professionals, but you never know until you ask. • Other Professionals: Even if they aren’t necessarily prolific in your industry, there are plenty of professionals out there looking to build their personal brands. Knowledgeable interaction ensures high-quality content. • Freelancers: Freelance writers and community professionals are trained in researching the topics that matter most to their audiences and delivering high-quality content around those topics. Take personality types into consideration as well. Combative, profane, or obscene people usually don’t make positive advocates for your community. People who are well-spoken, respectful, and excited about the topic make better pioneers for the community. Consider the motivations of your seeded members. Do they represent a vendor in the industry? If a potential seeded member is selling something, he might not be the best person to get your community started on the right foot. Finally, budget some capital toward incentivizing early interaction and source contributions from seeded members. That way, you can be sure you’ll have quality interaction and content by the time you’re ready to launch.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 14 4: Tons of Content Create a digital library. The focus of your community site should always be on user-generated content, the product of interaction. However, to improve visibility, help keep the conversation alive and create a library of resources, editorial content is a great way to keep your community coming back for more. Your first priority is to generate conversation. Editorial content hits home for community members when it acts as a spark to set the conversation on fire. Writing with the greater goal of getting your audience talking is the most important part of writing for online community. 1 A  .  sk questions of the community. Q: What’s the best way to get people talking? A: Ask a divisive question that requires members to share an opinion. 2.  rite in a conversational tone. W “Writing in a conversational tone makes it easier to source feedback from the community,” says Mashable’s Meghan Peters. “It’s always simpler for a community member to join a conversation than it is to start one.” 3.  ffer an opinion. O Spin, or promotional material veiled in the content of a news article, is never a good thing in engaging your community. Presenting a clear opinion, however, ignites a conversation and motivates your community to share dissenting opinions. The community manager and the editorial staff should embrace those dissenting opinions when they are offered in an intelligent way. 4.  ake sure writers respond to community members. M For Mashable, Meghan encourages writers to take part in the conversation after the article is posted and the community responds. “That way, everyone stays involved with engaging the community members,” she remarks.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 15 4: Tons of Content Online Community Stay cool. Generating editorial content can go beyond Welcome, Funny Hats! sharing tips and other useful information. Thinking of your community site as a news publication can help you stay relevant in searches and continue generating new topics for discussion. If you employ an editorial staff for your online Hats! Hats! community (or take the responsibility of news posts on your shoulders), staying in touch with outside news sources is the best way to fuel your content generation efforts. Funny! Funny! Funny! Hats! Hats!©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 16 4: Tons of Content Here are five ways to stay up-to-date on the latest industry news: 1.  ollow publications, brands, and leaders on Twitter and Facebook. F Within your industry, major publications, brands, and industry leaders stay connected with the community at large through Twitter and Facebook. Following leaders through social media ensures that breaking news is delivered right to your doorstep, giving you the opportunity to find it early and break it within your community. 2.  et up Google Alerts. S Google Alerts is a free service that gives you the ability to filter news stories based on keywords and phrases. You can set alerts to come directly to your inbox based on any predetermined period of time. 3.  onfigure RSS feeds for relevant publications. C The web is rife with publications relevant to your industry. (You probably already read some of them.) Setting up RSS feeds through Google Reader or another RSS platform enables you to aggregate those publications into a simple-to-read format. 4.  isit news aggregator sites. V News aggregators are prebuilt RSS feeds hosted on a website. These sites, like CEOExpress, for example, pull from a pool of relevant publications and generate a feed of the day’s headlines based on the aggregator’s specialty. In essence, you want your community’s newsfeed to function in much the same way. 5.  erform firsthand research. P When you’ve established a working, successful community, you’ll begin to receive plenty of leads — some good, some bad. Not all of us have time to become a journalist — but if you plan to build a venue for breaking news, it doesn’t hurt to follow up on unqualified news leads that come in through your community or elsewhere.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 17 5: Incentives for Interaction Clarify the value and gain the interaction. Finding the most valuable engagement incentives for your community comes through experimentation. Incentivized engagement can include tactics around reputation, altruism, sweepstakes, contests, feedback mechanisms and social interactions. Hard incentives like gift cards, goods and plain old cash are great ways to spur interaction the old-fashioned way. Incentives In general, hard incentives will always find a good level of success. If you don’t have the budget for hard incentives, there are other ways to get your community interacting in the early stages. All it takes is a strong demonstration of the value members will receive through their participation.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 18 5: Incentives for Interaction Reputation is everything. How do you encourage more interaction while ensuring it has high value? Give your members a measurable reputation. To build points and sway with the community, members will contribute more often, and content will be thought-out and valuable. Think a reputation system makes sense for your community? There are a few different ways to go vabout creating one: • Point Systems: A point system offers a straightforward route to building reputation: give members the ability to “vote” on individual participation. Some online communities integrate positive and negative voting procedures, while others stay focused on the positives. Facebook’s “like” button is actually more than just a content-based reputation system; it also applies on an individual level — but only in the case of fan pages. Reddit, on the other hand, applies a point system to all members through its “link karma” and “comment karma” systems. Because community members are tasked with awarding points, the reputation system is firmly trusted by the community. •  chievements & Badges: A This type of reputation system borders on gamification, but it can go either way if implemented correctly. It simply acts as a visual “certification” for different milestones achieved by the community member. LitReactor implemented an achievement system based on an existing Drupal module. When a member performs an action for the first time or reaches a certain milestone, they’re awarded with an “achievement” — a specific badge with a title like “Ghostwriter,” “Scribbler,” or “Official Critic.”©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 19 5: Incentives for Interaction • Titles: The simple act of presenting certain levels of community members with a special designation in the form of a title can help bolster reputation on a more general level. With titles, you don’t have to recognize individual achievements; instead, you can set more than one bar to earn specific titles so members are ranked based on a variety of factors, rather than the completion of a single task. • Visible Milestones: Forums are big on displaying visible milestones: member information that validates their role in the community. For instance, some forums include ‘Member Since’ dates as part of every interaction so other members can quickly discern how experienced or green the participant is. TRAVEL! ART! DOGS! BLUE RIBBON! BASEBALL! GOV’T! GARDEN! ORANGES! PUNK GAMES! ROCK! DANCE! PIZZA!©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 20 6: A Plan to Spread the Word The word-of-mouth blitzkrieg. One of the biggest challenges of kick-starting a community is finding and attracting your audience. How do you appeal to your community to entice them to join your site? Creativity and clout packed a powerful punch for Kirk Clawes and Dennis Widmeyer in preparation for LitReactor’s launch. The duo’s experience with ChuckPalahniuk.net helped them craft an audience profile that they used to investigate ideal authors for their potential members. “We thought, ‘Why not reach out to authors who our target audience enjoys and ask them for writing advice?’” Kirk says. “So we sent questions out to a list of authors we enjoyed. Around 15 writers were happy to take part in the project, helping to create a compendium of advice in ebook format. “A few weeks before the launch, we started recruiting potential members through an email list,” Kirk continues. “As an incentive to join the list, we offered the ebook as a freebie.” The strategy worked. By the time LitReactor launched, Kirk already had a mailing list audience of around 5,000 people. Kirk’s strategy with LitReactor paid off in a big way, demonstrating the power of creative marketing in launching your community. What other marketing approaches are irreplaceable for communities?©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 21 6: A Plan to Spread the Word Take a human approach to marketing. Take the tech-speak out of your marketing. Members join your community for real interaction. How would you react if your first community interaction was with a robot? Consider the human element in every aspect of your marketing and you’ll have a better chance of appealing to your audience emotionally. Here are a few ideas on how to make marketing a more human experience: •  ersonalize Welcome Messages: P Yeah, yeah, we know: you’re focused on massive growth. Where are you going to find the time to create personalized messages? Don’t worry — you’ll have time to try this in the early stages. And you’ll be sure to leave community members pleasantly surprised that they weren’t greeted with an automated message. •  eature a New Member Every Week: F Spotlight a new member or a list of new members every day or week to draw attention to the new guys and encourage them to interact. •  reate a Sticky “New Member” Thread: C Develop a thread where new members can introduce themselves. This will give them an easy jumping off point for interaction, encouraging them to interact on a personal level prior to venturing into topic-based discussions. •  ct as a Resource for Members: A Make it clear to new members that you’re available to answer questions and offer general help, within or outside of the website. If a member asks you how to get a column published in a related trade magazine, offer to intercede on their behalf, especially if you have contacts at the publication. Go above and beyond and your members will thank you. Creating a more personal experience for your members seems like a lot of work. It is. But in the end, it’s well worth it, no matter what you’re expecting to get for yourself from your community.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 22 6: A Plan to Spread the Word Build brownie points with the search engines. What’s a website these days without a plan for search engine optimization? Spreading the word means a strong search presence. And a strong search presence requires a careful SEO strategy. Checkout some tips for beefing up your community site’s search presence below. Keywords 1. Create a list of key phrases that represent topics of interest  in your community. To measure the impact of certain phrases, sign-up for a service like Google AdWords or Wordtracker. 2. Find keywords and phrases that are already driving traffic  and dominate them. The program you use to measure your traffic will help you understand how search affects recruitment. Find key phrases already helping you bring in new visitors and use them to your advantage. 3. Measure the impact of new keywords and phrases and  adjust SEO accordingly. Not every keyword will have the impact you’re looking for in driving new visitors; through trial and error, you can afigure out which keywords are helping your community most and change your strategy to concentrate on those.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 23 6: A Plan to Spread the Word 4.  eep an eye on news trends. K As news that is relevant to your community breaks, use keywords and phrases related to the stories to capture interested parties. 5.  pend time on keywords that resonate with your members but aren’t already dominated by other websites. S Sites that own keywords you’d like to focus on may have spent years building their SEO. Try to own words that have less competition. Content Creation 6.  se key phrases once per every 100 words of content. U If you use too many key phrases in specific pieces of content, search engines can penalize you for keyword stuffing. 7.  uild new content consistently. B If you let your content dry out, your search relevance will plummet. 8.  ink to other posts within the site. L Internal linking not only keeps members interacting within the community, but also transfers link juice to other articles with different keywords. 9.  egin post titles with keywords. B Titles play an important role in SEO. Optimize them to feature keywords.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 24 7: A Keen Ear & An Open Mind Listen to your community members. In fact, don’t just listen: ask them for their opinions. Condition yourself to stop considering ownership of the community yours and yours alone. You have members investing time and energy into your community daily; let them help you shape the outcome of your community site. They’ll thank you by staying engaged and creating compelling content. ! ! ? ? !©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com
    • Join! 7 Steps to a Vibrant Online Community Michael Silverman 25 7: A Keen Ear & An Open Mind Here are some tips to help you empower your members a with ownership of the community: •  aunch Surveys: L If you’re not getting unsolicited feedback from your community, ask questions and feature them in a public forum to make it clear that the topic is crucial for the community. •  tart a Forum Discussion Topic: S Create a sticky thread in a forum section of your community. If the issue is important to the community, you’ll get answers. Otherwise, move on to the next issue. •  sk Community Leaders: A Because of their role as influencers, leaders should have a good grasp on what the community desires. Open a communication channel with leaders so they can keep you updated on community needs. •  ake Changes in a Timely Fashion: M When your community requests a change, make sure to get it done in a timely manner. If that isn’t possible, make sure you… •  eep Members Updated on Progress: K You can’t always make changes in a day (or even a week, for that matter). If you can’t get it done right away, tell your community that you’re working on it. •  ive Credit Where Credit Is Due: G When you make changes to your site or theme based on feedback, make it clear to the audience that they are the ones that affected that change. Know this: if you give your members ownership, they’ll consider it an investment. They’ll be back to collect their interest in the form of rich interaction, driving a wealthy economy of community well-being.©2012 by Michael Silverman www.duoconsulting.com