Social Media

Attracting Community Members – SMPG Community Building Checklist

Attracting Community Members – SMPG Community Building Checklist

In our previous post, Manage Your Community, we discussed how to manage your initial content, a part of our community building checklist.

In this post, we continue posting our exclusive checklist that you can use to execute your project for building your community – The Social Media Performance Group Community Building Checklist™. We discuss how to attract community members.



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Attracting Community Members

  • Organic
    • People find you through Google because your site is Search Engine Optimized for relevant search terms
  • Referral
    • Get lots of other highly-ranked sites to link to yours
    • Use the Facebook Like button
    • Can use paid links but only as a last resort
    • Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
    • Email
    • You probably already have an email subscription list; use it to promote the community
  • Create newsletter articles that draw users to your Website for more info, or the rest of the article
    • Put newsletter subscription widget on all your Webpages
  • Personal referrals
    • Run campaigns for current members to invite friends
    • Cultivate evangelists to blog, tweet, Facebook about you
    • Get your executives and even your board involved
  • Promote the community at your live events
  • Hold Tweetups[1] — real-world events where everyone tweets
  • Give everyone the tools to refer, and connect
    • Ask members to put your badge on their sites
    • Create lists of suggested tweets and topics
    • Encourage members to post pictures to enhance connection
    • Encourage members to put a community link in their signatures
  • Run games or contests to encourage lurkers to post

Attracting Community Members is the 169th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 413. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Tweetups: bit.ly/cido0V

Manage Your Community – SMPG Community Building Checklist

Manage Your Community – SMPG Community Building Checklist

In our previous post, Create Initial Content for Your Community, we discussed how to adapt your policies to your ever changing community, a part of our community building checklist.

In this post, we continue posting our exclusive checklist that you can use to execute your project for building your community – The Social Media Performance Group Community Building Checklist™. We discuss how to manage your initial content.



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Manage Your Community

  • Read the community management experts’ blogs:
    • Amber Naslund’s Brass Tack Thinking[1]
    • Connie Bensen’s Community Strategist[2]
    • Tom Humbarger’s Social Media Musings[3]
    • Heather Stout’s Social Media Building Blocks, in particular her series “Community Implementation Strategic Plan”[4]
    • Mike Pascucci’s Online Moderation & Management Musings[5]
    • Ken Burbery’s Web Business[6]
  • Assign a community manager to:
    • Review all activity
    • Answer questions
    • Stimulate conversation and connection
    • Approve posts (if required)
    • Manage the growth
      • If community grows too fast, members may lose sense of connection
      • If commentary gets too noisy, or too fractious, members may disengage
  • Be responsive
    • The community will expect you to respond to issues they bring up
    • Moderators should participate in the community
    • Use moderation lightly
    • Remember, it’s the members’ community
  • Encourage self-policing
  • Allow off-topic posting — they’re still engaged!
  • Model the behavior you’d like to see
  • Contact rogue members privately; Confronting publicly may be counterproductive
  • Ensure everyone knows the troll policy and other community policies

Manage Your Community is the 168th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 412. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Amber Naslund’s Brass Tack Thinking: bit.ly/aI4Ne6

[2] Connie Bensen’s Community Strategist: http://bit.ly/cdX83j

[3] Tom Humbarger’s Social Media Musings: bit.ly/bNWsZz

[4] Heather Stout’s Social Media Building Blocks: bit.ly/dxDWY0 and bit.ly/aemsl0

[5] Mike Pascucci’s Online Moderation & Management Musings: bit.ly/9VbRJx

[6] Ken Burbery’s Web Business: bit.ly/cTb6X9

Create Initial Content for Your Community – SMPG Community Building Checklist

Create Initial Content for Your Community – SMPG Community Building Checklist

In our previous post, Create Your Community Policies, we discussed how to design your community policies, a part of our community building checklist.

In this post, we continue posting our exclusive checklist that you can use to execute your project for building your community – The Social Media Performance Group Community Building Checklist™. We discuss creating the initial content for your community.



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Create Initial Content

  • Set the stage by designing various forums around key issues of interest
  • Seed each forum with starter questions
  • Have a forum for newbies called “Introduce Yourself”
  • Have a forum called “What <product> Means to Me”
  • Test with a few volunteers, and get the discussions started
  • Invite community influencers
  • Be careful to not look artificial or staged
  • Gradually widen the discussion
  • Initial testers invite their friends

Launch

  • Get enough volunteers to staff the site for initial phase
  • Blitz all your online and offline contacts
  • Create a media package to distribute if you get press interest
  • Target a soft launch to work out bugs and test engagement. A soft launch is where you go live, but don’t do publicity, and only invite a small group to participate.
  • Launch early in the week, early in the morning
    • Tuesday or Thursday are high traffic days on the Web
  • Ensure the initial page tells your story, and includes pictures of your team / clients
  • Include a survey or quiz
  • Ensure that your site has Facebook “Like” and other social media badges so your members can spread the word
  • Give something away
  • Reward people for creating a complete profile
    • Perhaps just a white paper or other downloadable content
  • Create an offline launch party and invite your board, clients, supporters
  • Video the unveiling of the new site and post on YouTube
  • Create an online event within the first two weeks
  • Plan major new content within the first month

Create Initial Content for Your Communityis the 167th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 411. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

Create Your Community Policies – SMPG Community Building Checklist

Create Your Community Policies – SMPG Community Building Checklist

In our previous post, Design Your Presence, we discussed how to architect your presence in your community, a part of our community building checklist.

In this post, we continue posting our exclusive checklist that you can use to execute your project for building your community – The Social Media Performance Group Community Building Checklist™. We discuss how to design your community policies.



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Create Your Policies

As part of your social media strategy, consider what policies should govern your enterprise’s social computing use

  • Establish, in writing, best practices and procedures
  • Ensure staff is on message
  • Empower staff to be proactive and participative
  • Position community as means to engage, not a distraction
  • Create Rules of Engagement
    • What to do with negative content
    • What to do with negative members (more later)
    • What to do with staff that blabs
    • Study how the US Air Force deals with various types of community members, in the next figure

Figure 1 — Air Force Web Posting Assessment Flowchart[1]

  • Decide whether to hold employees and other community members personally responsible for content they publish
  • Decide how staff should Identify themselves in posts
  • Decide if staff members who post elsewhere should add a disclaimer to their posts: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent [Organization’s] positions, strategies or opinions.”
  • Encourage all members to respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws and set penalties for non-compliance
  • Confidentiality: Decide whether to prohibit citing or referencing clients, partners or suppliers without their approval
  • Create a linkback policy for material reposted from other sources
  • Create a prohibited language policy restricting hate speech, ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity
  • If you are regulated, ensure all employees understand what can and cannot be said online
    • Understand the legal ramifications of creating a public record or a public meeting by discussing topics online
    • User-Generated Content (UGC) may need to comply with policy, copyright, trademark
    • May need to treat information as part of records subject to retention policies
  • Be careful out there: Some laws may restrict your ability to censor employees online:
    • Political Opinions
        • Many states, (such as California) prohibit employers from regulating their employees’ political activities
        • Unionizing
        • In many states, talking or writing about unionizing is strongly protected; union contracts may permit blogging; states may protect “concerted” speech — protecting two or more people who discuss workplace conditions
    • Whistleblowing
        • Many may believe reporting regulatory violations or illegal activities online is protected, but whistleblowers must report problems to the appropriate regulatory or law enforcement bodies first
    • Reporting on Your Work for the Government
        • Government workers writing online about their work is protected speech under the First Amendment except for classified or confidential information
    • Legal Off-Duty Activities
        • Some states may protect an employee’s legal off-duty blogging, especially if the employer has no policy or an unreasonably restrictive policy with regard to off-duty speech activities
    • Reporting Outside Social Media Site Memberships
        • Some organizations require employees to report other places where they contribute online
    • Set Guidelines for At-Work Social Media Use
        • Most enterprises believe that at-work use of social media saps productivity, but some studies find just the opposite.
  • Review the following policies for ideas for your social media policy:[2]

Evolve Your Policies

Once the community is up and running, theory meets community practice, and you may need to evolve your rules

  • Establish periodic policy reviews
  • Involve your community in reviews
  • Set the stage by designing various forums around key issues of interest
  • Seed each forum with starter questions
  • Have a forum for newbies called “Introduce Yourself”
  • Have a forum called “What <product> Means to Me”

Create Your Community Policies is the 166th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 407. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Air Force Web Posting Assessment Flowchart v.2 (PDF): bit.ly/dvdtGS

[2] See SocialMedia.biz for a great list of social media usage policies: bit.ly/cyou3a

Design Your Presence – SMPG Community Building Checklist

In our previous post, Research Your Community’s Needs, we discussed the importance of researching the needs of your community, deciding on a logistical approach, and finding out what’s already out there.

In this post, we continue posting our exclusive checklist that you can use to execute your project for building your community – The Social Media Performance Group Community Building Checklist™. We discuss how to design your presence in your community.



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Design Your Presence

  • Don’t develop your community as a stand-alone, in a vacuum
    • Create a social presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube
    • Leverage the power of each of your social presences to drive people to your community, and your Website
  • Coordinate branding, graphics, messages across your social media presence
  • Use your research to determine what features the community needs and will use
  • Avoid too much complexity
  • Consider creating an advisory board or surveying prospective members to gauge interest in the planned feature set for the community space
  • Consider creating user levels
  • Reward content creators and question-answerers with recognition
    • Best Practice: Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) an award for exceptional technical community leaders who voluntarily provide technical expertise within Microsoft support communities — see the post Run Contests for more information
  • Determine how you will encourage connection and participation
  • Create guidelines for community behavior
    • Indicate how the community can contribute to the guidelines
    • Ensure guidelines are not overly-restrictive or prescriptive
  • Enable community enforcement of behavior
    • Consider implementing a “flag this post” feature
    • Consider implementing voting for posts
    • Consider creating a special area for power users
    • And listen to what they say there
  • Select your platform
    • Many create-your-own platforms to choose from:
      • Joomla Community Builder and JomSocial
      • Ning
      • Cisco
      • Capterra
      • KickApps
      • Jive
  • Determine your platform requirements — attributes to consider include:
    • Is platform widely supported (or commercially viable)?
    • Forums (of course)
    • RSS Feed support
    • Easy posting
    • Ability to feature posts
    • Security and identity — information security measures and also security features that affect the user experience such as onerous login procedures
    • Privacy
    • Video and other media support (consider embedding from YouTube instead)
    • Mobile support
    • Customization
    • Easy administration
    • Backup
    • Removing posts
    • Approving posts

Design Your Presence is the 165th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 407. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

 

Research Your Community’s Needs – SMPG Community Building Checklist

In our previous post, Define Your Community Goals, we gave you some ideas to help you define your goals for your community.

In this post, we continue posting our exclusive checklist that you can use to execute your project for building your community – The Social Media Performance Group Community Building Checklist™. We discuss the importance of researching the needs of your community, deciding on a logistical approach, and finding out what’s already out there.



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Research Your Community’s Needs

  • Both external community and internal community
  • Communication — how will information flow
    • Within enterprise
    • Member-to-member
    • Member to enterprise
  • Sharing — how information is shared
  • Donating time — how members can help manage and sustain the community
  • Gauge community’s likelihood of engaging — evaluate alternatives to your community
  • Motivation — how to motivate members to join and remain part of community
  • Support — what the community expects from the enterprise
  • Evaluate the risk, including worst case scenarios — how to disengage if the community doesn’t work
  • Understand the required culture change — internal and external — for success
  • Consider using the Social Media Performance Group’s Social Media Readiness Survey

Decide Logistical Approach

  • What role should enterprise play?
    • Passive / Background — enabler rather than leader?
    • Engaged / Directing — visible in everyday life of community?
  • What type of community culture will be sustainable?
    • Free-for-all — relying mostly on community self-policing
    • Managed — visible role for community manager
    • Controlled — think twice before implementing strict organizational control
  • What community activities should the enterprise facilitate?
  • What types of content and features should the community have?
  • Should the community be a Website extension, built on third party site such as Facebook, or built using customizable social-media-building sites such as Ning?
  • Consider extending existing communities
  • Understand the costs of creating a new community
  • What types of members does the community want to include?
  • How to recruit influential / valuable members?
  • How do you handle troublesome members?
  • What kinds of activities are members prepared to participate in to help your enterprise?
  • Should you do fundraising in the community?
  • Should you encourage advocacy?
  • Should you link online events with offline?
  • Take time to do extensive searches for existing conversations:
    • Mentions of enterprise name
    • Mentions of your product category
    • Issues and topics faced by your target audience
    • Mentions of key employees / board members
    • Advocates or spokespeople for your products
    • Mentions of competitors
    • Use the sites and techniques in the Find Your Community post

Find What’s Already Out There

  • Develop a body of knowledge about:
    • Key news sites
    • Most-active potential community members
    • Influential voices online
    • Thought leaders
    • Active potential partner communities
    • Key blogs
    • In-person meetups and events
    • Where your community isn’t, but should be

Research Your Community’s Needs is the 164th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 405. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

Define Your Community Goals – SMPG Community Building Checklist

Define Your Community Goals – SMPG Community Building Checklist

In our previous post, Community Building Checklist, we began posting our checklist for building your community – The Social Media Performance Group Community Building Checklist™.

In this post, we give you some ideas to help you define your goals for your community.



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Define Your Goals

  • Don’t go off half-cocked and just create a community space without goals and a plan
  • Review the previous posts Create Social Computing Strategies and Elements of an Engagement Plan
  • Determine the potential value you hope to create for enterprise and its clients
  • Create your strategy, goals, and measurement techniques (known as Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs)
  • Know:
    • What your community stands for
    • Who ideally participates
    • How they will create action in the real world
  • Identify a Sponsor
    • Key role
    • Must be committed for long term
    • Not necessarily a do-er, but the prime supporter
  • Identify a Strategist
    • Plots the development of the community
    • Ensures the community tracks against goals
  • Identify a Community Manager
    • Responsible for day-to-day
    • Could be a team
  • Estimate the overhead: headcount, budgets and staff time
  • Determine who can join the community
    • If under age 18 or 13 are allowed, ensure that you understand the implications
    • In US, must comply with COPPA[1]
    • May need to set a cookie so that if you reject membership and the user returns and tries to change age, they can’t register
  • Determine who can no longer participate
    • Create a policy for trolls, or objectionable members

Define Your Community Goals is the 163rd in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 403. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] The US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act: bit.ly/cokKI5

Community Building Checklist

Community Building Checklist

In our previous post, Social Media Community Management Benefits, we discussed the benefits of managing your community and why you should have a dedicated manager.

In this post, we start posting our exclusive checklist that you can use to execute your project for building your community – The Social Media Performance Group Community Building Checklist™.

This list goes on for several posts, and after the last post, you can access the whole checklist by joining our online community at community.socialmediaperformancegroup.com. (Note: due to the huge amount of spam followers joining our community, we will be instituting a $1 charge to join. However, we’ll be adding a free PDF of our entire 430 page book, Be a Person – The Social Operating Manual for Enterprises – (get it in paper atbit.ly/BeAPersonEFull), which is the basis for this series of blog posts, to help defray the inconvenience of the entry fee.)



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Community Building Checklist

“Every webpage is a latent community.
Each page collects the attention of people interested in its contents,
and those people might well be interested in conversing with one another too.
In almost all cases the community will remain latent, either because
the potential ties are too weak, or because the people looking at the page are separated by too wide a gulf of time, and so on.”

Clay Shirky

The following checklist lays out, step-by-step, how to build your own community site. Be aware of what we said earlier, however, you can’t force, impose, or create community. The members of your community will ultimately decide if your community lives or dies. The best you can do is prepare a comfortable place for them to engage. And in many ways, less is more.

It helps if you have a fanatical following. It helps if you don’t try to control everything. It also helps if you always keep in mind that this is not a channel for your messages — it’s a place where conversations happen; a place where you learn from and about your community. Your job is to close the gulf between people that media and community expert Clay Shirky speaks of in the quote above. Good luck. You’ll need it.

The Social Media Performance Group Community Building Checklist™ that follows comprises the following topics, which we discuss in detail in the sections that follow:

  • Define Your Goals
  • Research Your Community’s Needs
  • Decide Logistical Approach
  • Find What’s Already Out There
  • Design Your Presence
  • Create Your Policies
  • Evolve Your Policies
  • Create Initial Content
  • Launch
  • Manage
  • Attracting Community Members
  • Converting Visitors to Members
  • Measure
  • What NOT to Do

Many of these topics we’ve been discussing throughout this book, and some of the checklist consists of bullet points and references to more detail in other sections. Other sections of the checklist introduce new material and have more detail. In general, though, this checklist is light on the explanations. Its purpose is to attempt to list all that you need to consider as you architect your new community.

We’d love to hear what you think about this checklist, and the blog. You can contribute in our community space at our Website, www.socialmediaperformancegroup.com.


Community Building Checklist is the 162nd in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 403. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

Social Media Community Management Benefits

Social Media Community Management Benefits

In our previous post, Types of Social Media Community Members, we discussed the various types of community members you will encounter in your network and how to manage each.

In this post, we talk about the benefits of managing your community.



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Community Management Benefits

In addition to being an important role in just keeping the community functioning properly, there are a variety of other benefits to be had by having a community manager:

  • Regular feedback from the community means more innovation — Your community is likely to have lots of good ideas for your business. If nobody’s listening — or encouraging — you won’t be able to capitalize on their innovative ideas.
  • Continuously evaluate cost/benefit — You’re investing time and money into your community. A community manager can help you evaluate the benefits your enterprise is getting in return. Plus, the manager can help enhance the benefits by ensuring a smoothly-running community.
  • Ensure your business is constantly forming new connections — A good community manager is not only tending to your community space, he or she is also out on the Web, visiting other communities and proselytizing for your business and your community. The manager may contribute guest blogs or invite experts into the community to share their expertise. Generating buzz within and outside of the community is a key community manager responsibility.
  • Always remain relevant — Without care and feeding, your community can become stale and irrelevant. People will come if they can find you, and if they think you’re relevant to their needs and enthusiasms they will stay. The community manager tracks trends relating to your business and your cause and may introduce discussion topics to keep the community informed, and talking.

So the community manager is a critical role for your organization. Yet it’s amazing how many enterprises decide they can do without someone to manage their communities. It’s not amazing how few of such enterprises produce flourishing communities. Many enterprises try to manage social media and their own communities by committee or by making someone a part-time manager. If your organization can’t or won’t afford a full-time social media coordinator, perhaps creating your own community is beyond your reach. It’s good to be honest with yourself on the cost in commitment and dollars of creating your own community. Doing it poorly can do more harm than good.


Social Media Community Management Benefits is the 161st in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 401. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

Types of Social Media Community Members

Types of Social Media Community Members

In our previous post, Manage Your Social Media Community, we discussed ways to manage your community and went over some of the key tasks to remember.

In this post, we talk about the various types of community members you will encounter in your network and how to manage each.



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Types of Community Members

Telligent,[1] a provider of services to online communities, categorizes community members into seven types. It’s as good a classification as we’ve seen, and we adapt it below, adding the commentary and the final two types, which are often left off such lists.

  • Influencer: A member who is connected to other well-connected users. Your community manager will want to quickly identify influencers and recruit them to help guide and stabilize the community.
  • Connector: A highly-connected member who converses with and is linked to many other users. Like the person who knows everyone in town, this type of community member can be extremely important to the growth and sustainability of the community. Your community manager should seek out and engage connectors.
  • Asker: A member who posts questions. This type of member can be annoying — like the 3-year-old who repeats, “But why?” after every answer. Or they can be stimulating, generating interesting interactions.
  • Answerer: A member who replies to questions. These members can range from the smug know-it-all to the truly helpful. If you have askers, you obviously need answerers, and optimally, they are civil.
  • Originator: A member who creates new content, also often called a Creator. This type of member contributes original posts, articles, links, videos or reviews. Obviously originators are important to the life of the community. The community manager will want to ensure originators have what they need to keep producing.
  • Commenter: A member who replies or links to content created by others. This type of member may rarely contribute any new content. They range from the obsessive who lets no post go uncommented to the judicious and respected critic who inspires further discussion.
  • Moderator: A member who moderates or curates content created by others. This role ranges from the gatekeeper who must approve all content to a host who sets the tone for the discussion with gentle reminders of appropriate behavior. The community manager can fill this role, but it’s better if a community member steps up.
  • Lurker: A member who very rarely contributes or even comments, but who finds satisfaction in following the discussion. The majority of any community’s members will be lurkers, and that’s OK. They find value in reading and experiencing the contributions of others. A community manager may be inclined to try to coax contributions out of lurkers, but it’s probably best to leave them alone other than checking in from time to time to assess their engagement with the community.
  • Troll: A disruptive member who either enjoys stirring the pot or who is actively hostile. Your community will have its trolls. The role of the community manager is to try to temper their effects. See the Dealing with Trolls post for more information.

Your community management plan should have policies and objectives for dealing with each type of com­munity member, especially potentially disruptive ones. Don’t just hope that the community will police itself — yes, that’s the goal. It just doesn’t happen without planning and support from your organizational leadership and your community manager.


Types of Social Media Community Members is the 160th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 400. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] Telligent, commits up to 24 paid hours per employee each year to charity: bit.ly/d9xvco bit.ly/cISEYh