Community Best Practices: Lessons Learned

  • 13 September 2022
  • 5 replies
  • 169 views

Userlevel 1
Badge

Last month Meltwater launched it’s first Customer Community and we’ve had a ton of learning already.

 

Would love to hear from some of the industry professionals that have had a community in place for a year or so on what your biggest lessons learned have been in year 1.

 

One of mine that @Kenneth and I chatted about before our launch is simpler is better (e.g. can you have 2 categories instead of 5), start small then build it out or a tip from @nisha who only builds programs the community members ask for (I am paraphrasing).

 

Would love to hear from you, TIA for sharing.

 

 


5 replies

Userlevel 1
Badge

Hey @KellyBebenek  Congratulations on your launch. I’ve just started with inSided and hope to launch in the next few weeks. Take a look at this article, I find it’s a good reminder of what is important and keeps me grounded. https://rosiesherry.medium.com/a-guide-to-minimum-viable-community-mvc-96c391b9934c  Building strong and stable foundations is so important.

Congrats on the launch! I’m sure there’s loads of tips that can be shared, but here’s something in the front of my mind currently. 

Make sure when new members join, they know the purpose of the community and what they should be doing. Maybe, sounds simple, but plays a huge part in retention and ultimately, ensuring an engaging community for the long-term 🙂.

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Welcome! Let me introduce you to a little friend of mine, @timcavey . :)

I’m a Super User volunteer on the OVO Forum, which Tim happens to be the manager for. I have no doubt he’ll have some tips for you!

However, I can give you one of my own. If you want to keep Super Users engaged, make sure to make them feel special, like having a private area of the community for them to chat with each other and with your team - the Groups module works especially well for this purpose, so please try it out! Just make sure that the Super User Group is set to either Private or Hidden, so that you don’t just get anyone joining randomly who you don’t want seeing secrets.

Oh, and feel free to chat with them via PM too. I have a 50+ page long PM thread with Tim myself and we’ve talked about all sorts of stuff. If you make your regular users feel welcome, they’re more likely to stick around and help out.

My last tip - and this is important - is please ensure the spam filtering is enabled! I can see you’re using SSO so it’d be a lot harder for spammers to get in, but it never hurts to use the spam filter anyway just as an additional layer of defence. You’ll just have to keep up with the spam queue on a regular basis, as it likes to gobble up stuff that it shouldn’t!

Badge

Congrats! We launched successfully in July and have had really exciting growth so far.

Great idea to start small with your categories.

 

I would say firstly, collect feedback during your soft launch by asking specific questions about the layout, content, etc. Surveys didn’t work for us; one-on-one video calls and ‘personal’ emails worked best. We created a private group as well to receive ongoing feedback. Every couple weeks I share a poll or idea and have people comment to hear what they think. 

 

Also, similar to what @Blastoise186 said, utilize your low-hanging fruit. If you already can guess who your super users will be, get them involved and have them create content and answer questions from the start. Naturally other users will be encouraged to engage as well. The exclusive groups help too!

 

Plan your content calendar as much as you can. I started to schedule a couple articles a week, and this has helped a lot with content management. But also be flexible, other more pressing/relevant content might come up that you need to send to your users so you’ll have to move your plans around.

I also created a standardized structure (with flexibility - I don’t always stick with it due to reasons listed above 😊), for ex: every Monday we share something fun going on in the company, Tuesday we have a product update, Wednesday is for important news & announcements, etc.

 

Let me know if you have any questions, happy to help 😃

 

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

Congratulations on the launch! You already got great tips, maybe I can add some more and / or second some important ones already mentioned.

  • Set a date (approx. three months after launch) for a first category review and check if your initial category setup works for the actual content your community is publishing → then you can add, remove, move, merge categories
  • ask your community members to give feedback about the community (layout, structure, design, typos etc.) → be transparent and show appreciation when you fix the issues
  • empower your users to talk to each other and help each other out → the longterm goal should be that your moderators / community managers don’t need to do much customer service because peer-to-peer-support is thriving and your team can focus on growing / deepening meaningful interactions
  • set a date (approx. six months after launch) for a first gamification / ranks review → check if the thresholds are too low or too high to move up within the ranks or if you need to add more ranks
  • build an engagement ladder and a super user strategy → start small, but be prepared to scale it up (incentives, requirements, etc.)
  • Have a short but helpful welcome notification for all newly registered users that quickly highlights the USPs of your community
    • Have a similar message (using a widget) on the home page to drive registrations
  • If you are with a multi-product company with lots of processes, then be aware of simply asking your members “What are your improvement ideas?” because you will get more feedback than you can handle → focus on precise painpoints and set a limited scope that your company is able and willing to work on in a reasonable timeframe (e.g. “What would you like to see in our new App update?”)

Reply