We’re all swayed by the allure of activity metrics.
It’s comforting to see discussions with hundreds of responses and thousands of people visiting our communities every day.
But this biases us to select tactics which will generate the most activity instead of the tactics which drive the best results. This is classic engagement-trap thinking.
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Every Tactic Should Help Tell The Community Strategy Story
The strategy is the emotional story you create and tell to an audience to get them to perform the behaviors that matter. Your tactics are how you create and tell that story.
You don’t pick the tactics which drive the most engagement, you pick the tactics which create and tell the story which will get members to perform the behaviors you want. Here are some examples.
Example 1: Telling The ‘Importance’ Story
Imagine your goal is to use the community to generate fantastic product feedback for your engineers. One of your (three) objectives might be to get your top members to send detailed reports through on how they use and feel about the products.
In your interviews with top members, you might learn that members love feeling a sense of importance and exclusivity about being able to give feedback. This might lead into the tactics we see below:
This is just one of 3 objectives.
Tactics are less about what you say and more about what you do.
It’s not enough to tell top members how important they are. You have to genuinely make them feel important. Above you can see four very specific tactics that tell the story you need to tell.
Example 2: Telling The ‘Satisfaction’ Story
Let’s imagine your goal is to increase loyalty to your product. Your objectives might include getting members to share tips on doing more with the product.
Your interviews might reveal your regular members love the sense of satisfaction from knowing their tips helped others. Now you can create and tell the member satisfaction story as we see below:
We can agree that getting feedback on the usefulness of tips shared, being featured for the impact you’ve made, and seeing your name nominated to win a prize might make you feel pretty satisfied with your contributions to the community.
Now, these members will associate your community with that feeling of satisfaction.
Example 3: Telling The ‘Excitement’ Story
Let’s stick with the same goal (keeping customers for life), but a second objective for a different segment (lurkers and less active participants).
If your interviews revealed this group needs to feel excited about the tips, your tactics might include building up the big tips, creating a sense of scarcity, and making a big deal out of the tips shared.
Again, notice you’re not telling them the tips are exciting, you’re making the tips exciting.
This is a simplified version of a full strategy, but you get the idea.
If you’re taking a strategic community management approach, your mission isn’t to get an endless amount of activity, but to select very specific tactics.
None of the tactics above are the best way to drive activity, but they might be the best way to achieve your goals.
During our Strategic Community Management course we’re going to help you rebuild your community strategy to one that is focused on achieving goals which have widespread support within your organization.
We’ve found this course to be transformative for 100+ students now. I hope you will consider joining us. The fee for the course is $675 (or $1100 combined with Psychology of Community). Enrollment ends on October 9th.
You can sign up here: www.feverbee.com/scm