What would help you build a more successful community today?


(Richard Millington) #21

Hey @rwilde28,

I’ve shared my thoughts on this before here.

In a meeting with Airbnb last year, they mentioned they hadn’t used it for years.

The problem (in my experience) is it tends to force people through a narrow tunnel within the community instead of figuring out what are the best contributions people can make to the community and encourage them to make them.

It assumes people will continually increase their level of activity when in practice most lurkers, for example, are happy enough just lurking.

I think the principle (people can become more committed to a group over time) is sound (although prone to survivor bias in some cases). We’ve had some data that suggests people do participate more in the community the longer they remain a member (at least up to a certain degree). But this is only from those who were active from the very early days.

There is also a challenge in how to execute a commitment curve. Most of the writing I’ve seen on this shows how it can work in theory rather than how it has been executed in practice. i.e. how will you identify who is in each group? How do you communicate the next steps to them? How will you know if they have taken them?

This requires either a lot of tech development (costly, fiddly, and only possible in certain platforms), using autoresponders (<20% open rates and far lower click-through rates + dozens of unique journeys), or doing cohort groups and ignoring whether people take the actions or not.

However, if anyone knows someone who is successfully using it I’d love to join their community and study it. I’m very eager to learn about contradictory examples here from @Carrie_Jones or anyone else. I know it’s a popular tool so I’d love to be wrong on this one.

(Carrie Melissa Jones) #22

I recommend using it to map out a thoughtful strategy for getting people to become more engaged through asks at different points in their community “lifespan” and determining what meaningful engagement even means. I use this for planning community launches or auditing existing communities.

(Richard Millington) #23

Thanks @Carrie_Jones!

Are there any examples I can join and see here?

I’d be really eager to see how they’re executing it or any tips on how to identify who is in which group and how the asks are communicated.

Do you have anything on the conversion rates of each level too?

(Carrie Melissa Jones) #24

That work is proprietary to myself and my clients. If I publish a case study, I will let you know.

(Rebecca Wilde) #25

My internal community is a very new one made up of up of a group of consultants (who are all experts in their own field). I am finding it hard to identify different categories of members, yes there are lurkers and regulars but other than that its difficult. How do I set an objective for them to share knowledge with one another when there isn’t the classic expert to newcomer relationship?

(Piper_Wilson) #26

In this community, we used to have a, “What are you working on this week?” thread. Maybe something like that can spark some connections?

(Jason Preater) #27

I know about building communities, but I know little about building an online community. That is why I am here. That is what interests me. I work with a small NGO that helps schools develop democratic procedures- meetings, committees and, yes, community. It is called Summerhill Democratics.

We have a good following and a growing base of clients who share similar problems. With this in mind, we set up a forum on our website. We thought that people would find it useful to share their experiences and (don’t say it too loud) not ask us the same questions all the time. We’d also like the forum to be a place where people with a casual interest can find answers to some of their immediate questions.

That is the theory. The practice is proving a little more complicated. People just seem to want to talk to us. The forum is empty and I wonder what we are doing wrong.

(Richard Millington) #28

@rwilde28 Yes, as mentioned earlier identifying who is in each group does tend to be a problem. You can use previous levels of activity from whatever is native to your platform run SQL queries (as we do) or invite members to self-select themselves.

All have their pros and cons.

If you want to share some of your background/platform, we might be able to give more help.

@jason - welcome! really happy to have you here. Sounds like an interesting community, I don’t love the name, but I really love the idea :slight_smile:

The problem is probably conceptual. Can you try diagnosing using this? -> https://www.feverbee.com/stay-engaged/

(Rebecca Wilde) #29

@richard_millington Thanks for coming back to me. Some background, the community was set up at the back end of last year (so very new indeed) and is made up of 70 tech consultants and a core team of 20. We use a platform called Zoho Connect that has forums and manuals to facilitate knowledge sharing. Despite the community being so new, I am already able to identify active regular members and lurkers from the group. I wouldn’t say we could define any as experts, as they all have such varied interests and experience in their own area of tech. Should I therefore base a strategy on targeting the regular members who are already contributing to do more of the same, as lurkers usually remain so?

(Sylwia Ganiec) #30

At the moment I can think of is gathering a feedback from the community to find out if the site brings some value to them and what they are.
I would love to hear what they think about the community in generals and what I can improve to make it easier.
I found difficult to hit a large number of members to get the good response.

(Caroline Sekar) #31

Hi everyone! I’m very excited to join this community to learn from all of you.

Right now, our main challenge is getting folks to post / keeping our posts/week numbers at a good level. We have SO MANY members who sign up but never post or even give kudos (which is sort of strange, because you can read all of the content without signing up). Right now, I’m running a promo called “First Post Week” where everyone who posts for the first time this week gets entered into a drawing for some swag. We’ll see how that goes!

So, I guess my question is around engagement - what are some successful techniques for enticing users to post, and to come back and post again?

2nd question is as to whether or not our goals are reasonable. We are aiming for 15% month-over-month growth in # of posts (inclusive of new topics, replies, and comments on blog posts). We are also aiming for 20% month-over-month growth in membership, which we’re achieving.

Some background info: Our community is about 8 months old, and we’re a B2B company. The community is mainly for peer-to-peer support and also for ongoing engagement with the brand. All content, at this point, is public, and anyone can join the community (regardless of whether or not they have purchased our products).

(Richard Millington) #32

Hi @carolines and welcome to the community. I’m really happy you joined us here.

I’d like to get a broader sense of the community’s goals here. Why are you trying to increase engagement? Where do the numbers come from? What is the purpose of the community and the objectives for your members?

Membership growth and engagement growth are both certainly possible (at least for a short-time), but that will have to decline as you grow. I’d be really interested to know if the community in the no. questions answered, resolution rates, etc…rather than absolute engagement metrics.

(Caroline Sekar) #33

Hi Richard,

Thank you for your response. The community’s broad goals aren’t extremely well-defined, I must admit, but essentially we are about increasing engagement with the brand through providing support-related Q&A as well as engagement opportunities such as contests. We aren’t explicitly trying to achieve support case deflection, but we certainly do that as well.

Additional metrics for you:

  • Average time to first reply: 7.5 hours
  • First replies within 24 hours: 85%
  • Topics with an “Accepted Solution”: 25%

I hadn’t looked at these specific numbers recently, and they actually seem quite good! What do you think? Perhaps instead of measuring absolute number of posts, we could work to ensure that these metrics maintain such a good level?


(anf chansamooth) #34

Is there some kind of DIY online community audit/questionnaire available that I can use to assess the health of my community?

(Laura Prerau) #35
  • As the community I manage grows, how can we maintain consistency and manage members expectations
  • Also more engagement ideas/opportunities to hold the members that register/ members outside super users
  • Looking for engagement tips
  • Resources around strategy
  • Currently doing the Strategic Community Management training here :slight_smile:
  • I guess my fears for my specific community would be around disempowering their peer to peer support by accident through engagement actions? I’m not sure if that makes sense but where members find comfort in talking to one another, I wouldn’t want to invalidate that by utilising what they may have said to drive engagement?

I’m really excited to be here and doing the course with Feverbee - ready to learn and connect with you all!

(Laura Prerau) #36

Sorry @richard_millington - I went straight into posting against your dot points. Still getting a feel for the space here. I’ll be sure to jump back in here with specific questions as I go. I am part of an online community that caters for people with complex mental illness as a space to find connection and peer support. As we have recently grown, a lot of changes have taken place as we adapt, this can be hard for members that have been with us from the beginning and members that are very easily triggered by changes in spaces they are so comfortable with. I want to be better equipped to both support the long term community with change but also focus on the new comers and keeping them engaged!

(Margarita Kirillova) #37

Hi everyone, I’m new to this site and it seems full of good ideas. However, the community i am in charge of is not an “easy” one: it is an online platform for patients with chronic conditions (diabetes, cancer, arthritis, epilepsy, etc.). We are having a hard time getting our members to start talking. There is too little interaction. They read posts and articles, and patient stories, but they comment very little.

I was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience with a similar type of community, or whether I can find some insights or articles here on feverbee. That would be of great help!

For info, our community is about 4 years old, we have more than 30,000 members in the UK. Apart from a forum we provide our members with a health monitoring tool, a “health magazine” - a collection of press reviews and articles by condition or of general interest (health-related of course). We also publish interviews with our members, and we are going to launch medications database soon with the possibility to follow one’s treatment, leave comments and evaluate medications’ effectiveness.

Thank you!

(Paul Higgins) #38

I run a community for corporate escapees who are running their own business, living and great life and giving back. Hence the name Build Live Give.

There are three elements to the membership

  1. Direct coaching by myself
  2. Access to vetted suppliers
  3. Forum

My greatest challenge is engagement. I really want to help members, however I find it really difficult to engage them.


(Richard Millington) #39

Hi @marcar - this is a really good question. People like @colleenyoung and the folks from HealthUnlocked/BensFriends etc can help here.

The first thing I’d do is really look at the sites that are doing it well. Join them, look at their onboarding processes, identify how it makes you feel and borrow the things you like. Speak to some of your current members and ask them what stops them from sharing their stories. Once you know this, you can tackle this.

I’d also look at working with a group of people you have the closest relationships to share their stories. You can make it easier, perhaps allow people to submit them to you anonymously. etc…

(Colleen Young) #40

Hi @marcar, Sounds like you’ve got a “culture of readers” and may not be modelling connections. If you’re giving people lots to read, then they read. That’s like inviting people to a house party and handing people books and sending them to a quiet corner to read. How might you get people talking? Imagine a real-life situation and modify your behaviours in the community.

Happy to talk further about the practices I use. Is your community site public? Can you provide a link?