Do your group members know what they need to know?
When members are engaged, they are more likely to value their group membership and participate more. Your Knowledge Hub group could be filled with time-saving solutions, practical experiences and the latest guidance, but if your members don’t know about it or need a little ‘nudge’ to get involved, you may need a consistent approach to communicating with your members.
Why group communications matter
Your members might benefit from regular communications from you that allows them to develop useful habits about how they visit and participate in the group. There may be news and updates that members will be keen to find out on a routine basis or perhaps more ad-hoc communications to keep momentum going. Either way, a simple group communications plan to coordinate what needs to be shared with members and when, can do wonders for creating an active and thriving group.
As a Knowledge Hub group facilitator you have two key communication tools to hand – group announcements and group messages. You can use these tools to reach your members in different ways, as well as highlight key content and activity, signpost members directly to the relevant pages in your group and make it easy for members to join in and get involved.
A group announcement gets published on your group’s home page and is one of the first things your members will come across when they visit your group. It will also trigger an update in your group’s email notifications to your members. Create announcements to welcome members, share important messages, flag any key issues and signpost to the latest content and activity. You’ll find the ‘add announcement’ button on your group’s home page.
When you send a group message it triggers an instant email notification to all your members – members cannot switch these off because it is part of their group membership communications. So even if members have opted for a weekly group email notification, they will not have to wait till their next group notification for any time-critical, important updates from the group. Use customised group messages to highlight and promote useful content and activity across the group such as discussions in the forum, new documents to comment on, upcoming events to sign up to and polls to vote in. Go to your group’s ‘settings’ to send a group message.
Making the most of group communications
Group announcements and group messages further support member participation by allowing you to tailor your messages and use hyperlinks to direct members straight to the group’s pages.
To add a hyperlink simply highlight the text you want to use as the link, a text editor bar will pop up, and select the ‘link’ symbol.
Copy the page URL from the page you want to link to and paste it here, and then select the ‘tick’ to save the hyperlink.
It might be helpful to open two web tabs and use one web tab to open the group announcement/message page, and use the second web tab to locate the relevant page(s) to link to and copy the page URLs from. Find out more about adding hyperlinks (sign in required).
Your group’s communications can work towards encouraging your members to take ownership of the group and share its benefits. Make sure members know what the group is for and how to make the best use of it to support their role. When members have taken the time to get involved, be sure to thank them – highlight their contributions and include their names. This will help to nurture members, build trust, as well as entice other members to join in.
Members may rely on group email notifications or log in directly to visit your group. Both present the opportunity to shout out about the good things that are happening in your group, who’s been sharing what, how to join in, and what to look forward to. Reach your members, communicate your group’s activities and make it the place to go to.