5 simple tricks to manage an online group successfully
There is probably a point in your online group’s lifecycle where you start to see a slight dip in visitors and contributions. This is what we call the trough of sorrow. It happens normally at some point after launching the online group and the enthusiasm is starting to wane and the group admins are scrambling around trying to think what to do next. Here are our 5 simple tips that group admins can use.
Actively generate content
In a previous survey to group admins, a considerable percentage of their time was spent on generating content. For some group admins, this was creating content from scratch. A simple way to bring content into your group by calling out to your members for examples of specific content such as guides, reports, how to’s etc. Also, bring in the concept of content curation where you cherry pick items from newsletters, news, professional newsletter, blogs post, social media that is relevant for your group to discuss or look into in more depth.
Don´t be too strict
As a new member of anything you can always be a bit hesitant. There will be a fear factor when posting questions or requests and sharing documents because of the fear of outing themselves as non-experts. If they do share, make sure they are thanked, ask further questions that let them share their experience and show others that it’s not as scary as they may think.
Keep it fresh (make it exclusive)
Publish information, research, presentation recording etc in the group one day before you publish it on other channels. People will use the group as their first place to get the information.
Let it grow before structuring
Don´t waste too much energy on building a structure for your group. Creating structures for discussions and documents where it’s empty is no good for anyone and will make members think that there is nothing going on - only offer a good framework. You can always adjust it as you go along. Provide simple guidance on what to use for what. Such as if you would like to ask a question use the forum rather than a blog post. If you want to share a presentation add it to the library rather than the wiki etc etc.
Your membership lifecycle
At some point, your membership will be going through its own lifecycle. Newbie’s become regulars, regulars will become experts and some members will move onto new roles and organisations. Encourage your members to recruit new members through their personal networks to keep the membership refreshed and active to avoid the group membership stagnating.
Are you running your own online group? What tips and tricks can you share on managing an online group?