Category Archives: Help

Community Guidelines: Why They’re Vital and How to Improve Them

Community guidelines

This might be going a little overboard…

The first thing I do when I enter a new community is check out their community guidelines. It’s not because I’m worried about breaking rules (I’m well behaved at least 65% of the time), but because what those rules are and how they’re laid out will tell me most of what I need to know about the community itself. I can tell what the community manager thinks about the users, how much effort they put in to the basics of setup, and what kind of community I can expect to see when I start posting. It’s also part of the community that rarely sees any real effort or thought, which I’ve always found strange. It’s the template for how your community acts and behaves, and it should be a high priority for any community manager.
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Friday Theme Tip: Filter for BestOf

Best Of Filter

The BestOf view in your Vanilla Community is populated by best content as curated by your community. As you and your members react to content, your BestOf page will grow. While the main BestOf page shows everything in your community, did you know each reaction in your community has its own BestOf page? In the following theme tip, we will show you how to display a filter list of all the reactions on your BestOf page.
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Going Ad-Free with Pockets

In our latest cloud release, we added the ability for you to decide which, if any, of your community members get to go ad-free. The following is more info on how that works.

Enable Pockets

The first step in using this feature is to enable Pockets. Pockets are a great way to add javascript code from the ad network of your choice (for example Google Adsense, Google DoubleClick or others). You will find Pockets in your Dashboard under Appearance.

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How Brand Advocates Amplify Your Marketing

Brand advocates

A diligent brand advocate preparing to have his message heard…

Here’s a scenario we’ve all seen a dozen times:  a company Twitter page that consists of a series of totally unrelated tweets. No customer engagement, nothing to retweet or favourite, just boring, insipid questions or comments. “What’s your favourite way to eat Bongo’s Jelly Beans” “Why not start your day with some Bongo Jelly Beans?!?!?!”. Etc, etc. I don’t blame the employee for this. They’re undoubtedly swamped with other work to do and barely have the time to log in to Twitter, let alone to dedicate to crafting the perfect tweet every time. “Something about… eating Bongo Jelly Beans on a train. Bingo!”, followed by immediately crossing off Daily Social Media Marketing off their daily checklist.

The problem is, of course, that it doesn’t work. Building a brand takes a long time, and a lot of repetition. Marketers never feel like they have enough time or money to create the awareness that they need to succeed. That awareness certainly isn’t going to manifest as the result of a perfunctory daily tweet. So what’s to be done? The answer is to spend less time making Twitter and Facebook posts that no one reads, and more time building a relationship with your customers.

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Friday Theme Tip: Basics of Customizing Vanilla

Vanilla offers you the ability to customize your theme to a greater extent than any other hosted community platform. You can make HTML and CSS changes straight from the backend of the software, with no FTP needed. You can also roll back any of the changes you make at any time.

Vanilla Forums does offer theming services, and you can speak to your account executive about this route if you wish. If you prefer to go it alone, here are some tips to make sure you get the most from customizing your Vanilla Forums. We recommend you only customize your theme if you have some HTML or CSS knowledge. While our support team is very helpful, troubleshooting your customizations is beyond our standard support offering. Continue reading