Learn Community Management: How To Manage And Engage Your Members, Users and Customers To Love You

Learn Community Management: How To Manage And Engage Your Members, Users and Customers To Love You

A welcoming community is a healthy community.

As a manager (community or otherwise) your role requires you to be good at understanding people, managing and leading people, designing experiences that improve their engagement and managing the work they have to do as a group.

Scroll through and read the notes dropped. Also, use the resources attached to learn how to manage and engage your community of users to create a loving and healthy community.

To learn these skills faster send a message to @members to join our personalised and affordable paid learning workshops.

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The Benefit and Value Of A Community - Why Create A Community

Before creating a community online or offline, you need to first know what the value is to you or your organization. This way, you can justify the investment in the community, measure the impact, and increase budget and resources over time as you scale it up.

Read this The Benefits and Value of an Online Community [Article] to understand the concept of benefits and value with respect to communities.

Next you will then define the WHY or the VALUE of your community. Basically, you’ll be answering this question:

:question: Why should anyone join your community :question:

This can be rephrased to read as “What is in your community for me/her/him/them?” or “What is the JOB people come to my community to get done?” or just simply*“WHY your community?”* why not any other career or professional development community? The why or the value of your community is the main reason people rush or join your community. It has to be compelling enough to PULL them in to your community.

To help you answer this, I will share a couple of resources. Go through them one at a time and reply here with what you learnt from them. Then ONLY after going through the resources and sharing your insights should you answer the question above. The resources are:

  1. The Jobs To Be Done Framework:
  1. Start With Why:
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Understanding the Members and their Needs

After defining and understanding the value of a community to you, your business, brand or organisation, the next step is to develop the ability to understand people and their needs. For this, empathy is key and this section explains it through videos.

The first step to understanding people is to understand who they are and how they see the world. Empathy helps with this. Watch the video in the link below to understand empathy and how to build your empathy- The Importance of Empathy in Everyday Life [Video]

After watching the above video, let us dig deeper on empathy by building your ability to perceive how people feel. Watch the video below to learn -
Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care [Video]

Next, this video explains the impact emotions have in defining people’s decisions. This will help you understand the importance of emotions in people’s everyday lives - When Emotions Make Better Decisions - Antonio Damasio - YouTube [Video]

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Finding Your First Community Members

After building your understanding of empathy and emotions and defining your community’s value and the individuals you want to be a part of the community, the next step is to find and bring these people into your community.

First, create a community member persona that will allow you craft personalised programs and campaigns your community members will love - 6 Steps to Building Community Member Personas | by Katie McCauley | CMX Hub | Medium [Article] and Stop Selling to Everyone: How to Create A Buyer Persona | by Olabinjo | Digital Marketing — Digital Marketing Lessons, Advice and Tips (digitalmarketer.ng) [Article]

As a new community, carefully select the first members. They should have the characteristics you would want the whole community to have.

How To Find Your Community’s Founding Members- How To Find Your Community’s Founding Members | FeverBee [Article]

Building And Sustaining A Relationship With Your Community Members

A Brief Guide To Building Strong Relationships With Community Members- A Brief Guide To Building Strong Relationships With Key Community Members | FeverBee [Article]

Sustaining Long-Term Participation In A Community [Article]

Seeding Engagement In Your Community

In one sentence: Make your community comfortable.

In the early days, welcome new members personally. And as the community gets larger, try to do it from time to time like weekly or monthly. It helps them bond in faster and makes them feel more settled.

Create a code of conduct document and guides on how to relate and use the community. Send this to every new member and make them very easy to be seen and found by members.

Be very serious about moderation. Moderation through artful curation and diplomacy helps reduce noise.

Watch out for cross posters, spam, trolling, teasing or bullying. DO NOT ALLOW ANY OF THESE, NO MATTER HOW SMALL. A little drops of water make a mighty ocean.

As the community grows, try to arrange discussions and chats arranged into useful groups or topics. These could be categories, channels or sub-groups depending on the platform your community is hosted on. This helps reduce information saturation and noise.

How To Help Your Members Start Discussions and Contributions in the Community - Help Community Members Overcome Fear Of Starting Discussions [Article]

Creating and Growing Engagement

In one sentence: Help members learn and connect.

Help members know how to partake in the community properly and build the community culture by being a good example through your interactions in the community

Create a norm/culture document about how the community members relate, to help other members see the culture code and keep to it. Pinned messages are a good way to help members find these documents. See this example for more on this - Home · devcenter-square/beginner-guide Wiki · GitHub [Article]

Create and strengthen member’s bonds by holding live online events, as well as offline physical events. Nothing builds bonds faster than 1 on 1 interaction, and when they happen in person, they are stronger. Members’ connections and bonds create the connections that define a community and increase engagement.

Be friends with the members, so when you invite them for events or ask for their help to answer a question in the main channel, volunteer for events and the likes, they see it as their friend asking them, and not the community manager. This post explains more on this - 9 Ways to Humanize Interaction with Your Community Members [Article]

Start the initial conversations. People are naturally shy in a new environment, seeing others talk helps them see how to talk and know it is safe and okay to engage. For ideas on what conversations to start and content to share in the community, see this guide - 20 Fantastic Content Ideas For an Online Community [Article]

Mention members in topics or discussions you know they can join in on. This notifies and invites. It also makes them feel more comfortable joining in on the discussion. But do not overdo this, do it with members you have formed a connection with, so you do not appear intrusive.

Learn/find out the topic/interest your community members are most passionate about. Communities are a meeting of individuals who connect on an interest or topic they all like. Knowing the topics, curating and sharing content around this topic will create discussions. To know more about your community, the topics and interests they like and to get insights on how to improve the community, check out this guide - How To Mine Your Online Community For Insights | FeverBee [Article]

How to Drive Community Engagement - How to Increase Community Engagement: 9 Tips That Actually Work - CMX [Article]

Extra Tips and Resources [Optional]

Join other online communities, study them, be active in them, and learn from them. E.g. Feverbee (experts.feverbee.com), CMX Hub on Slack and Facebook (cmxslack.github.io), Buffer on Slack (buffer.com/slack)
Read and research a lot. Recommended sites: www.feverbee.com, www.cmxhub.com
Play Mindful Mountain (online game) to better understand how sharing/posting with care. Play Interland - Be Internet Awesome
Play Kind Kingdom (online game) to better understand the effects of online bullying and disrespect. Play Interland - Be Internet Awesome
Read this post - The Immortal Myths About Online Abuse | by Anil Dash | Humane Tech | Medium [Article]
Creating and Managing an Engaged Online Community in Slack - Creating and Managing an Engaged Online Slack Community - Speaker Deck [Presentation]

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I have watched these videos a couple of times and I’m still wowed at the insights shared. They have changed my perspectives about how we identify our “WHY” and “HOW” we analyse our competitors.

My take home form the videos:

  1. The video on “The Job To Be Done Frame work”

In defining your why, you need to understand who your competitors are from your customer’s perspective and not your own perspective. Because sometimes your competitors are not in same line of business with you. Your competition are those alternatives that can likely solve the customer’s problem as much as yours. E.g imagine you’re selling Chin chin and your competitors are actually a popcorn brand and chewing gum brand. This is because the customer’s problem is simply boredom during movie time. So what the customer truly need here is not something that can fill them up so fast, no matter how delicious it is, but something that could last through the entire movie time.

  1. The second video - “Start With Why”

It’s pertinent we start with the WHY before embarking on anything, because your goal is not sell to or do business with anyone who needs what you have but the people who believe what you have and why you’re doing it. Because these are the people that stick around, retention rate will be high, and they would pay whatever price for your product or service. E.g the iPhone users

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Beautifully perceived! :slightly_smiling_face: