What's your Community's WHY?

(Nick Emmett) #1

Replying to @kambash in this thread got me thinking once more about something I can tend to bang on about.


I mention this a lot in advice I give to people who are just starting out, it’s one of the first questions I ask them, and also would/should be one of the first questions I ask the key business stakeholders when planning and looking to launch a new community.

What’s the point? Why do we we/you want to do this? What’s in it for the customers/members? What’s the value they’ll get from being a member and (hopefully) participating? What’s in it for us as a business? Why?

When I took over as Community Manager at FinancialForce the first question I asked the exec sponsor was why are we doing this and what are we hoping to get out of it?

What’s your community’s WHY?

(Alessio Fattorini) #2

I have discussed this point with my community recently

###Why NethServer Community?

  • Vision: making NethServer strongly community-driven
  • Mission: being the most vibrant, supportive and friendly community in the open source space (and not just…)
  • Values: put human being first, learn by doing, be always inclusive, don’t be afraid to ask ‘stupid questions’, YOUR Participation Counts, community belongs to all of us.

We help IT professionals being successful with NethServer and Linux by connecting them to the most vibrant, supportive and friendly community in the Open Source space (and not just…)

(Kate Ambash) #3

Love this, @ale_fattorini. I created something like this as well. My boss is encouraging my direct goals to align with our business objectives.

Question for all. Should the vision/objectives/goals for a community be DIRECTLY tied (inclusive of metrics) to business goals?

(Sarah Hawk) #4

As closely as possible. It would be awesome if they could always be directly tied, but they’re generally a few steps removed and justification is by correlation. @richard_millington will be able to speak more authoritatively on this than I can.

In the case of a customer service or product support community it’s a lot easier to make that direct link.

Is your goal to reduce service calls? Easily measurable.
Is it to increase brand visibility via search traffic? Easily measurable.

Is it to increase leads to your core business? Perhaps not so directly measurable.

(Nick Emmett) #5

Totally agree with @HAWK on your question @kambash - the tighter everything is aligned the clearer your direction will be, the clearer your engagement strategy will be, the people that need to be involved will be more obvious and it will be easier to engage the different areas of your business too - which is vital to achieving the joint goals.

Creating successful customers is one of our pillars of success at FinancialForce and the Community we have, and the way we help customers and employees engage and collaborate totally helps us move our customers towards being successful. Plus our customers that are engaged in the Community also score higher on NPS (as you might expect) but it does show us that the people who engage with us and each other often become more successful.

(Kate Ambash) #6

Thanks, @Nick_Emmett. Appreciate your continued responses here. Following the strategy framework outlined in “The community Manager’s Playbook,” I listed Business Objectives, secondary objectives, etc. Some of the “user empowerment” and “sentiment goals” that I listed my boss didn’t agree with. I also have a section for community goals (from a customer perspective) that he sees as redundant. Not sure if you’ve familiar with the mentioned ebook, but I just conducted a really great survey that a few of my power users responded to and I’m feeling encouraged.

Thoughts on articulating user perspective/value vs business objective?

(Mark Baldwin) #7

I think that it can sometimes be easier to describe something by what it does not do rather than saying what it does do. I think we have very clearly in our minds what we don’t want the community to be and the goals associated with that. So with @Nick_Emmett original question here, maybe if we are struggling to come up with the why, maybe it’s a good exercise to say why you don’t do certain things in your community and that in turn will help you to get a better understanding of the why.