Preparing For Success
It’s easier to plan for failure than success.
If your community isn’t reaching a critical mass, you can tweak the concept, change the on-boarding, or do more to promote the community (possibly even use social ads).
But getting too much activity too soon is harder.
If you’re expecting to answer 10 questions per day and you’re getting 100, you have a problem.
If you don’t solve this problem fast, you’re going to disappoint members and have a community filled with unanswered questions.
Three things here.
1) Learn enough to answer the easy questions. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert (although it helps), but you do need to learn enough to be able to answer most of the basic questions yourself. If you’re not using the products you’re managing the community for, this will be tricky. If you need to get educated fast, have a plan for it.
2) Put community questions in the support team process. You need to build strong relationships with customer support/success teams to answer questions in the community as well as those received by tickets. The most effective approach is to work with senior leaders to make the % of answered community questions a support goal as much as it is a goal for support tickets/calls. If you need to scale up response rates fast, this is the only way to do it.
3) Provide overwhelming benefits to MVPs. You already plan to do this, but if you need to scale it up faster you need to provide overwhelming benefits. This doesn’t mean free gifts, it means giving MVPs overwhelming opportunities for influence, recognition, and feeling respected. You might ask the CEO to reach out personally, put MVPs in touch with product teams for feedback, or provide them with their own domain within the community to take responsibility for.
Ultimately, it helps to have a plan to educate yourself fast, processes to drastically increase support team participation, and provide overwhelming benefits to MVPs.
Don’t let your biggest success become your biggest failure.