50 community building tips from Feverbee | Opensource.com

50 community building tips from Feverbee

Posted 26 Jun 2013 by 

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If you're looking for a few immediately useful actions for community building, here are 50 that might help.

  1. Create an area that caters to newcomers on the topic. Put the beginner guides here and link these to relevant forum discussions.
  2. Identify a common problem and launch an eBook where members can share their best advice. Publish it next month.
  3. Hire a full-time community manager with experience, passion, and existing relationships in your sector.
  4. Initiate discussions based upon a challenge most people face. Make sure you post it as a question to be answered: "How are you tackling {problem}?"
  5. Interview a member of the community. Ask them about both their experience and opinions on topical issues.
  6. Write a news-post highlighting what’s new in the community.
  7. Remove the big graphic and make sure the latest activity is above the fold on the landing page of your community.
  8. Change the post-registration page to a newcomer-created page highlighting specifically what someone can do in the community right now.
  9. Ensure all e-mails from the community originate from your e-mail address.
  10. Remove the areas of the site that don’t get used much (blogs, multimedia areas, groups).
  11. Create a person of the year award for a VIP/influencer in your sector.
  12. Organize a live online event featuring a common topic of discussion, a VIP, or a live lesson for people that want to be better at the topic.
  13. Reach out to members that have made lengthy posts, and ask if they would like to write regular columns based upon that topic.
  14. Introduce fascinating questions to the profile page. What was the biggest achieve/failure/best memory/how did they get involved in that topic?
  15. Make your community public, ensure everyone can see everything.
  16. Replace your community about page with a history page. Highlight the founding members, the big debates, the top members, and things the community has achieved.
  17. Plan out a specific newcomer journey through your community. What will their first contribution be, the second, and the third.
  18. Survey your members on their feelings towards the topical issues, publish the results, and send to news media.
  19. Reach out to your top 20 members. Just ask how they’re doing.
  20. Cultivate the most common questions into a FAQ area on the community platform.
  21. Add your e-mail and mobile/cell number to several areas in the community. Invite people to contact you with their ideas/opinions/problems.
  22. Create a welcome guide highlighting what members can do in the community and the culture of the community.
  23. Invite five people to join your community. Make sure you highlight something specific within the community they can do.
  24. Identify a common goal the community can achieve and break it down into simple steps.
  25. Create a clear be more involved area of the community for people that want to help run the community.
  26. Look for topics which frequently arise and build a sub-group for this topic. Find a passionate person to manage the group.
  27. Advise the five people that complain the most that this community probably isn’t right for them.
  28. Reach out to journalists in your sector and offer them a few current trends/stories in that field from the community. Ask if they would like a weekly update of community snippets they can use for their work.
  29. Benchmark the current number of active members in the community, the number of posts, the number of posts per active member. Now do this again next month.
  30. Use the sense of community index as a survey to a random sample of members.
  31. Invite members to submit their nominations for community members of the month/year.
  32. Create a standard newsletter template which highlights activities people can get involved in right now.
  33. Change the default profile picture and answers to something funny.
  34. Interview five members, look to see what symbols/words/expressions they use which are unique to community members and use them throughout the community. Ideally, name areas of the community after these symbols.
  35. Introduce a fun Friday activity. The ‘Your Plans For The Weekend Thread’, the funniest photo competition, the quiz, or anything especially whacky.
  36. Ask your 10 top members what they think about a topical issue and publish the results as as content piece.
  37. Segment your members into newcomers (less than 3 months), regulars (longer than 6 months), lurkes (no contributions in 6 months) and inactives (no visits in 6 months). Send unique messages to each group.
  38. Organize a live chat between your boss, a few colleagues, and members of the community.
  39. Highlight three popular self-disclosure based discussions in the community. Turn these into universal discussions/sticky-threads.
  40. Create discussions about a topical issues, link this to an upcoming event on that issue, and write content about the event. Link the 3 sources of activity (discussions, content, and events) together.
  41. Have a theme for the month.
  42. Target a sub-group within your community’s topic to join the community. Create discussions, content, and activities just for this group.
  43. Find a common enemy. Write updates on what the enemy is doing.
  44. Post what’s happening in the community (popular discussions, events/activities) to social media channels with links back to the community where members can get involved.
  45. Change the registration page to only ask for a name, e-mail address, and anti-spam verification.
  46. Create a guide for someone to become a top member of that community.
  47. Establish a challenge for members. Who can provide the best solution to...?
  48. Tell the community about its meta-information. What are the levels of growth/activity. What are the most popular discussions/people?
  49. Organize the navigation system by popularity, not alphabet. Ensure the most used features appear first, as with the most popular discussions categories/groups etc.
  50. Ask members what products/services/books they really like or really need. Create a community-recommended/wanted area of the platform.

Originally posted on the Feverbee blog. Reposted with permission.

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Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee, a community consultancy and Professional Community Management course. Richard's clients have included the United Nations, The Global Fund, Novartis, Oracle, OECD, BAE Systems, AMD and several youth & entertainment brands. Richard is also the the author of the Online Community Manifesto.

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