Follr Support Series – How To Find Fans and Supporters Clubs

Follr contains community Websites for every sports team imaginable, soccer (AKA football), football (aka football), basketball, hockey, baseball and many other professionals, organizations and interest groups associated with the industry. The question is; how do you find one?

Please follow these steps – if you have additional questions give us a call on:

(888) 201-5160

or email:

info@follr.com

Step 1:

After you log into your Follr account you will see the Activity Screen:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 1

Step 2:

This screen highlights two places to find new communities:

(i) From the top menu you can click on “Communities”:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 3

(ii) In the right panel you will see “Discover Communities”:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 2

Let’s look at both.

Step 3:

If you click on “Communities” from the top menu you see a page that by default shows you the communities you are currently a member of:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 4

To discover new communities simply click on the “Find Communities” button:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 5

and then type any word into either the “Search by Name” or “Search by Tag” fields:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 6

As you enter text the results filter automatically:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 7

You can click on any of the search results and join the community. There isn’t a limit on how many communities you can join.

Step 4:

If you click the “More >>” link under the “Discover Communities” section in the right panel you go to the same page and through the same process as detailed in ‘Step 3’ above but there is an extra layer of help – a popup that provides details about a specific community:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 8

Again there isn’t a limit on how many communities you can join.

Follr Support Series – Discovering New Communities

Follr contains community Websites for every sports team imaginable, soccer (AKA football), football (aka football), basketball, hockey, baseball and many other professionals, organizations and interest groups associated with the industry. The question is; how do you find one?

Please follow these steps – if you have additional questions give us a call on:

(888) 201-5160

or email:

info@follr.com

Step 1:

After you log into your Follr account you will see the Activity Screen:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 1

Step 2:

This screen highlights two places to find new communities:

(i) From the top menu you can click on “Communities”:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 3

(ii) In the right panel you will see “Discover Communities”:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 2

Let’s look at both.

Step 3:

If you click on “Communities” from the top menu you see a page that by default shows you the communities you are currently a member of:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 4

To discover new communities simply click on the “Find Communities” button:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 5

and then type any word into either the “Search by Name” or “Search by Tag” fields:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 6

As you enter text the results filter automatically:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 7

You can click on any of the search results and join the community. There isn’t a limit on how many communities you can join.

Step 4:

If you click the “More >>” link under the “Discover Communities” section in the right panel you go to the same page and through the same process as detailed in ‘Step 3’ above but there is an extra layer of help – a popup that provides details about a specific community:

Follr Support - Community Discovery 8

Again there isn’t a limit on how many communities you can join.

Why Sustainable Community is an Ecosystem

An ecosystem, in it’s simplistic form, is about balance. All the parts working, existing, interacting, together to create a balanced ecosystem. The result of that magical collaboration is a sustainable ecosystem.

An online community can be described as a type of ecosystem. The ideal balance between the members of the community and the value of the community, among multitude of other factors, results in a sustainable community, functioning as an ecosystem. Today we are taking a look at the reasons why an ecosystem is the perfect analogy for an online community and some touch points to remember when you are trying to reach “sustainable” within one.

Buzzword and hype, or valid analogy?
Ecosystem has become a business buzzword, partially for it’s universal representation of a successful system of multiple parts functioning as one. The analogy is accurate and possibly underutilized in communicating the relevance of many life processes and business processes.

What is an Ecosystem?

In an enlightening post by J-P De Clerk on the topic of social networks and organizations, Mr. De Clerk utilized a childrens website called KidsCorner (side note, interesting project in conjunction with the USDA Forest Service, do check it out) to provide the clearest and simplest definition of what an ecosystem is. The above image is from that website and gives you the definition of ecosystem.

Mr. De Clerk has me considering this. I have always understood and considered many things ecosystems in the precise and delicate balance in which they successfully exist. As I read his post, it got me thinking about all the ways in which the analogy is truly a wonderful way to convey the concept of an online community. A community is no different than any other ecosystem.

The Ecosystem we call an ‘Online Community’
In seeking to create a vibrant and sustainable community, you work with many potentially fragile parts that together create the whole. In this analogy we are specifically referencing the human interactions, as well as the contributed content, that builds the foundation of the sustainable community.

These relationships may require precise and measured amounts of encouragement, support and nurturing to ensure a truly balanced and therefore sustainable resulting ecosystem.

Understanding and Patience
As with any young plant or creature, a minimum level of focus and care is required to permit for the proper development and growth. If any of the necessary elements are withheld, you will see a failure to thrive situation in which failure is inevitable. Sometimes it can be recoverable, but many times it cannot.

An online community is no different than a living organism in this regard. It takes time and effort to reinforce the community interaction and engagement. If you even step away for an extended period of time, you risk the collapse of the entire ecosystem, as the caregiver aka ‘the custodian’ is no longer there to nurture and encourage the community.

This is essential the job of a community manager, whether you consider yourself one, or not, when you work with any form of network or community, there is a symbiotic relationship that is develops and along with it a form of dependency if not need or requirement, of the ‘nourishment’ you will provide that community.

Making an ecosystem accessible
Yes, this analogy can make it sound much more complicated than it really is. The simplest way to explain this is to suggest that if you contribute, monitor, engage, and encourage others to do the same, you will establish an interdependence among the members, establishing an ‘addictive’ pattern (aka habit) among the member of the community. Relying upon you, and the community that they have now embraced, as a trusted resource for whatever the particular focus is.

It returns to the basic rule of all social interactions – online or off, build a relationship, establish trust and give back to others to see the best success possible for your network or community.

What other ways do you help to nurture your community to grow a sustainable ecosystem?

You Need to Know: The 2 Main Types of Community Performance Statistics!

Follr MetricsAs you start building your online social community, it can be hard to gauge how well (or not-so-well) you’re doing. Different community performance statistics mean different things and certain communities’ success are more reliant on certain measures of performance than others. Here we attempt to break down the two major types of performance indicators for any online community, and provide tips on how to better manage and increase your desired metrics!

Two broad types of Performance Indicators:

1. REACH

Reach is one general sub-category of community performance. On the most basic level, reach can translate to metrics like the number of page views, clicks, and new members. Additionally, reach can be more literal – as in the geographical reach you have according to the physical location of your members, and even the spread of your members’ ages. The former are basic measures of reach you’ll want to increase by:

  1. Including relevant and clever content, as well as 2-3 related hashtags per post
  2. Directly tagging “key,” socially-savvy members in posts and comments

The latter, more literal metrics of reach are imperative to building a rich and diverse community. Take time once a week or so to visit some of your members’ profiles and get an idea of these reach statistics.  Increase geographic and chronological reach by:

  1. Posting content applicable to all ages and ethinicities
  2. Specifically asking certain groups of people to chime in on topic discussions. Example: asking #NewEnglanders to share their favorite weekend road trip spot, even if your community is focused on Midwest travel & tourism.

2. ENGAGEMENT

Once you’ve got a steady stream of members visiting your community, you’ll start to be more concerned with engagement. Engagement is a broad term for how and how often your members interact with community content and other community members. Some solid engagement metrics to live by are time spent on your site, the number of comments and/or discussion posts, and the diversity of topics members touch on. Smart community builders can hone in on certain “gem” members who frequently interact with several other members on several different topics. Direct message these members and thank them for being such a vibrant edition to your online community! Do you have any tips on increasing reach or engagement? Feel free to share in the comments section below!

Community Building for Everyone

Building community has always been one of the hot topics in social media. As Follr launches Follr Communities 1.0 we invite you to join us in a series of posts exploring the process, needs and results of those building online communities. So we begin with part 1 of the series: Community Building for Everyone.

In social media, as in life, most of us focus our efforts on connecting, and building those trusted relationships that lead to a strong community with solid connections.

The greatest challenge for many in the field of social network community management isn’t building the community, it is keeping track of our community and finding new members with like interests and goals.

No matter what kind of community it is, whether a charitable and altruistic or a business trying to work through customer service initiatives online, aggregating the interactions and connections into a single place for consistent communication has been limited to mostly internal spreadsheets, CRM tools, blogs or groups on services such as LinkedIn or Facebook.

Multiple Featured Vibrant Social Communities for Everyone

The recent changes in how some of those services share your group or promote your business has left people wondering how to reach their audience, and build engagement. It’s rather difficult to do if you are having your community sharing muted.

The difference can be found in Follr Communities. Our communities provide a place where your content belongs to YOU, your community is completely indexable with powerful organic SEO allowing for your message to have a much greater reach than ever before imaginable, growing your community with less effort and better quality connections.

What are the top challenges and solutions of online community building? We will explore those in the next post in this series. In the interim, why not take a test drive of a Follr.com Community?