We use a similar project plan we use for most of the clients we work with.
We don’t go through every step with every client, but the process is relatively the same for each.
A typical community strategy usually takes us between 10 to 12 weeks to complete and goes through five stages. These stages are:
- Getting started. Admin, gathering basic information, and tracking progress.
- Setting up the research. Getting access to people, data, resources, and gaining permissions to do the research.
- Undertaking the research. Interviews, surveys, data analysis, competitors, macro-trends and participating in the community.
- Developing the strategic plan. Developing, testing, and refining the short and long-term strategic plans (sometimes presented as options).
- Building the measurement framework. Developing custom dashboards for our clients.
You can see a small sample below:
You won’t need to progress through every step, but it should give you a clear framework to build your community strategy.
I’ve found the major benefit of this framework is it ensures mutual accountability, lets you plan to avoid the major time-sinks (getting access to data, setting up interviews etc…) and ensures the entire strategy is built upon good data.
Every major success we’ve had has been achieved by following the research.
You can access the project plan for free (click file > download as to save in Google Docs).
As part of our Strategic Community Management course, we’ll teach you how to go through this process gather great data, and think strategically to achieve the best results with your resources.
If you find the project plan useful, you should click here to learn more about the course.
The course begins on Sept 17 and costs $675 USD.