Do you make time to know your community?

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Owner of this photo is Flickr user Horst Gutmann. Original location of the image:
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People meet, know each other, create connections and share activities whenever they find a common interest. We call such a group a community. Picture this: your group of friends, but at a bigger scale. “Friends” I say? Well, yeah, this is where I’m getting at.

Each community is different and there are no specific rules that attract people who form it. They are there because you offered that something that they felt compatible with and that’s that. That is your first and your most important job: to get them there.

Once you have them, you’re gonna have to turn into Plastic Man 🙂 And that means that your skills need to extend from getting them there, to keeping them there.

Here’s a short 3 steps guide:

Step 1: Get to know them.

Yes, by name. If you’re the happy host of a community formed by hundreds of people, we’re pretty sure this can be seen as a mission impossible zone, but we have some tips that will definitely work in your favor. If you’re bad with names (like most people), reminding them by some specific traits or details it’s the only way you can do this. Memory always operates way better when using associations. For example: “Oh, here’s Jeff. Jeff the one with the beard that has a wife working as a doctor and that is always willing to answer questions to the newcomers”

Step 2: Create the right environment for your community to interact.

Or you obviously won’t get to know them. This is one absolutely essential step in community management. If you don’t make them work together, you don’t have a community.  The best way to manage this step is by using a dedicated software. A social tool that will give them the necessary means to know and help each other. An active collaboration outlines the personality of your group and leads to awareness, which is the engine of every business.

Step 3: Define the best incentives for your community.

Or users engagement measures. This might be the easiest, but also the trickiest step in all. It should be quite easy to figure out what actions to adopt if you completed Step 1. As long as you don’t confuse your own interests with everybody’s and you respect the culture you originally built your community upon, everything should work just fine.

Quandora respects all the elements described in the above 3 steps and are already incorporated in our product. It’s way easier to know and remember people, because every user has his own profile that includes their bio, their latest activity and the tags related to it. Step 2 represents Quandora’s core functionality: the Q&A format that helps each community create their personalized documentation and that encourages the members to interact. Step 3 is completely covered by the gamification features. Active members earn badges that are are also added to their personalized profile. To name a few: Zen Master, Lonesome Cowboy, Young Hope, Punctilious, Chatter, etc. We’re sure you’ll love to earn all of them, but just in case you yearn for some more personality, we offer the possibility to define your own 🙂

In the end, I only want to say that no matter your resources, being a good Community Manager depends on these ingredients: keeping a clean reputation for your community, staying genuine to them and properly assuming the leader role. It’s mostly common sense that keep people together. And that’s the most important agent you need when it comes to working with people!

Looking for a great way to ask questions and build knowledge with your co-workers? Quandora enables simple, efficient knowledge sharing with your team, way more fun than a mailing list or a forum. Try Quandora

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