5 Community Management Myths
While it’s undoubtedly rewarding, community management is also a very challenging job. With more choices than ever before (not to mention a rapidly changing global socio-economic landscape) people are not only looking for interesting content in the communities they join, but they’re also looking to connect with like-minded people, build meaningful connections and relationships, all while having a unique, comfortable and safe online experience. But in order to achieve this for the members of your community, it’s important to unpack the common community management myths and in turn, create effective and profitable strategies.
Below, discover five common community management myths and what actions you can take today.
Myth 1: If it’s available, people will follow
Just because the community platform is available doesn’t necessarily mean people will join. In fact, this is very rarely the case. Even if the platform ticks many of the right boxes in terms of functionality and user experience, success depends on letting people understand why the community is beneficial to them and meets their needs above anything else that’s available to them. After all, people have access to countless platforms, forums, and groups.
What to do: Sit with your team and identify the things that make your community unique. From there, look at ways in which that can be filtered out into marketing and other communications in order to attract the right people and deliver value to them. Above all, be intentional, direct, and clear.
Myth 2: Sales and transactions are the only priority
The bottom line will always be important, but looking at a community as a space to solely market and sell a product could actually deter sales in the end. While an engaged community is responsive, they’re also highly intuitive. Community members are looking for a space where they can be informed, connect with like-minded people, and have their lives enriched by connections and content; they’re not necessarily open to sales pitches and ads. So even though selling might be a priority for you and your team, it shouldn’t be the basis of your entire strategy.
What to do: Review your content strategy and make sure that there is a healthy balance between editorial content, advertising, and marketing content. Furthermore, identify how the content should be used and when.
Myth 3: All platforms are created equal
When it comes to online communities, there are often several common outcomes community members are looking for: to connect with like-minded people, informative and valuable content, a user-friendly interface and experience, safety, and more. But the truth is that there are very few platforms that tick most of the boxes. As your community grows, it may be important to revisit your strategy and goals to determine if the platforms being used are effectively reaching these goals, or alternatively, diluting and undermining your efforts.
What to do: With your team, identify any pain points, frustrations, or other obstacles you might be facing with the platforms you’re using. Consider whether it’s time to migrate the community to a more effective platform that can deliver on more of your needs. Opting for a new platform can make all the difference.
Myth 4: It’s all about the Community Manager
Very often when it comes to an online community, the common myth is that it all rests with the Community Manager. But to really deliver an engaging and valuable experience to members, input from the members is just as important. Different perspectives will help refine what the community stands for and what needs to be delivered, as well as create a more inclusive experience for all.
What to do: Arrange regular meetings with the various members of your team and look at ways the different departments can contribute to the success of the community. Include sales, the editorial and product teams, and even the finance department. Furthermore, create polls and surveys for community members to get their input. Each one of these perspectives will help strengthen your strategy by considering different points of view and needs that must be fulfilled.
Myth 5: A community is static
Communities will evolve in time, especially thriving ones. With shifts in the global socio-economic landscape and popular culture, as well as advancements in digital technology, people are changing more rapidly than ever before. As such, the communities they belong to must evolve too. Communities must be agile and adaptable in order to stay relevant and valuable to their members.
What to do: Whether it’s monthly or quarterly, it’s important to review the engagement results of the community. Identify where you’re succeeding and where improvement is needed. Have a look at your metrics and measurables, and consider comparing them with industry benchmarks. When you highlight what’s working and what’s not, you’re keeping a finger on the pulse of the community. You’re also empowering yourself to make necessary changes.
One common thread you will see in all of these myths and the practical solutions behind them is to review and communicate. Additionally, a Community Manager needs a critical eye and a proactive approach to ensure that they – and their teams – are positioned to successfully manage, grow and evolve their communities over time. In order for this to happen, it’s important to choose the correct community management platform that aligns with your goals and offers you the functionality and features in order to achieve them. To discover which platform is best suited for you, click here.