Managing a community can be an extremely rewarding and valuable experience for any organization. Although it can be easy to get caught up in day-to-day community management, it is important to keep in mind that members are the backbone of the community. These individuals are the driving force behind your brand and can be the difference between community success and failure. So, it is vital to maintain a respectful relationship with them and to be considerate towards their needs and overall experience. Here are some best practices to guide you when interacting with your community members.
Best Practices for Online Community Management
Respecting their Time:
Online community members are everyday people with busy personal lives of their own. Being conscious of timing in the community setting helps members feel respected and heightens retention. Here are time-sensitive strategies to implement to elevate the customer experience (CX) in your community.
Time of Day
Making sure activities and communications are going out at reasonable times of day is key towards optimizing engagement levels. Keep in mind time zones for any live activities or screeners to ensure everyone has a chance to participate.
Day of the Week
It is a best practice to try to keep community related processes occurring during the work week of Monday to Friday. These days often have the best outcomes in terms of quality of interactions. It is also best to avoid launching activities during holidays when planning, as members are typically busy or traveling during those times.
Notification Timing:Reminder notifications are best sent out a few days after an activity is launched. Always make sure to schedule them a few days out to give members an adequate span of time to participate and submit their responses, without feeling pressured or rushed.
Limiting Communication:Sending out too many communications can overwhelm members. It is best to space out posting to occur once or twice a week. Keeping track and forming a schedule for activity/communication launch times is a great way of navigating this.
Incentives:Incentivizing members fairly for their time is crucial for maintaining community well-being. Keeping incentives consistent community-wide per activity as well as making sure incentive amounts are proportionate to the activity, are both important elements to keep in mind.
Meaningful Content:Avoid filler content and publish impactful pieces instead that are meaningful to members. Their time is valuable and should not be wasted.
Respecting their Privacy:
Protecting members’ personal information and right to privacy are essential towards running a secure community where members want to contribute. My-Take prioritizes the security of our clients’ data, and that of members. Elements of the My-Take approach include:
- All data stored encrypted in the database
- All data encrypted in transit
- Company data handling policy
- All members must login with username and password
Other ways you can respect community members’ privacy is by:
Asking the right questions:When collecting data via activities, make sure to ask appropriate questions based on what the study is about. Asking too personal of questions, or ones that are not applicable to the study can alienate members and make them wary of participating further.
Securing data:When collecting sensitive information, it is vital to safe-keep the data within an activity and not export it to other sources. This type of information needs to be located within a secured database. It is vital to keep these types of answers within activities and not a discussion board setting where other members can view responses.
Community Permissions: In every community there is the ability to set limits on who has access to member data. It is always good to set this up correctly to maintain a secure environment.
Respecting Other Members:
- Every member needs to have the same opportunity to foster an equal playing field and collaborative environment where they feel respected.
- Utilizing badges can help. For example creating a badge that awards helpfulness between members. You create other badges to ensure that you are fostering a community environment where members feel proud about their achievements.
- Moderating discussions is also a great step to take for maintaining a comfortable setting for community members. Having a moderator go in and make sure that everyone participating is being respectful is necessary.
How My-Take Respects Community Members:
My-Take takes many steps towards fostering a safe environment where members feel respected. During our initial interactions and member on-boarding we make sure to get everyone up to speed with community basics such when to log in, the activity schedule, and more. We provide all members with the information they need to be an engaged member of the community. In addition, we set-up discussion FAQ’s to make sure members can understand the uses of the board and use it as a reference.
The My-Take system utilizes smart reminders for activities that are typically scheduled to 2-3 days after an activity launches. These go out to members who haven’t had a chance to participate so they don’t miss out. We always make sure to notify participants in a timely manner of additional activities (1-on-1 chat, missions shopping trip, etc.) well in advance to give them time to schedule their lives around these community activities.
The My-Take team is also here to give suggestions when needed centered around community optimization. We always make sure that anyone utilizing the platform keeps the members in mind.
Contact us to find out how we can help your organization through customer informed decision making.