Social collaboration is one of the best ways to quickly build a fun and enthusiastic community online.
People want to enjoy being part of a community, engaging with others in conversation and discussions, sharing and working together. People want to feel as though they offer value to a community.
As most community managers will tell you each member of a community brings value, encouraging them to share and collaborate helps grow their personal sense of value within the community.
There are no set ways to build a collaborative community, there are a lot of “best practice” ideas to help move your community toward that goal. Looking at some of those ideas, we present to you…
5 Tips to Build a Collaborative (and fun) Community.
Moderation is the key. Not in the “too much” of something is bad, but in the case of moderate the community interaction.
Helping your community keep civil and respectful conversations going is the key to encouraging additional contribution from other members. Striking the balance between a passionate conversation with respect for individual opinions and one in which things go “too far” and it becomes a person attack is a tricky matter.
Try to encourage the mantra “Don’t take it personally” – people don’t like to contribute if they feel it will cause a confrontation or a negative response.
Acknowledge all posts and responses with a positive tone things to say like “I am so glad you shared your opinion with us. It’s good to have a different point of view on something” can go a long way to setting the tone of others responses to the individual post.
2. Keep it intriguing and ask for responses.
Communities are focused around specific topics or areas of interest. Keeping the focus but making the content intriguing or interesting will help to build collaborative contribution of the members.
Focus on easy to reply topics, questions or posts. A favorite example among a lot of people is a simple question like “Diet Cola or Regular Cola?” This is easy to respond and most everyone can answer this. It is a fun way to draw people into a conversation and see how many people are really lurking around and not engaging.
Keep it topical or within the established tone of the community. Sometimes it’s not appropriate to take things too lightheartedly.
3. Lead by example and share valuable content.
Incentive posting. Make it fun and competitive, keep track of community members Follr score. When they post they get points, making it competitive by celebrating the top 5 collaborators each week will go a long way to helping build community engagement and collaboration.
People LOVE to compete and naturally are inclined to try their best to “win”. By encouraging the use of score tracking, people will engage more, interact with others and grow their collaborative contributions.
This is a great method to help identify potential community moderators to share the moderation responsibilities of the community.
4. If you Tag them, they will come.
You see it all the time if you ever watch some of the top social media community engagers. They post a question, or share something and tag a few people. It isn’t that they specifically want those people to see the post, they know those people will have an opinion or response.
The natural community engagers amongst us all understand that sometimes you need to use the flashing neon sign approach to say “Hey, Over HERE! Notice this!” Implementing this idea to help encourage new members to begin contributing is a great way to push someone toward center stage and make them feel important.
If you tag them, they will come. Make it a regular practice.
5. Support and respect contributions from the community
If the community trusts that they are not putting themselves at risk for “judgment” as we established the tone and nurturing above, they are more likely to take the “risk” and collaborate in content creation for the community.
Be sure to acknowledge, share, promote and even tag others to get into the conversation and respond to a post. You are a social media cheerleader if you are a community manager and leader.
Keep building on these tips and you will have a vibrant and engaging online community in no time!