In case you have worries or questions around some of these, just let us know in the comments! We will be happy to help you with our expertise.
1. Not adding fresh content regularlyJust after the launch of your community, you might notice that you don’t immediately get a lot of visitors and user generated content. Don’t let this stop you from keep on posting new content on a daily basis. This will stimulate the visitors that were able to find your community to come back or participate as they see a lively environment. Next to this, it will help the indexing by Google as the search engine will notice the dynamics.
2. Not giving enough attention to your membersWe sometimes see that new members don’t get the attention they deserve. Especially in the beginnen you need to engage with these users to make sure they keep adding content, feel appreciated and can contribute to a good sentiment. Therefore welcome every new user, make sure they don’t have to wait too long for a comment and send a private message to every positive and constructive new member to thank them for the contribution, explain that you just launched the new community and that you would appreciate feedback or any tips for improvement. You can also ask them what they would like to read about on the community.
3. Promoting the community without a clear call to action“We launched a new community, come take a look and participate in discussions”. We often see these messages on Facebook or websites. They are created with the best intentions but usually don’t result in a lot of new user generated content. Make sure you promote a topic with a clear call to action. For instance: "How do you extend the battery life of your phone", "What would you like to read about on this community.." "what is your best idea to..", "what's your favorite...", "how would you improve..", sometimes it helps if there is a small incentive to stimulate these responses. Creating interactivity will also improve the indexation by Google.
4. Expecting traffic without having the right integrations in placeYou worked hard during the implementation, put in a lot of effort and probably opened some champagne after your community went live and than you wait for all visitors… Your wait for visitors can be pretty long when you don’t have the right integrations in place. People need to be aware of the existence of the community. Therefore links to the community on your website are essential, specifically in the main navigation and support and product pages. There is often also a chance to promote the community via for instance a banner on your website.
5. Not stimulating any bonding between community membersIn a research that inSided conducted together with the VU University in Amsterdam it turned out that the most important reason for community members to stay active is because of the bonding they have with other members. They like talking to each other, solving problems and helping out others together, and sharing their interests. Therefore make sure you mention members if relevant and make sure you connect them. For instance if a member has introduced himself or herself to the community you could comment like: “Great to read you are interested in …, I’m sure that @member can have some great advice about this as this is one of his favorite subjects as well."
6. Losing track of content managementBe consequent from the start and make sure that you perform every action that is related to content management like adjusting titles, moving topics to the right subforum (specially if you have an ‘ask your question category”, add tags, mark comments as the right answer and create a new topic if a comment is not related to the topic it is created in. We often see that not all actions that relate to content management are performed while this is key to keeping your community nice and clean for new members.
7. Giving answers that are not general but only focus on the topic starterSometimes moderators start to answer questions on a community in the same way as they would react to an email. They overlook the key-difference. The value of a community is that you can help multiple persons with one answer since all content is publicly available. Therefore always explain in general why something is the case or how people can retrieve the information they ask for before going into detail so that others who might land on the topic know what to do or can find the right info as well.
8. Directing people to use other support channels or private messages“Thanks for your topic, could you send us an e-mail via email@example.com”? or “Could you send me your details via a Private Message so I can look up the details”?. Messages like this definitely won’t help your community to grow and doesn’t help you to realize contact deflection (in fact you contribute to contact increase this way). Make sure to answer all questions on the community. Otherwise people won’t come back or land on such a topic and will contact you right away instead of adding a question to the community. If you need any personal details, you need to explain in your comment why you need them, ask for a private message and than give a follow up in the topic so that other community members also know the solution or how this person is helped.
9. Not behaving the way you would like your users to behaveIf you don’t introduce yourself in an introduction topic, you can’t expect other members to do so. Therefore behave the way you would like your users to behave. Of course you need to behave in accordance to the rules, but also live up to the expectations you have of your members.
10. Too much focus on numbers in the early beginningIt’s good to keep track of the growth of your community but be aware that you don’t start overanalyzing. Especially in the first months after the Go Live your primary focus is growing the community. Make sure you get the most out of the community by taking action to realize growth instead of monitoring figures all the time. Of course you should keep track of the impact of the actions that you have taken but don’t spend hours on looking at numbers while you could have spent that time to do something meaningful for your community.
Again please take these tips seriously, as we know how big the actual impact can be, especially in those early days of your community.
If you happen to have other topics that you think others should be aware of afer a go-live, just let them know here in the comments!