Have a great community page idea but somehow it doesn’t seem like others are participating?
Does it end up with you always posting content on the community? What stops others from contributing? Why can’t everyone see it the way you want to?
If these questions trouble you as an internal community manager you are probably facing concerns that many of your tribe often come up against.
Recently a leader approached with stating her frustration at not having enough meaningful engagement on a recent community she started. It felt like others weren’t buying into the community page and it seemed burdensome to ‘manage’ the forum. Managing a community is hard work. Here are some pointers to help you get started on the right note.
– Frame the objectives together: Before you get online get together and understand the need for the community. Maybe it isn’t the right medium for the forum and that is fine. However, by asking key members of the community their needs and matching it with what the online community offers you stand to make a better fit early on.
– Find the ‘hook’: If the thought is to ‘get something online and we will see how it goes’ the community won’t last long. Unless you are clear that there is going to be value that the group can gain from the interactions and you have a team working with a plan this community will stall sooner than later. The plan must include simple tips to learn, interact with experts, share opinions, gather insights, improve your work deliverables and gain new perspectives.
– Seed content before you launch: A barebones community page will turn away participants. Stay abreast of topics that matter to the group. Read content that will give you insights and help frame your conversations better. Instead of just sharing what research reports state you can probably take elements from the study that are closely related to the community and open a discussion. Get leaders to join the conversations. Before you go ‘live’ ensure there is great content already available that matters to the community.
– Demonstrate your leadership: As a community manager you will need to steer the group in ways that get the best out of everyone. Take the lead to socialize trending topics, ask for opinions and get those on the fringes to participate. Post high-value content and provide proof that you know where the community is heading.
– Be consistent: Avoid getting swayed by ‘current’ themes that can move the community away from the core objectives. Moderate comments and provide feedback in private to community members who may post content that isn’t most appropriate for the group. Channelize their energies to opportunities that are consistent with what the community set out to achieve.
Have other tips to make internal social media community managers get the most value? Share them here.