Successful online communities have the right people, technology, and strategies in place to spark member engagement, says Marjorie Anderson, founder of Community by Association and manager of digital communities at the Project Management Institute.
What are key skills to look for in an online community manager?
A really important attribute in an online community manager is the ability to build relationships, be empathetic, and make connections. It’s not the platform or site that brings value; the value is in the people who engage there. Online community managers should also be good storytellers. Anyone can report on key metrics every month, but not everyone can translate that into a story and explain what those numbers mean in the larger context.
What is the most important consideration when you’re establishing a new online community?
You have to think about who the community is meant to serve. Once you know who your people are, you can start to develop a strategy around how to engage them. If you get the “who” wrong, you won’t get any of the rest of it right.
What tech tools help to make collaboration and conversation easier?
When it comes to member behavior, make sure that your community platform is able to push and pull information to users. Also, it should be able to provide a 360-degree view of how your members interact and engage online. Consider using artificial intelligence, machine learning, or other emerging tech tools to personalize user experiences and conversations based on their past behaviors.