Why you need immediate alerts when facilitating your online community

As a Facilitator of any online group or community, you need to know what’s going on. If you don’t keep on top of what’s happening anything could happen.

You could miss something important, you may start to lose members as they feel no one is responding to them.

Then there is the worst case scenario, that someone adds something that is inappropriate to the group, which could cause no ends of problems in the community.

The basic rule that I always preach is the 24 hour rule. So, make sure that you have your subscription / notifications set to immediate. To do this on Knowledge Hub select the Subscribe link located just below your group logo.

 

Why is this important?

Let’s think about it from a new members point of view. Which scenario would you prefer?

Scenario 1

  • I’m a busy person and have joined the group after being invited.
  • I look around and like the content and discussions that are taking place
  • I decide to ask a question
  • I get a response from a number of members of the community
  • I return because I feel there is value in the group

Scenario 2

  • I’m a busy person and have joined the group after being invited.
  • I look around and like the content and discussions that are taking place
  • I decide to ask a question
  • I never receive a response to my question
  • I decide the group is not for me.

I’m hoping the answer is Scenario 1.

 

This is why I feel the 24 hour rule one of the most important parts of facilitating a successful online community. We are there to ensure that every member finds value in being a member of the community.

When a member asks a question or starts a discussion, they would ideally receive a response from other members of the community in a timely manner and for the conversation to continue.

But we also know that members are not hanging around in your community all day waiting for a response.

This is where you monitor and step in when necessary.

If other members of your community do not respond to the initial forum post, the 24 hour rule kicks in for the facilitator(s).

 

Here are three tips to help you out.

  1. Research others in the group that might be able to help and ask them to respond. Look at your core members and members who regularly participate in the community.  You can @mention them or contact them via a channel that you know will get a response such as direct message, email, phone etc.
  2. Reply to the question without using a definitive answer. Use language that promotes ongoing conversation and encourages other members to join in.
  3. Create a holding message. Thank the member for the question and tell them the next steps you will be taking to help answer the question, such as contacting some of your core members or create a shout out via a group message to all members.

 

These are really simple steps.  Give them a go and you should start to see a difference.

Security level: Public

More Blog Entries

Think about your online community as a business

Building an online community is easy, right?  You just press a few buttons on some great...

Happy #CMAD for Monday

Monday the 22nd January marks Community Manager Appreciation Day otherwise known as #CMAD on...

0 Comments