How To Develop A Community Strategy

Your strategic plan is a living document. Keep it regularly updated. You will be getting new metrics every day. Incorporate them into your strategy. Let people know the strategy has been updated.

Make Strategic Thinking Central To Your Approach

Don’t let the strategy be a theoretical exercise that is then consigned to go out of date and gather digital dust. Make it the central focus in every decision you take and every person you hire.

If an employee is asking to attend a conference, see if the conference sessions match the information that would help them execute their tactics. If you are asking for more resources, you can be really specific at what the additional resources will let you achieve. If you are in a senior meeting, you can talk about how the objectives are helping the organization achieve its goals. If you are recruiting a new hire, see if their skills and passion match the steps required in the strategy.

When change does inevitably happen, the strategic plan should be updated relatively quickly to accommodate those changes. You might still have your team, your resources, and your audience analysis to work from. There are very few situations when an entire strategic plan needs to be recreated from scratch. If you move on to a new role, you can assign someone else to be in charge of the strategy and let them execute it.

Far too many communities struggle once the community manager or team leader leaves. Very often, the community manager was a great practitioner but a bad strategist. Yet, it’s the strategic plan that will ensure the community survives and thrives once you have left. If you want to leave a great legacy, you need to do more than build a great community. You need to build a living, active community plan.



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