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Growing your online community

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Online community growth strategy notes! With thanks to my community mentor at Sift Lawrence Clarke.

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Growing your online community

  1. 1. Understanding the motivations to engage
  2. 2. ASSOCIATION TYPE EXAMPLES DEFINITION MEMBER MOTIVATION MEMBER EXPECTATION COMPETITION Purpose Charities, political parties & unions Common process & objectives Collective influence & personal kudos Opportunity for a “voice” & personal recognition Charities compete for attention, political parties & unions for loyalty Interest Sports & consumer associations & subscription magazines Common interest or passion Entertainment, learning & self- improvement Access to relevant information & knowledgeable/ skilled members Many local & national alternatives Practice Professional, trade & industrial associations Common profession, situation or vocation Business kudos & business networking Access to relevant information & knowledgeable/ skilled members Competition is rare Circumstance Alumni, religious & self-help organisations Common life experience or position Emotional & social reinforcement Opportunity to stay- &-feel-in-touch & share experiences Competition is rare Purpose Charities, political parties & unions Common process & objectives Collective influence & personal kudos Opportunity for a “voice” & personal recognition Charities compete for attention, political parties & unions for loyalty Interest Sports & consumer associations & subscription magazines Common interest or passion Entertainment, learning & self- improvement Access to relevant information & knowledgeable/ skilled members Many local & national alternatives Circumstance Alumni, religious & self-help organisations Common life experience or position Emotional & social reinforcement Opportunity to stay- &-feel-in-touch & share experiences Competition is rare COMMUNITY TYPE Practice Professional, trade & industrial associations Common profession, situation or vocation Business kudos & business networking Access to relevant information & knowledgeable/ skilled members Competition is rare Professional, associations & B2B publishers trade Competition is rare among associations The motivations to network
  3. 3. The importance of proactive people  The 90-9-1 rule Out of any given universe of people who identify themselves with a defined online community: – 90% are readers – passive participants – 9% contribute from time to time – occasional participants – 1% contribute a lot and account for most of the activity – proactive participants  The implications – It is important to have an estimate of the size of the potential universe of participants in the defined community – It is important to recognise the ‘critical mass’ that can support a viable number of proactive participants (the 1%) – The community needs a single-point of entry to ensure that attraction and activity are not dissipated
  4. 4. The matrix of engagement ACTIVITY Search Read Download Postaquestion Answeraquestion Joinadiscussion Upload Joinmanydiscussions Guideothers Createadiscussion Createapersonalblog Encourageothers Liaise Resolvedipsutes Moveapost Hideapost Freezeadiscussion Banamember Unbanamember READER X X X ENQUIRER X X X X RESPONDER X X X X X X EXPERT X X X X X X X SYNTHESISER X X X X X X X X X TALKER X X X X X X X X X X X LEADER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X COMMUNITY MANAGER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X ROLE ACTIVITY Search Read Download Postaquestion Answeraquestion Joinadiscussion Upload Joinmanydiscussions Guideothers Createadiscussion Createapersonalblog Encourageothers Liaise Resolvedipsutes Moveapost Hideapost Freezeadiscussion Banamember Unbanamember READER X X X ENQUIRER X X X X RESPONDER X X X X X X EXPERT X X X X X X X SYNTHESISER X X X X X X X X X TALKER X X X X X X X X X X X LEADER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X COMMUNITY MANAGER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X ROLE ACTIVITY Search Read Download Postaquestion Answeraquestion Joinadiscussion Upload Joinmanydiscussions Guideothers Createadiscussion Createapersonalblog Encourageothers Liaise Resolvedipsutes Moveapost Hideapost Freezeadiscussion Banamember Unbanamember READER X X X ENQUIRER X X X X RESPONDER X X X X X X EXPERT X X X X X X X SYNTHESISER X X X X X X X X X TALKER X X X X X X X X X X X LEADER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X COMMUNITY MANAGER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X ROLE ACTIVITY Search Read Download Postaquestion Answeraquestion Joinadiscussion Upload Joinmanydiscussions Guideothers Createadiscussion Createapersonalblog Encourageothers Liaise Resolvedipsutes Moveapost Hideapost Freezeadiscussion Banamember Unbanamember READER X X X ENQUIRER X X X X RESPONDER X X X X X X EXPERT X X X X X X X SYNTHESISER X X X X X X X X X TALKER X X X X X X X X X X X LEADER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X COMMUNITY MANAGER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X ROLE ACTIVITY Search Read Download Postaquestion Answeraquestion Joinadiscussion Upload Joinmanydiscussions Guideothers Createadiscussion Createapersonalblog Encourageothers Liaise Resolvedipsutes Moveapost Hideapost Freezeadiscussion Banamember Unbanamember READER X X X ENQUIRER X X X X RESPONDER X X X X X X EXPERT X X X X X X X CURATOR X X X X X X X X X TALKER X X X X X X X X X X X LEADER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X COMMUNITY MANAGER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X ROLE ACTIVITY Search Read Download Postaquestion Answeraquestion Joinadiscussion Upload Joinmanydiscussions Guideothers Createadiscussion Createapersonalblog Encourageothers Liaise Resolvedipsutes Moveapost Hideapost Freezeadiscussion Banamember Unbanamember READER X X X ENQUIRER X X X X RESPONDER X X X X X X EXPERT X X X X X X X CURATOR X X X X X X X X X TALKER X X X X X X X X X X X LEADER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X COMMUNITY MANAGER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X ROLE ACTIVITY Search Read Download Postaquestion Answeraquestion Joinadiscussion Upload Joinmanydiscussions Guideothers Createadiscussion Createapersonalblog Encourageothers Liaise Resolvedipsutes Moveapost Hideapost Freezeadiscussion Banamember Unbanamember READER X X X ENQUIRER X X X X RESPONDER X X X X X X EXPERT X X X X X X X CURATOR X X X X X X X X X TALKER X X X X X X X X X X X LEADER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X COMMUNITY MANAGER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X ROLE ACTIVITY Search Read Download Postaquestion Answeraquestion Joinadiscussion Upload Joinmanydiscussions Guideothers Createadiscussion Createapersonalblog Encourageothers Liaise Resolvedipsutes Moveapost Hideapost Freezeadiscussion Banamember Unbanamember READER X X X ENQUIRER X X X X RESPONDER X X X X X X EXPERT X X X X X X X CURATOR X X X X X X X X X TALKER X X X X X X X X X X X LEADER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X COMMUNITY MANAGER X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X ROLE 9% ENQUIRER RESPONDER EXPERT CURATOR 1% TALKER LEADER 90%READER
  5. 5. Understanding the motivations of your persona
  6. 6. Key persona • NAME • TITLE • NAME • TITLE • NAME • TITLE • NAME • TITLE • NAME • TITLE • NAME • TITLE • NAME • TITLE
  7. 7. Key persona motivations • NAME • Passive • NAME • Active: • NAME • Active: • NAME • Active: • NAME • Active: • NAME • Active: • NAME • Active:
  8. 8. Defining the tasks
  9. 9. Management tasks • Review site progress regularly, including production of statistical analysis of site activity on monthly basis, against Key Performance Indicators. • Handle basic technical issues arising with the site by liaising with the software provider. • Act as the central hub of communications for all involved in the site. • Liaise with stakeholders throughout the client organisation.
  10. 10. Content & community management tasks • Create content strategy and Key Performance Indicators • Oversee implementation of content strategy, e.g. newswire schedules • Source content for publication to the site • Identify areas for advertiser contributions e.g. advertorial • Determine editorial line for news and features within sites • Source content from users - e.g. video, photos, blogs • Identify key areas of interest within communities • Categorise and classify content to enable easy searching and retrieval • Create, proof and distribute specialist newswires • Update site editorials and site content pages as required • Put forward inventive ways to link online features with offline activities • Check and moderate user postings • Respond to queries and issues raised by users and members • Manage online polls and surveys
  11. 11. Key questions • What new content is needed to stimulate the community? • Who (by division/department/role) will be supporting the community space and its activities? • What (i.e. topics) and who have you lined up to blog or engage in a discussion? • What online engagement might be occurring elsewhere that you’d want in the new environment? • Which persona will you be wanting to attract initially and over time?
  12. 12. The essentials • Get the planning right in the first place • Achieve ‘take off’ on the critical requirements: numbers, activity levels, adding value, quality control, ‘altruistic giving’ (reputation building) • Ensure personal safety and minimising risk: privacy, rules, enforcement, consent, relationships • Create value and trust for the audience • Develop leadership within the community • Choose the most appropriate form of control • Make use of the appropriate tools
  13. 13. The tools for the tasks
  14. 14. The tools Communication with members: • Newswires • Ask the Expert • Contact us/Feedback forms • E-mail alerts • Polls/surveys • Competitions Communication between members:  Members directory, profiling and peer networking  Discussion forums  Q&A forum  SIG
  15. 15. The importance of newswires • The five types of newswire • Generic • Usually associated with push • Community • More appropriate to pull – send me the latest feed • Channel • Sector or region • Promotional • More appropriate to pull – send me selected supplier info • Community service mailings • Usually associated with push - Update emails to community members announcing improvements to service
  16. 16. The importance of newswires • Characteristics of a generic newswire • Featured sponsors below header • Personalised editor’s note • Latest news and analysis • Reporting digest • Company of the week • Courses • Survey promotion • Partners • Press zone • Opportunities • Subscription information • Regular features
  17. 17. What does a successful community look like?
  18. 18. Barren Cultivated Overgrown
  19. 19. How to cultivate community
  20. 20. Cultivating community 1. Head gardener 2. Soil 3. Seed 4. Greenhouse 5. Planting out 6. Growing on 7. Harvesting Experienced Aware Emotionally intelligent Comfortable meeting others Sensitive to the seasons Tireless Methodical Know your site & soil type Select appropriate container Use rich compost Choose from: Annuals Perennials Bulbs Shrubs Shade loving Sun loving Select the right mix Enroll under- gardeners Agree routines, processes & methods Remove the weakest plantlet Let invited guests take a look Choose the correct site Choose the right time of year Consider the structure Expect a lot of weeding Encourage pollinators Water continuously Open the garden Fertilise: Too much kills, too little stunts growth Encourage dense borders to keep the weeds out Encourage pollinators Expect some pruning Water continuously Have a special 'Open Day' Cut the flowers & display them Dig up old shrubs Sell some of the produce Compare & compete with other gardeners Seeding Training/Support Launch Month 3-4 Month 5-9 Month 10-12Month 1-2 Positioning Month 1 onwards Sustaining Timeline: Year 1 Strategy Year 2 Mentoring Health checks
  21. 21. Cultivating community 1. Head gardener 2. Soil 3. Seed 4. Greenhouse 5. Planting out 6. Growing on 7. Harvesting Experienced Aware Emotionally intelligent Comfortable meeting others Sensitive to the seasons Tireless Methodical Know your site & soil type Select appropriate container Use rich compost Choose from: Annuals Perennials Bulbs Shrubs Shade loving Sun loving Select the right mix Enroll under- gardeners Agree routines, processes & methods Remove the weakest plantlet Let invited guests take a look Choose the correct site Choose the right time of year Consider the structure Expect a lot of weeding Encourage pollinators Water continuously Open the garden Fertilise: Too much kills, too little stunts growth Encourage dense borders to keep the weeds out Encourage pollinators Expect some pruning Water continuously Have a special 'Open Day' Cut the flowers & display them Dig up old shrubs Sell some of the produce Compare & compete with other gardeners Seeding Training/Support Launch Month 3-4 Month 5-9 Month 10-12Month 1-2 Positioning Month 1 onwards Sustaining Timeline: Year 1 Strategy Year 2 Mentoring Health checks
  22. 22. 200 : Task Block Seeding 300 : Task Block Training 500 : Task Block Launch 600 : Task Block Sustaining 400 : Task Block Support 100: Task Block Positioning Seeding Training/Support Launch Month 3-4 Month 5-9 Month 10-12Month 1-2 Positioning Month 1 onwards Sustaining Timeline: Year 1 Strategy Year 2 Mentoring Health checks
  23. 23. 100: Task Block Positioning 200 : Task Block Seeding 300 : Task Block Training 500 : Task Block Launch 600 : Task Block Sustaining 400 : Task Block Support Project Management SOFT-LAUNCH SITE IMPLEMENTED Project management Owner: Task: Schedule Positioning Seeding Soft launch Training Support Full launch 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Community management Owner: Task: Co-ordinate
  24. 24. 100: Task Block Positioning 200 : Task Block Seeding 300 : Task Block Training 400 : Task Block Support 500 : Task Block Launch 600 : Task Block Sustaining 110: Task Block House rules 120: Task Block Data protection 130: Task Block Personal identity ID Action Owner Documents to create 110 Create House Rules - simple 120 Create Privacy statement 130 Define Policy 140 Define Policy 150 Define Policy 160 Define CSFs/KPIs Positioning Seeding Soft launch Training Support Full launch 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 140: Task Block External links 150: Task Block Internal feedback mechanism 160: Task Block Critical success factors/KPIs
  25. 25. 100: Task Block Positioning 200 : Task Block Seeding 300 : Task Block Training 400 : Task Block Support 500 : Task Block Launch 600 : Task Block Sustaining ID Action Owner Documents to create 210 Define Final structure for launch 220 Define Access rights & rules for membership 230 Identify & contact Schedule; privileges; Leader Pack; invite 240 Identify & contact Schedule; invite; Participants Welcome Pack; Feedback evaluation 250 Promote Internal and public messages 210: Task Block Finalise taxonomy/ functionality 230: Task Block Recruit leaders 240: Task Block Invite participants 250: Task Block Pre-launch site 220: Task Block Finalise access rights Positioning Seeding Soft launch Training Support Full launch 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
  26. 26. 100: Task Block Positioning 200 : Task Block Seeding 300 : Task Block Training 400 : Task Block Support 500 : Task Block Launch 600 : Task Block Sustaining ID Action Owner Documents to create 310 Define techniques User guide inc. benefits 320 Co-ordinate Training materials 330 Co-ordinate Training materials 310: Task Block 320: Task Block Admin 330: Task Block Leaders Social components Positioning Seeding Soft launch Training Support Full launch 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
  27. 27. 100: Task Block Positioning 200 : Task Block Seeding 300 : Task Block Training 400 : Task Block Support 500 : Task Block Launch 600 : Task Block Sustaining ID Action Owner Documents to create 410 Create & promote Structure/topics 420 Create Online help texts 420: Task Block Self-help files 410: Task Block Leaders’ online group Positioning Seeding Soft launch Training Support Full launch 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
  28. 28. 100: Task Block Positioning 200 : Task Block Seeding 300 : Task Block Training 400 : Task Block Support 500 : Task Block Launch 600 : Task Block Sustaining ID Action Owner Documents to create 510 Promote Announcement 510: Task Block Launch Positioning Seeding Soft launch Training Support Full launch 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
  29. 29. 100: Task Block Positioning 200 : Task Block Seeding 300 : Task Block Training 400 : Task Block Support 500 : Task Block Launch 600 : Task Block Sustaining ID Action Owner Documents to create 610 Enhance KPIs/metrics Enhanced KPI’s 620 Define Schedule 630 Define Schedule 640 Define Requirements 650 Define Add to User Guide 310 660 Define Schedule 610: Task Block Monitoring 620: Task Block Polls 630: Task Block Surveys 640: Task Block Ratings 650: Task Block Rituals 660: Task Block Face-to-face meetings

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