One of the hardest truths for community managers to accept is this: You do not own the community, your members do. Sarah Robinson reminds us that building a thriving community means giving up some control. But she also reminds us that this isn’t as scary as you might think, and provides five great tips on how to grow your community while giving up some of that control.
When your new online community opens for business, you’ve got to get people to join up. But what’s the most effective way to do that? According to David Sprinks, the personal touch is key. Send personal invitations rather than automated emails. Augment registration confirmation notices with a personal note of welcome. Introduce new members to one another. It takes work, but David has some great tips on how to do it right.
Interested in starting a new enthusiast community? Unless your focus is on a specialized niche interest, Richard Millington says you’re in for a rough time. Richard says the big communities in each sector are likely to retain their leadership positions, but that there are opportunities for “highly focused” communities to emerge.
Social media monitoring is a hot space these days. But what, exactly, does social media monitoring monitor? In most cases, it’s the usual suspects: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and maybe a few others. The problem, writes Patrick O’Keefe, is that some of the most important conversations are happening in “structured, hosted online communities.”
With all of the technology we deal with every day, it can be easy to forget that online communities are, well, communities. The Community Roundtable‘s Leanne Chase recounts her experience with the search for a new head of her daughter’s school and how much that school’s interaction with the community of parents reminded her of how we ought to deal with those in online communities. The keys, she writes, are engagement, trust, and listening.