Several new community features are up and running on Follr.com. With this latest release, communities can be created – and grow! – more easily. New capabilities include, among others, a more streamlined “joining” experience, more opportunities for customization by administrators, and engagement tools that make it easier than ever to communicate and connect with members. Four of the most game-changing features are described below.
Community administrators can now add custom HTML to the content and sidebar areas of the community page. This means easy-breezy embedding of content from other sites. (Think YouTube, banner ads, Strava, etc.)
Inviting members to join your community is as easy as sending a quick email. Simply enter email addresses – or upload a whole list! – and Follr will check for duplicate or invalid emails before queuing up a default email for administrators to review and customize if they wish. Invites can also be sent via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+. As soon as invites are sent, admins can see progress on their dashboard.
Administrators can also direct message one, several, or all members at once via Follr’s new engagement capability. This is convenient for updating all members on important developments, starting private conversations, or connecting/introducing two or more members. Administrators can also authorize other members to use this messaging capability via an email request.
Follr will send a weekly engagement email to all members summarizing that week’s activity. The email will highlight community progress, popular content and interactions etc. This is a great way for members to be reminded of what they’re missing each week. And should there be a slow week with no activity, no email will be sent to avoid annoying, empty emails.
Visit Follr.com now to get started and let us know what you think of these new features!
Building an online community – whether it’s for your business, special interest, religious group, or even your child’s little league team – can seem like a constant uphill battle. If you’re struggling with your online community, or if you just want a few tips on how to enhance yours, we’ve got your all-you-need-to-know, comprehensive-yet-concise guide to online community building here. You’ll find tips on how to get started, what and when to post, and how to retain members/followers.
– Once you’ve chosen your platform get to know the site by clicking around to other members’ profiles and communities. Take note of what you like and what you don’t like, a.k.a. learn from others’ mistakes.
– Decide who your target audience is and don’t divert from it. Focus directly on this group of people and start following key prospective members on twitter and other social media outlets.
– Search relevant hashtags and see what others are talking about around your topic or interest. This will tell you the kind of content you should start posting and discussing once you have your community up and running.
– Keep in mind that building a following of members is not a one-time job. Keep searching and following, keep joining conversations and continue to invite key prospective people to your community. Shoot for one new active member per day.
– Once you have a small community of members, start connecting them! Search their profiles for skills or interests they might have in common and encourage them to communicate with one another. If your followers see you as a connector who wants to help build their reputation and career, they’ll be more inclined to do the same.
– When you get stuck, take a peek at this great list of Online Community Building Resources.
Posting & Engagement
– Post content between 3-5 times per day and always once at the very least (yes, even if you’re on vacation!). Members want to see consistency and commitment.
– Post original content – a link to your most recent blog post or, a conversation starter, etc. – at least once every other day, and post other relevant content often. Just make sure the source is credible and you’ve read the article in its entirety first.
– ALWAYS respond to a member’s contribution with a thoughtful and gracious response.
– Keep in touch with members who may become less active over time. Reach out and ask about a project their working on or a life event.
– Frequent and meaningful Engagement is the key to scoring and retaining members. Keep at it no matter what and always be positive.
– Offer thought-provoking content related to your topic of interest or business. Your goal is to make your community a staple of their online experience.
– Try one of these 4 Online Community Engagement Ideas and see which one(s) your members respond to best.
– Be candid. Put yourself out there. Tell the truth. Give members something they can relate to. They’ll feel more connected and feel drawn to keep checking in every once in a while to see what’s new.
Good Luck with your new online community!
We’ve rolled out lots of new Follr features and here are details on one of the more popular. If you have news or anything you want to share with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, Follr allows you to do that with one click!
Having logged into your account click “Manage”:
and then select each account you want to connect:
Return to the homefeed page, type in your update and make sure the ‘All Networks’ box is checked:
Check back for details on other new Follr features and if you would like to see something added please let us know.
In the following video, from the Flight to Freedom event held in San Diego, CA, Follr CEO Stephen Fells discusses how Follr technology is powering online communities and helping organizations distribute content while protecting brand and generating revenue.
The event, for entrepreneurs, investors and philanthropists “is designed to enhance collaboration between the vibrant entrepreneurial community in Bay Area and other groups around the world.”
Information about this years Flight To Freedom event will be posted shortly. In the interim click here.
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.
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:
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!
Follr adds significant value to supporters clubs events enabling fans to connect during, after and before the game at no cost!
Our solution consists of three interwoven components:
Add Event Details
The event organizer creates an event (date, time, location, description) plus optional link to external details (e.g. third-party ticket solution).
An attendee list can be uploaded.
Attendees Create a Free Follr Site
Registration takes just minutes providing detailed information for valuable pre-event connections.
Sign Up Activity
Attendees indicate Confirmed, Maybe or Declined (hopefully that means they are watching the game at home…). The organizer receives update emails for immediate event interest feedback.
The event organizer can proactively make introductions via the event management system.
Emails can be sent at any time to fans.
Follr Event Management
Everything you need to add value to your next event!
For more information please contact us.