Maisie is starting a new community role and asks a few common questions:
“How do I get people from different countries, different departments, and different backgrounds to start communicating and sharing with each other?
What platform do I use?
How do I make my message relevant and interesting among the bombardment of emails we get every day?”
These are good questions, but they’re superseded by a far bigger question; what are the results your colleagues expect to see from the community?
Before you even consider any tactical or technical questions, you need to get the goals properly established.
- Identifying who is heavily interested in, and has influence over, the success of the community
- Interviewing this group and understanding what these people deeply care about (hopes and fears)
- Which of these goals can a community best achieve?
- Does everyone understand and support the goals of the community?
The very best goals are specific (e.g. generating leads for the sales team, nurturing advocates to drive awareness, increasing search traffic, reducing time spent searching for documents, building a database of experts people can use for support, keeping our members at the cutting edge of technology etc….).
They don’t need to specify a financial return, but they do need to be something your senior colleagues truly value. If you want more support for your goals, begin with goals your colleagues already support.
These goals will answer most of the other questions you have (if your goal is innovation or collaboration you would use innovation or collaboration platforms)
Don’t think about how to get people to engage, what platform to use, or what messages to send, until you have clear, established, goals.
Spend 80% of your time in that first month, identifying stakeholders, building relationships, understanding what people care about and setting specific targets.
It becomes a lot easier to answer every other question once you really understand what the goals are.
p.s. Last day to sign up for our Strategic Community Management course.