For those of you I haven’t had a chance to meet yet, my name is Becky Anderson, and I joined the Community team early in 2021. I came from the customer experience portion of Verint, and therefore had little to no exposure to a community. I’ve spent the last year getting up to speed on this side of the house, and just finished a course that focused on the strategy of managing a community. Following are some of the key take aways for me.
- You need different types (profiles) of people in your community, or it will not work. I think that when people think about building a community, they can easily focus on one profile of people. The reality is that a community of information seekers will not be successful because there is nobody to provide the information.
- Each profile of people need to get something out of the community. What people get will likely be different, but it needs to align with their goals, or they will not see value, and therefore will not return.
- A community is about behavior change. Regardless of the goal of a community, in order for it to be successful, members need to change their behavior. It might be from calling for support to consulting the community, or it might be to start to collaborate with their peers in the community instead of in private e-mails. Whatever it is, behaviors need to change, or the community will die out.
- There is a lot of planning that should into the content in a community. Content doesn’t just happen, and it should take the form of several different media types – including videos, blogs, articles etc to better attract different people. Its important to plan where content will come from, and the frequency that it will be posted in the beginning. Over time, some of this content may come from other members.
- Measuring the success of a community SHOULD change over time. In the early phases of a community, the measure of success should revolve around the people who are changing behaviors, so something like return visits or return contributors is much more telling. Only when you make it into a more mature community should you focus on growth.
- There should be some very clear rules/policies on what type of info is in the community, and what is better served in Social Channels. Having clear boundaries between social channels and the community, and enforcing them is necessary for the community to be successful, and not muddled with information that shouldn’t be there.
I hope that these keys for me are thought starters for you, wherever you are in your community journey. Sometimes I think that its important to take a step back and think about the bigger picture.