What would help you build a more successful community today?

These are good concrete actions to take going forward. Thank you! That’s what I’ve been having most trouble with - making the conceptual concrete. As in, what are the concrete first things I need to prioritize as the new community manager? Not just the conceptual?

I am good at ideating/ high-level thinking. But it is a challenge coming up with concrete, replicable systems to scale community that will definitely result in an ROI for the company. There are existing infrastructure, but it’s only 1 year old, and I’m charged with transforming it to generate an ROI. Any pointers?

Hey Jessica,
glad if it helps. First things I would really do is get to know the community. Talk or “chat” with as many people as you can. The is not really scalable at least not with the top contributers. If you have a tool that can “personalize” emails (automatically adding first names and other relevant user data) you can write a “very” personalized message to those you cannot talk with. I don’t know about how many people we are talking about here but I guess it is too many to talk to everyone in person.

I really would start with getting to know the community, get them to know you, be engaged that will show you what you can do next (from my experience).

Do you have goals / KPIs for your ROI?

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I actually first reached out over email and introduced myself, and then asked if they’d be willing to set up a call. Things were especially tricky because not only did I not have the professional background, I was helping to merge their current online community with an entirely separate one. So, some were definitely NOT impressed with me and only wanted to complain. But one thing I insisted on reminding our team was that even though some of the most active, important members were unhappy about the change, and many threatened (and some ultimately did) to leave, we needed to keep in mind that it wasn’t necessarily a loss - yes, I didn’t have these original active members, but it opened up space for NEW members who WERE on board with the change. It created opportunity for NEW active users to come forward and shine. The ones who were disgruntled and truly believed in the community eventually came around, it just took a long time. So, giving them the opportunity to vent one last time to me, say their opinion (because I was new and things were changing), and then it was either get on board or move on, because we weren’t going to tolerate any negativity or poor behavior towards anyone.

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I am currently trying to work this out. Ultimately, we want

  1. The community to be a source of consistent Sales Accepted Leads.
  2. We also want the community members to be a source of knowledge for us that helps inform product development.
  3. We also want brand awareness to the extent that those in the industry “know” us just by mention

The tricky thing is figuring out measurable steps that will help us reach these goals, and timetables.

I’ve been checking out this resource https://www.feverbee.com/roi/executive-summary/

Any other ideas/recs @anjo?

ah yes, not everyone is going to be receptive. That’s good to know. If I end up getting responses, I’ll keep the thread updated on how it goes. Thank you Rebecca!

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Hi! I took over managing a community 18 months ago or so and, while community growth and content have been improving, the focus is to start and continue engaging conversations; while this has happened on a couple of occasions, it’s not as regularly as we’d like or envisaged.

So, for me, strategies/tips/ideas on how to convert an informed and generally engaged/attentive audience into substantive discussions would be great!

Thanks,

Kieran

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Main fear: building it but they don’t come. We are shopping for community sw and it is exciting to finally get to that point where we will have the tool to set us up right. But the next question is: will they come? We have “places” for them to “do things” today - to get courses and have a real time Q&A but it is very transactional, no long term aspiration or stickiness to the experience.

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Hi CM Gurus!

I’ve recently become responsible for our online support efforts, having started by rolling out Knowledge Centered Service (KCS) to capture what we know as an organization. Next up is to pair the online KB to-be with an online community. We’ve got “forums” at the moment, but it’s almost a ghost town. After reading through most of “Buzzing Communities” I see there’s a lot to it(!), so we’re searching for a dedicated Community Manager. So, what is the one thing that would help me to build a more successful community right now? In my mind, it’s to find a passionate person, with the right skills, knowledge, and experience, to build this community, pretty much from scratch. Do you think this “one thing” is the right thing?

In addition to that, one of the things I’m unsure about is how to build a community that our end-users, Resellers, and Partners can all interact in. It’s going to be a support community, I think, so that helps, but it’s still a stumbling block in my mind, since they’re 3 very different groups.

Thanks!
Erik

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Definitely following erik’s statement on this. That Knowledge Centered Service (KCS) is quite create to help an organisation (read something similar on FinancePolice). Most of the time I feel forums are not as active as social media but you cannot just do information on Social Sites either. It is so ironical that people are looking out for new solutions.

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Hi everyone.

We’re building a travel community.

My biggest challenge right now is engagement. We have a small core group of users that come back frequently and are very engaged. But most everyone else seems to sign up and then leave. Some even introduce themselves, but most of those folks don’t show up in a future discussions on our forum.

We’re using Discourse.

I’d love to hear about some smart ways to increase user engagement on a Discourse-style forum.

For example, would creating a simple mobile app that shows message notifications help?
Are there creative ways to set the Discourse email digests that will improve engagement?

Thanks!

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Hi Daniel!

The problem is less likely to be a technology one and more likely to be a lack of interest in the topic of value they gained on the first visit. My question would be what are you doing at the moment to engage them in the community when they do arrive? What value do they get in the topic? What is their surprisingly positive experience?

If you focus on that, you will probably find a better answer.

Thanks Richard.

What we do is we have the top category in the list of Discourse categories titled “Welcome! Read This First”. In there, there’s a topic called Introduce Yourself with over 100 users making really fun and interesting intros, many times with photos.

But I don’t have an onboarding process that holds there hand. It’s more like “Here’s our forum homepage, I hope you click on the Welcome category and fall in love.” :no_mouth:

I wish Discourse had more of a homepage instead of just a list of categories and recent activity.

If you have suggestions or examples of how others deliver great first-timre experiences, I’d love to see that.

We’re at that point too. The community started in January when I was brought over from Social Customer Service Manager to be the Community Manager. We have great conversations, positive and knowledgeable people who are very welcoming. We’ve got a 63% first post rate, but the return rate is no where near that. How do we keep them coming back?

And how can we make a landing page for Discourse that isn’t so “forum-ie”?

I don’t know how unique my community is. We are an art education site that is subscription based, so you can only be in the community if you are a member. This means I can’t do much outreach and I don’t have a wide audience to work with. What I do know is that they want to be better artists, and they don’t know how to accomplish that.

My main goal is trying to get those members into the community. I've used at least a dozen tactics, but very little actually affects or encourages people to check the community out.

I’ve tried various types of emails and sequences, Newsletters, welcome sequences, challenges, art centric topics, providing personalized feedback and guidance, changing up the main site with all sorts of links and updates, hangouts, chatrooms…

We do have an audience but it is very small compared to the number of subscribers we have.

Engagement increases our member retention for a much longer time than those who don’t. I want to get more of those users in the door.

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Hi everyone!
I am an operations consultant and project manager. I recently helped someone start an online community for small business owners using a platform called Mighty Networks. This was my introduction to online communities - at least from a business perspective. Then, I started reading Richard’s book, Fever Bees; and I really how he has developed and documented methodologies and best practices. I’m so interested in this type of work that I’m exploring how I can transition into this field and work remotely as an online community strategist. Thanks in advance for your time.

Still in the planning phase. Very nervous because I tried this with FB groups and it didn’t work well. I want to be more intentional about how to launch and build this version. I’m still feeling it out but don’t want to over think it.

For folks that started a brand new community, do you have an invite email that you sent to your ‘seed’ crew that helped explain what you were doing and why you wanted them to be involved. A go-by would be useful. Thanks for asking!

You should check out CMXHub, which is sort of like the industry trade association for community managers. It’s focused on the community managers themselves, whereas FeverBee is focused on the communities.

As a follow up to this, they’re hosting their huge conference very soon and this might be an awesome way of jumping in. @David_Spinks can share more.

Whoa, you have an amazing opportunity to build up a community! Here’s why … If your group is for artists, then they need a place to share their artwork!

You can do … An artists corner, expert articles on new techniques, personal blogs where users can share the progress on their artwork (and through any courses or classes that you offer), social groups of people who might be similar in some way, featured artwork of the week, peer critiques, etc.

Make sure your community is deeply intertwined into the users overall onboarding, and setup an invitation committee that makes calls, emails, or etc to get them in. You probably have fantastic potential for a community.

Hi! @joelr Sorry for the delay in my reply. Thank you so much for your reply. Your suggest to chekc out CMXHub is really helpful. And thanks for pointing out how the two platforms differ. @David_Spinks I looked at the CMXHub web site. If you have time to exchange messages or talk, please let me know.

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