5 Tips to Jump Start Your Online Community

Whether starting a new community, or moving an existing one, the foundation is the strength of the conversations and content within it. Those conversations go a long way to assure longevity of the community.

Life, online or off, is built on a series of relationships, those with our family, friends, and fellow fans. Part of the process is the introduction and sharing of basic information, to establish a comfort level and open channels of communications.

Creating this comfort then allows the community to connect more with each other by sharing common interests, goals and ideas. Building upon the contribution of each member you will then see a more organic growth in the community as well as “natural moderators” will begin to establish themselves to help in maintaining the desired tone and direction of the community.

These 5 “no fail” tips and techniques will help you keep your focus, refine your tone and build a strong and engaged community with longevity.

East Fishkill Spurs

1. Be Welcoming, Be Disarming
Each time a new member joins your community give them the opportunity to introduce themselves. The best way to do this is to establish a set of between three and five questions for each member to answer.

Making these questions fun and non-threatening will encourage the new community members to engage, be at ease and “let their hair down”. Of course, the tone of the community will determine how “silly” these questions would be, but keeping it “light” will help gain more interaction from your community members.

Some sample questions along these lines are:

  • “Who is your favorite player?”
  • “Tell us how you became a fan”
  • “What was the best goal we ever scored?”

It’s like an online icebreaker. Ask silly, even ridiculous, questions of your members. Don’t be afraid, even in a serious forum, this allows people to connect in ways that are non-threatening and create a comfortable environment despite the tone of the serious topic that might be involved.

Believe it or not it is often more difficult for someone to share serious answers than silly answers.

2. It’s OK to Lurk
Everyone was new to online communities at one point. Try to encourage interaction and engagement, but recognize that some people might just want to watch (lurk) and adjust before they dive in.

Often times those that spend the most time lurking end up being the most engaged in the long run. Some people just need more time to adjust and acclimate to a new environment.

It is actually preferable to have someone lurk and acclimate to the tone of a community rather than jump in prematurely and risk being misunderstood, this could result in a lot of turmoil within a community.

3. Encourage Engagement, Be Appreciative, Be an Example
Actively engaged community members create opportunities for existing or new members to connect with each other, establishing a solid communal relationship. Be sure to thank people for posting, also try to positively acknowledge participation at any level.

Be a guide, or a sign post, direct your community to great content of community members, inside the community or outside, and bring the conversations to them. Be an example, by linking and sharing outside content but housing the discussion within your community.

4. Promote Great Community Contributions and Content
A solid community needs to be fed to continue to grow that community. That food is demonstrated by promoting the community and member contributions. Make it a habit to regularly promote your community members.

The conversations and sharing are the lifeblood.into other social networks. By doing this you will be promoting your community and the members, helping others find you and ensuring a continued growth in your community.

5. Appreciate Everything, Don’t Take Community for Granted
Appreciate your community. Understand that each and every member has made a choice to be a part of the community, and recognize that it’s a choice for them to remain in the community.

Never take your community for granted, if you do you will discover that they can quickly move on to what they perceive to be “Greener Pastures”. Keep it fresh, keep it lively. This is where building a community on a topic you are passionate about makes it a lot easier to grow and maintain.

If you keep these 5 tips top of mind, and try to make a habit of doing these things, you will guarantee your success is building and nurturing an amazing community!

Iceland Is The Smallest Nation To Reach The World Cup

Source: Statista

People in Iceland are looking forward to another summer packed with thrilling action on the soccer field after their national team qualified for the 2018 World Cup last night. Iceland beat Kosovo 2-0, securing the precious ticket to the tournament in Russia, continuing one of soccer’s greatest fairytales. Iceland’s emergence as a soccer power has been surprising given that the country only has a population of 340,000 people. Kosovo has a population nearly six times larger and it’s roughly equivalent to the number of inhabitants in Santa Ana, California. Despite its serious shortage in manpower, however, Iceland has managed to punch well above its weight on the soccer pitch in recent years.

The tiny nation’s remarkable performances can be attributed to a plan formulated almost two decades ago. That saw heavy investment in indoor sports complexes and heated pitches as well as a sharp focus on education and coaching in particular. That resulted in the country producing some 600 qualified coaches, 400 of whom have a UEFA B license, equating to one coach per 825 inhabitants. England has one coach per 11,000 inhabitants.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Paraguay competed in the 1930 World Cup with a population of 860,000 people. However, that tournament did not actually involve qualification so it is better to compare Iceland’s achievement with that of Trinidad and Tobago. The Caribbean island nation qualified for the 2006 World Cup in Germany with a population of 1.3 million people. As impressive as that achievement was, Iceland have made it to Russia with less than a quarter of Trinidad and Tobago’s population.

Sports Infographic

Which Sports League Sees the Most Action on Instagram?

Source: statista.com

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the major sports league with most action on Instagram. According to data provided by InfluencerDB, the number of hashtags #NBA peaked at around 27.9k in June when the Golden State Warriors won the 2017 NBA Championship, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the finals.

Even the National Football League (NFL) couldn’t beat this, accumulating 16.7k #NFL hashtags with the final games having been played in January 2017. The monthly count for September is slightly higher, standing at 17.5k. Maybe #NBA beats #NFL because the audience is sitting closer to the action during the games and smartphone photos yield better results that way.

Sports Infographic

Follr Feature Focus – Sharing Content

There are many Follr features that people tell us they love but content sharing gets more than most.

Within Follr you can widely share activity and content from and to your connections and with members of the general Follr community:

Follr Digital Identity Newsfeed

The activity and status updates you see are either from ‘My Network’ (your existing Follr connections) or ‘Entire Network’ (everyone else). You can then like, repost, comment and share that content via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

To like a post simply click the ‘Like’ link and you will see this message:

Digital Identity

To repost content within Follr click the ‘Repost’ link, add commentary (if so desired) in the box then click the ‘Post’ button:

Follr Repost

In the example above you will see Mark used a hashtag, an @ sign and member tagging. We’ll highlight these features in a later post.

Commenting is easy – simply click the ‘Comment’ link, add your comments then hit enter:

Digital Identity

And finally Sharing. Simply click the ‘Share’ link, select a social network you want to post to then click share. And you can post to Facebook and LinkedIn groups and pages!

Post To LinkedIn Groups

Check back for details on other Follr features and if you would like to see something added please let us know.

Premier League Clubs Break Summer Transfer Record

Premier League clubs smashed the summer transfer record yet again, splurging £1.43 billion on players. As the window finally shut yesterday, they also took transfer deadline day spending to a record £210 million, despite many of the highest-profile moves never happening. Romelu Lukaku made the most expensive Premier League move of the summer, switching from Everton to Manchester United for £75 million. Local rivals Manchester City had the highest transfer spending at £215 million, ahead of Chelsea’s £192 million.

Infographic: Premier League Clubs Break Summer Transfer Record  | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista