What do you do when you’re on hold with a company’s tech support? Clean? Watch TV? Just sit on the couch waiting for the day it’ll all be over?
Predicting your community’s behavior can be hard. Many organizations find themselves guessing at member information, outreach and retention tactics. But the data is all there – in fact, you probably already have a plethora of data to help you draw conclusions about member predictors. It’s taking that data to the next level and organizing it that can seem daunting.
ASAE Annual is one of the biggest events we participate in every year, and we wouldn’t dream of missing it. It’s a great opportunity to join thousands of attendees to learn and collaborate on how to improve the association landscape.
Launching your new community is a big deal. A lot of work went into it and everyone has high expectations for the community.
Since community spaces are new, you can’t necessarily expect mass adoption from everyone the second you open the doors. But you can expect people to be interested and excited to see what the community is all about when you launch.
Starting an online community can seem like a daunting task at first. It’s easy to think that you need experience with other online communities to build a successful one for your own organization. However, while communities on a screen seem like a new phenomenon, their goal is to mimic a real-life community. So, rather than seeing yourself as the community manager of an online group, try imagining you are the town planner in charge of helping a new town get off its feet. By putting yourself in this mindset you can set your community, and yourself, up for long-term success.
Some community managers are really lucky. We work with groups of people mustered around a mission that we already care about—whether it’s a charitable organization, a favorite TV show, or the industry that we already work in. But many, maybe even most, of us are in an altogether different boat: we’re managing communities in which we’re not subject matter experts. How many times have you stared at a question that’s gone unanswered because, not only do you not know the answer, you don’t even know how to find someone who does know, because half the words being used might as well be in Linear A?
Wikipedia is one of the best examples of user generated content on a massive scale. Almost the entire site -- one of the most used websites in the world -- is content made by extremely dedicated volunteers. It’s the only way Wikipedia, a non-profit funded by donations, could survive -- they depend on volunteers for their entire existence.
Ask 10 people in your office to describe your online community software. I bet almost all of them talk about forums and discussions. While forums are great for ongoing conversations, they're not effective for centralizing community resources or allowing members to share tools or collaborate on documents. That's why file libraries are an equally popular feature.
Leadership hype always focuses on the C-suite – are your executives on social media? Do they have direct contact with customers or community members through formal feedback systems or a product advisory board? Do they understand shared value for your community initiatives? Most communities fall short in some categories and exceed in others - it’s rarely A’s across the board for executive participation.
But here’s another consideration: have you ever tapped leadership beyond the C-suite?