5 tips to managing your online community

It is tough running a community and being a lead facilitator but there are some simple steps you can take to keep your community fabulous and engaging. Here are some tips agreed by community managers that will help you manage your community:

  1. Recognise member contributions: helping people see the value of their knowledge encourages them to share. It can build their confidence or boost their ego to being an expert.
  2. Make sure you are not the only/main conversation starter: You are there to encourage members to participate and sometimes that involves taking a lead in starting a discussion — but don’t forget to engage your community champions to start conversations too. Their role is to be enthusiastic to new members, provide a welcome and get members engaging.
  3. Use stories or case studies: storytelling is effective to describe the success of the community or to present the benefits of the community both online and offline to prospective users.
  4. Provide a blend of online and offline opportunities: Twitter groups have become hugely successful holding ‘tweet-ups’. Organising online #AskMeAnything sessions with experts engage members. Hotseats on popular topics or panel discussions tailored to Members most frequent questions are valuable and shows you are listening to your members. Community conferences and webinars bring your members together as a networking opportunity. Meet ups help build trust between members.
  5. Motivate participation with little effort:Ask new members to introduce themselves when they join; create a forum for readers recommendations; enable ‘like’ on posts so that lurkers can participate without the pressure of commenting; post something provocative to elicit a reaction; or consider professional match-making, linking members based on similar interests or posts.

There are many more ways to help you manage a community, these are just a sample of common advice given. Will you share with me your top tip for managing a community.