The unique power of a community is you get to help a member feel a part of something special.
If you’re just replying to questions as quickly as possible, you’re wasting this opportunity.
Your responses should make the member feel better about themselves and more connected to the tribe.
This is a choice. A choice to give a little more time, care, and effort to ensure you’re providing each member with the best possible community experience.
Imagine a member asks a question you don’t know the answer to. You can leave it and hope someone else replies. Or you can take the opportunity to make the member feel as good as possible about asking the question.
This tends to split among three levels.
Level 1: The ‘Bad’ Response
That’s a good question, hopefully, some other members can chime in and respond to your question.”
This is better than no response at all. But it does nothing to help the member solve their problem or feel better about themselves.
This is sadly the standard too many community managers are working at.
Level 2: The ‘OK’ Response
I suspect your question is going to challenge a few of our top members.
You might want to check out this resource: www.linkgoeshere.com.
It will be interesting to see if @name, @name, or @name can share their experiences here.”
You can see a little more personality here. Other members are tagged in to answer the question which might help get a response. It also shares a resource that can help. But it doesn’t add much emotional impact to help the member feel better about themselves.
Level 3: The ‘Good’ Response
Welcome back, I haven’t seen you here in a few weeks. Are your exams coming up soon?
This is a really good question. I don’t think it’s come up before.
Can you share a little more information about [specific elements of the question]. What have you tried already? What prep materials are you using? When are you taking your exams?
Just browsing through some previous posts, I’ve noticed some good responses from @name and @name I’ve shared below:
If we get a good response, do you mind if I add this to the community newsletter? I think it will probably help a lot of people.”
Add the personal touch, provide the information in the body of the response itself, make the member feel good about being the first to ask the question, and provide an opportunity to have influence via the newsletter.
Review the last few responses you gave. Are you engaging members as well as you can?