Follr Community Feature: Activity Digest

Follr Behind the ScenesFor this week’s Follr Community Feature we’re highlighting ‘Activity Digest Emails’.

With your custom Follr Community, you’re able to send a weekly engagement email to all members summarizing that week’s activity. The email will highlight the most popular content, discussions, interactions, etc. Should there be a slow week with no activity, no email will be sent to avoid annoying, empty emails. This is a great way for members to be reminded of what they’re missing each week and to increase engagement!

Follr Activity Digest

Follr Community Feature #2: Social Feed

Follr Behind the ScenesFor our second installment of #BehindTheScenes (for part one see Follr Community Feature #1: Advanced Messaging), we’re taking a look at Follr’s “Social Feed”.

Follr’s Social Feed allows you to combine all of your social network, blog and community content – up to 40 social media platforms! – into one, easy-to-digest social feed. Easily browse your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest news feeds, right alongside each other, or toggle amongst them with one click! And better yet, seamlessly syndicate any piece of content to ALL of them with one click! Not only does information come in via Follr Social Feed, but it can blasted out as well. If that’s not a good reason to create your Follr Profile today, we don’t know what is!

Follr Social Feed

Follr Community Feature #1: Advanced Messaging

Follr Behind the ScenesHere is a behind the scenes look at one of our latest Follr Community Features: Advanced Messaging. We may be biased, but we’re pretty sure we lay claim to the most diverse and useful messaging capability of any online community platform out there today.

As a Follr Online Community Manager, you’re able to direct message one, several or all of your community members with just a few clicks. You can manage which email addresses the message is sent to and from, and which email address you’d like responses to be delivered to. And all of this can be done without even logging in to the community.

Follr Community Advanced Messaging

Advanced messaging, as described by our product developer, Mark Wayman, is “A powerful… and unique tool to encourage a growing membership…This [tool] can be used for general updates, to make introductions between members – a general communication tool.”

Create a custom Follr Community now and utilize this innovative new tool to connect with your network today!

10 Great Articles on Community Building

Here at Follr, we’re always trying to put the best possible community building materials into the hands of our community managers. For today’s post, we’re sharing ten wonderful articles from our favorite blogs and community experts who know their stuff when it comes to cultivating community. Check out all or just a few – you won’t be disappointed!

 

1. These are the Top 5 Things You Should do First as an Online Community Builder, Follr Blog

2. You Need to Know: 5 Rules of Online Community Engagement, Social Media Today

3. 5 Tips for Building a Community Management Strategy, Social Media Examiner

4. The Different Types of Events, Ning Blog

5. 6 Tips for Starting an Online Community, Social Media Examiner

6. Fool-Proof Guidelines for Online Community Building, Business2Community

7. 8 Great Tools for Online Community Managers, Social Media Today

8. These are the Top 5 Things you should do First as an Online Community Builder, Business2Community

9. 5 Online Community Types: Which one does Yours Fit Into?, Social Media Today

10. 4 Easy Online Community Engagement Ideas, Business2Community

Building on the Basics: 3 Steps to Be an Online Community Builder

If you are already an online community builder or aspire to be one, our goal at Follr is to make the experience as simple and fun as possible. As we continue our series on building a solid foundation for success with online communities we will focus on creating the community identity.

Become an Online Community Builder with your own Follr Community - simple, easy and freeWhen creating a community you should have a clear definition of the community focus and purpose. Creating the community mission statement, as well as a comprehensive list of related keywords, is more important than many understand. Focusing on the recommendations here will result in an increase of online community engagement, interaction and posting, once you’ve opened your doors to your new community.

As soon as people read the term “key words” their minds automatically connect the term with search engine optimization (SEO), in this case that is a secondary benefit of your primary purpose. The primary purpose is to help focus on the content and direction of the online community you are building. Once you have a good list of 10-15 keywords, or terms, related to the community you are building, and the mission statement you defined, you will see a true community begin to form.

3 Steps to Be an Online Community Builder resulting in huge Online Community Engagement

  1. Define your purpose: A Mission Statement

    It might sound tedious but taking time to plan and focus will help create a more viable, and vibrant, online community. When the purpose is clear then people will easily be attracted to the community, don’t allow confusion to be a barrier to community success. A clear definition and statement of purpose make a transition into a new community much easier for a potential member.

    People are hesitant, they resist change, for maximum engagement in a new community being clear in the focus and purpose will put them at ease. By defining this in the community description, and even seeding content into your community, will result in seeing conversations begin at a significantly faster rate than the average online community builder does.

  2. Keyword: Success
    Identifying keywords which relate to the community topic and purpose allows for powerful online community building tricks. The first is that now potential community members can be found via social search. Use your key words/terms to search and find those potential community members. The second is that if the goal is to ramp the interactions up in the community even faster, you can use those same words and terms to invest in SEO and purchase Adwords via Google.

    Notice the focus on sharing the community with people on other social networks. By being “discoverable”, and in turn discovering, a rapid decrease in the odds of community survival shift in the favor of the community builder.

    Using social search tools, you will find people who are “talking” about your topics and focus, and get into the conversation with them. If you have seeded enough content and encouraged your community members to do so as well, you should have no problem bringing the conversation back to your Follr Communities website.

  3. Target: Locked and Engaged
    Once you begin to identify people who are conversant on the topic for your community you want to begin to have conversations, on the topic with them. Create saved searches (eg Google Alerts) to monitor – blog posts, tweets, shares, statuses, etc. that have already happened or are happening live.

    Take time to review the conversations, be sure there is something relevant posted within your community. If not, consider posting something – take the topic and spin a question out of the conversation or post. Try to build a few responses to it from your community before you get into a discussion with the target of your attempts at engagement.

The goal of these key steps is to create a community alive with conversation and engagement. Searching for people and focusing on being found is a very genuine way of finding people who are like-minded and want to participate with you and your community. Don’t feel as though you are being “sneaky” – there is nothing sneaky about connecting and sharing with other people, it is the entire purpose of building an online community.

Show us how it works for you, create your Follr Community – they are simple online communities to build, with an elegant format similar to a template, and all you do is fill in the information and voila you are up and running.

There really is no simple way to be an online community builder than with Follr.

5 Proven Tips to Build a Collaborative Community

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.

Build an online community that is fun and collaborative with follr Communities

1. Moderation.

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!

Follr Community Feature #2: Social Feed

Follr Behind the ScenesFor our second installment of #BehindTheScenes (for part one see Follr Community Feature #1: Advanced Messaging), we’re taking a look at Follr’s “Social Feed”.

Follr’s Social Feed allows you to combine all of your social network, blog and community content – up to 40 social media platforms! – into one, easy-to-digest social feed. Easily browse your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest news feeds, right alongside each other, or toggle amongst them with one click! And better yet, seamlessly syndicate any piece of content to ALL of them with one click! Not only does information come in via Follr Social Feed, but it can blasted out as well. If that’s not a good reason to create your Follr Profile today, we don’t know what is!

Follr Social Feed

Don’t Make these Community Management Mistakes: Part 1

Online Community Mistakes FollrAs an online community manager, you’ve no doubt got a lot on your plate. Growing and maintaining an active following are tough tasks. And that’s exactly why the Follr blog is dedicated to providing our community managers with the best resources, tips and tricks when it comes to community management and building. Read through these rookie online community development mistakes and make sure to stay tuned all week for more potential blunders and how to avoid them!

Your Community Doesn’t Have a Concrete Niche

You’ve no doubt decided on who or what your community is about, but is it too vague? There are a million communities that revolve around teams, fans, players and sport so make sure you stand out from the crowd. Examples include communities for Los Angeles New England Patriots Fans or Florida Leicester City Fans (are there any?) Creating your community within a small niche may feel like pigeon-holing yourself but it will absolutely help down the road.

You’re Not Consistent with Content

If you’re sporadic with your posts and engagement within the community, users will die off. Members like to see consistency and quality. Aim to post a few times a day at the least. It helps them view you as a real person. And speaking of…

You’re Not Visible Enough

It is of utmost importance to make sure your members know who you are! Have an ‘about me’ tab and explain why you have this passion and how it came about. Sell yourself as THE expert and enthusiast on your community topic. Bonus points for uploading a short video!

Start building your community now by Follr !