Category Archives: Community Building

Don’t Launch Your Forum Without These 3 Things

Forum launch

First, you’ll need an enormous rocket…

Launching a new forum community can be daunting. This is true even for those of us who have done it before, but increasingly communities are being launched by people with no prior experience of the medium. Forum communities are increasingly becoming a vital part of product marketing, and I find I’m more likely than ever to meet with people who know they need a forum but don’t know how to launch one successfully. Every community is different, but there are a few important things that need to be in place before a forum launches, and they’re often overlooked. Continue reading

Community Managers and Moderators: What’s the Difference?

A recent incident in a large community where a small number of moderators went rogue led me to believe that more needs to be said about the difference between a community manager and a moderator. There’s still confusion in some areas about the difference between the two, and this confusion, in the right circumstances, can lead to bedlam. I can’t be the only community manager who hears “oh right, so you delete comments and stuff?” whenever I tell people what I do for a living. Obviously this can be personally frustrating, but it can also cause professional difficulties for people in both roles. Some businesses expect a moderator to do the work of a CM, without giving them the pay, resources or support to do so. Others are pretty sure that all a CM does is “delete comments and stuff”, and dismiss the need for one based on that. Given the pressing need for both roles in modern marketing, businesses that take this stance are likely to be left in the dust. So what’s the difference?

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How Can You Scale Your Customer Support?

I was on Quora recently and saw this question: “How do you scale customer support? Aside from hiring more employees, how do you scale your customer support to handle increasing numbers of customers?”

There were lots of great answers. The best one answer, as chosen by Quora users, is from Greg Devore. He rephrased the issue, not so much about handling more customers, but on handling more questions. In other words, the real question is: “What are the questions my customers have and how can I scale my ability to address them?” As Greg pointed out there are really two types of questions your customer service team will face: Continue reading

Three Ways Your Community Can Generate Sales Leads

Online communities are often seen as simply the price of doing business. An entry on a ledger somewhere reads “Community Budget”, because it seems that Everyone Is Doing It. As great as online communities are for engaging your customers and cutting support costs, your CFO might still see your community as a cost centre. In fact, the ability for communities to generate leads can make them a great source of new revenue. If you’re looking to improve your community’s status on the balance sheet, here are are few suggestions for where to start:
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