Review Your Existing Community Plans

May 20, 2013 Comments Off on Review Your Existing Community Plans

As part of our consultancy, we spend a lot
of time reviewing a client’s existing plans for a community.

There are a variety of things we look out
for. Some we’ve listed below:


  • Do you have clear, ROI, goals?
    i.e. not likes/engagements but one of these?
  • Do you have a framework for
    measuring the health, progress, and ROI of the community? Is this framework
    logical and valid?
  • Have you set a specific time to
    collect and analyze the data you need?
  • Are your data collection methods
  • Is your community concept clear
    and based upon research you’ve undertaken?
  • Are you taking the right
    actions for your stage in the community lifecycle?


  • Do you have a plan to
    proactively grow the community?
  • Are you targeting a specific,
    segmented, group to join the community? Is your approach genuine or does it
    feel corporate?
  • If you’re just launching, do
    you know specific who to contact and have you already established relationships
    with this audience?
  • Do you have a process for
    converting a newcomer into a regular?
  • Are you inviting members to do
    something specific within the community?
  • Are you optimizing the newcomer
    to regular conversion ratio? Do you know where members are dropping out?


  • Do you have a calendar of
    discussions you plan to initiate over the next 3 months? Is this based upon
    audience research?
  • Are you highlighting and
    promoting the most popular discussions in the community?
  • Are your discussions linked to
    your events and content?
  • Do you have a process and
    criteria for removing negative members from the community?
  • Have you reviewed whether your
    community needs to concentrate or dissipate activity?


  • Have you established a weekly
    calendar of content categories?
  • Are you creating daily content
    about the community?
  • Are recruiting and making it
    easy for members to submit their own content (not just providing the means, but
    also the motivation)?
  • Does your content establish a
    social order and narrative within the community for members to follow? 

& Activities

  • Are you organizing and
    facilitating regular online activities for members? (webinars, live chats,
    challenges/quizzes etc…)
  • When will you host an offline
  • Are you documenting the results
    of previous events and publishing these somewhere?


  • Has the community manager
    chosen a path to gain influence within the community (reciprocity, likability,
    or expertise)?
  • Have you identified the top
    members of the community, is there a plan and specific time set aside to build
    relationships with these top members?
  • Is there a plan to recruit
    volunteers to help contribute guest content, undertaken community activities,
    and provide regular support?
  • Are the opinions of members
    regularly solicited?


  • Does your platform feature the
    latest activity, above the fold, on the landing page of the community?
  • Is there a clear place for
    members to interact with each other, not for the organization to interact with
    the members?
  • Is the platform easy to modify
    and update? Or will it require a lot of maintenance? Has it been used before to
    develop successful communities?
  • Is the platform open, with all
    content accessible to non-members?
  • Are there any plans to concentrate
    or dissipate the level of activity in the community?
  • Is there a community history, a
    good FAQ, and a simple registration form?


  • Does the organization understand
    what a community is, how to participate in the community, the benefits of a
    community, the time it takes to develop a community, and the resources a
    community requires?
  • Is there a full-time community
  • Are more employees than just
    the community managers participating in the community?
  • Is the community integrated
    with the product, price, place, and promotion of the organization?
  • Does the organization have the
    ability to scale the community?

All of these are important questions to
answer. You can also use our community strategy template, development process, and checklist

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