Published by Angus on 09 Apr 2009 at 08:36 am
Content is key to breaking the social ice in online communities. It’s usually a big part of why people come, what they talk about while they are there, and what brings them back. Getting your content strategy down and working for the long term is a key task for a community manager.
- Review your group’s purpose and target audience – if you haven’t yet finalized these you can review two earlier posts on the subject.
- Interview your prospective community members – Find out what they would like to see. What content would they like to discuss and interact around?
- Look for collaborators - It’s a lot of work to do content management on your own. Reach out to people who are interested in helping. That way you’ll have more eyeballs out there bringing great jobs, events, solutions etc. to the group’s attention. Plus you’ll have a committed core membership who want to share your content with others.
- Keep your ear to the ground – Think about setting up a regular Google Alerts for relevant keywords and RSS feeds for relevant Delicious Tags. Everytime something interesting crops up, turn it into content.
- Stream the outside in - Look for ways to automatically bring blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video into the group using RSS feeds. You’ll have fresh content without doing anything! Many group sites allow you to do this, including WiserEarth with its News Module.
- Go quirky – What provokes discussion? Something funny, weird, or outrageous. Your content can’t just be informative or your members will read it and move on. For a living community you need comments and interaction.
- Write original content – There’s generally no way around it. To be relevant and distinctive for your target audience you probably need to write, or outsource, original content. The added bonus is that this will boost your search engine ratings and drive traffic.
- Test and iterate – Before you put too much effort into your content strategy, test it out with a beta community and iterate until you get it right.
Here are some more specific tips for Administrators using WiserEarth Groups:
|The News Module:
WiserEarth has a News Module which allows you to stream any RSS based content into your group. You can stream in your blog posts, stories from a news source, Twitter updates, or even your Facebook Group’s activity. We’ve made it so easy that it even can recommend RSS feeds to you. Go to ‘Administrator Tools’ and ‘Add New Modules’ and select ‘News’ to add it to your group.
|The Suggested Content Module:
WiserEarth has a ‘Suggested Content’ module, which showcases content across the site that may be relevant to your community. You can associate any of that content to your group just by clicking on the green (+). Go to ‘Administrator Tools’ and ‘Add New Module’ and select ‘Suggested Content’ to add it to your group.
Related Posts: 7 Steps for a Compelling Purpose for your Online Community, 8 Steps to Recruiting the Right Members | Photo Credit
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