Most of your members will be like the chicken. They’ll contribute to the community, posting content and adding comments.

The difference between contribution and commitment in your private social network

Most of your members will be like the chicken. They’ll contribute to the community, posting content and adding comments.

Most of your members will be like the chicken. They’ll contribute to the , posting content and adding comments.

A chicken and a pig are walking through a farm together. The chicken turns to the pig and says, “Hey, we should open a restaurant together.”

“Sure,” says the pig. “What should we serve?”

“Ham and eggs,” says the chicken.

The pig thinks for a minute then shakes his head. “It won’t work. You’ll only contribute but I’ll be committed.”

Most of your members will be like the chicken. They’ll contribute to the private social network, posting content and adding comments.

A few, though, will be like the pig. They’ll feel committed to the community, keen to answer questions when new members post them, constantly posting new content and strongly identifying with the site. They’ll visit almost every day and feel obligated to it.

Your job is to foster that sense of commitment. The members of your site should compete to show the most commitment, the highest degrees of identity.

Reward them. Praise them. Recommend their content. Create a cost for them to pull back. Build your site around your most committed members, and you should find that it brings home the bacon.

That’s all for now! Next time, I’ll discuss the importance of surveying your members.

Your community should feel exclusive and different. It should look exclusive and different.

Your private social network should feel exclusive and different

One of the most successful niche communities is for graphic designers. One of the reasons for its success is its strange appearance.

Dribbble.com was founded by Rich Thornett, a designer who had hoped to play pro basketball. His love of the sport permeates the community. Potential members are “prospects.” They’re “drafted” as “players” at which point they make their “debuts.” Uploads are “shots.” Follow-ups to those shots are called “rebounds” when they come from the same designer, and “playoffs” when they come from other designers.

It’s a quirky set-up which gives the community a unique identity. Coupled with the community’s exclusive membership system which turns older members into mentors of new members, the result is a community whose membership is valued.

Your community should feel exclusive and different. It should look exclusive and different.

People should understand that this isn’t a social network for everyone but only for people like them. When you see that conversations are drifting away from the core of your topic, break those members off into a sub-community.

Give your private social network a unique look and feel. It will make your members feel closer to you and to each other, and keep them engaged.

That’s all for now! In the next post, the difference between contribution and commitment.

More important are the engagement stats: how many pieces of content people post; how many shares they received; how many likes they won.

The right way to measure growth of your private social network

More important are the engagement stats: how many pieces of content people post; how many shares they received; how many likes they won.

More important are the engagement stats: how many pieces of content people post; how many shares they received; how many likes they won.

As you build your community, you’re going to be spending a lot of time looking at stats. One figure will catch your eye the most:

The number of members in your community.

That’s also the least important, at least when you’re starting out. (Sure, if you want to sell your site one day, telling buyers that you have a gazillion members will help to bump the price but in the first year or so membership numbers aren’t key.)

More important are the engagement stats: how many pieces of content people post; how many shares they received; how many likes they won.

Tot up those figures and divide them by the number of members on the site. That will give you a measure of engagement per user.

Do the same thing a month later.

Falling engagement per user will be a reason to worry. Veteran members may be becoming bored or you might be bringing in people with less commitment to the community. Either way, you’ve got work to do to raise that engagement.

When engagement per user is rising, though, you’re on the right track. Your community is growing in depth and you’re measuring growth the right way.

That’s all for now! Next time, I’ll talk about the importance of appearance.

Your rules should be fair and they should be clear. Make them visible.

Policing your private social network

Your rules should be fair and they should be clear. Make them visible.

Your rules should be fair and they should be clear. Make them visible.

When your private social network is beginning and the first people in are people you know and the people they know, your community will be a happy, friendly place.

As more people hear about your private social network though, and interactions expand from friends and acquaintances to strangers with different opinions, that politeness can start to break down.

When that happens there’s a risk your private social network will start to break down.

No one wants to visit a club with boorish members who like to hurl insults and pick fights. Just as a good bar needs a strong bouncer to kick the drunks out so a friendly community will need strict policing to keep things in order.

Lay out the rules:

Your rules should be fair and they should be clear. Make them visible. Prohibit anti-social activities like obscenity, insults and trolling, and state that the punishment may be banning. You don’t have to ban everyone who uses a four-letter word if you don’t want to, but you do want to give yourself as much power as possible to protect your private social network.

Enforce the rules:

If you’re reluctant to kick out boorish members of the private social network, give a warning. But no more than one—no matter how much they moan and beg for more chances. You’ll soon find that people who like to insult others on communities will keep doing it. Give them an inch and they’ll take your entire community away.

There are enough good people around to keep your community thriving. Don’t be afraid to kick out the hooligans with some strict policing. It makes for a much more pleasant neighborhood.

That’s all for now! In the next post, I discuss how to measure your growth.

 

Those little figures at the top of the screen and the beeps people receive whenever someone comments, likes or shares their posts are the Internet’s most powerful drug.

The number one activity that motivates engagement

Those little figures at the top of the screen and the beeps people receive whenever someone comments, likes or shares their posts are the Internet’s most powerful drug.

Those little figures at the top of the screen and the beeps people receive whenever someone comments, likes or shares their posts are the Internet’s most powerful drug.

Every successful business has a secret ingredient.

For Coca Cola it’s “7X,” the mystery vegetable extracts that make people believe they’re drinking more than sugar.

For Apple, it’s Jony Ive’s design genius.

And for communities, it’s…

… notifications.

Those little figures at the top of the screen and the beeps people receive whenever someone comments, likes or shares their posts are the Internet’s most powerful drug.

Every time someone interacts with your content, it’s like receiving a round of applause. It’s a smile from a friend you haven’t seen for months, a thumbs-up from someone who thinks you’ve done something cool.

It’s encouragement to keep posting and keep interacting.

When even a simple “like” can trigger a notification, small interactions can have powerful effects on the life of your community. Keep your notifications turned on and you’ll keep people coming back.

That’s all for now! Next time, a tricky topic: policing your community.

Visit our PeepSo community if you’d like to ask us questions about creating communities, or about using PeepSo:

https://www.peepso.com/community/

The easiest way to spread word of mouth is by tagging pictures

Why tagging is more than a feature

The easiest way to spread word of mouth is by tagging pictures

The easiest way to spread word of mouth is by tagging pictures

Chris Meyer is a wedding photographer in St. Paul, Minnesota. About 85 percent of his business comes through word of mouth and through social media networking. Four years after turning professional, he’d picked up more than $100,000 worth of photography work through Facebook marketing.

Only a tiny portion of that work came through paid advertising. In total, he’d spent less than $1,000 on social media ads over those four years.

Most of his new business came through uploading the images he shot at weddings and tagging the people in the pictures.

The most powerful way to build a community is through word of mouth.

The easiest way to spread word of mouth is by tagging pictures.

When your members tag their friends, they drag them into the conversation. They force them to engage and they spread notifications across the network.

Tagging is a powerful tool for members. It’s a powerful tool for businesses. And it’s a powerful tool for community builders.

Encourage your members to upload pictures and tag their friends, and you’ll give your growth rate a powerful boost.

That’s all for now! The next post will be about the number one thing that builds engagement.

 

Community Growing

From seeds to saplings – growing your community

Community GrowingThe first members of your community should be people you know.

The second members of your community should be people they know.

That’s easy, isn’t it?

It’s also the way that a community should grow.

Sure, advertising can play a role and mentions in magazines and websites related to your community will help too, but the best way to grow a community from seed to sapling is through word of mouth.

That won’t just get you more people. It also gets you people who want to take part. They arriving knowing people in the community and they want to communicate with them. They don’t just look and leave.

They stay and talk. And then they tell their friends.

Once your community is starting to grow and show signs of life, encourage your members to spread the word. Suggest they link to their community posts on their blogs. Tell them to talk about it with the people they know. Ask them to recommend people with something to contribute. It’s a lot cheaper and a lot more effective than advertising.

That’s all for now! In the next post, we’ll discuss tagging.

 

What makes a community thrive?

What makes a community thrive?

What makes a community thrive?

What makes a community thrive?

All thriving communities have one thing in common.

Motivation.

Their members are motivated to post content and engage with other members. They don’t feel that community participation is a chore. It’s a pleasure. It’s fun. As soon as they post, they’re checking their notifications to see who’s replied.

And as soon as they see something they like, they share it and check back to see who engages with it.

A thriving community builds its own rewards.

Your job is to kickstart that process and tell people which content people most want to see. Do that right and you should find that taking part in the community is enjoyable and addictive.

That’s all for now! In the next post, we’ll move into community growth.

 

The first job of a community manager is to keep people talking

The first job of a community manager

The first job of a community manager is to keep people talking

The first job of a community manager is to keep people talking

I’m going to keep this simple.

The first job of a community manager is to keep people talking.

Sure, you’ll have to deal with complaints. You’ll have to answer questions. You’ll need to filter out the false profiles and the posts that breach the guidelines.

But that’s not your job.

Your main job is to make sure that your members post content and other members respond to that content.

And if your members aren’t posting content, your second job will be to find new members who will.

That’s all for now! In the next post, I’ll talk about what makes a community thrive.

You don’t need too many of those VIP seeds to get your community up and running. Twenty can be enough, even a dozen. They just have to be chosen well.

Your First Community Members – Where to find your VIP seeds

You don’t need too many of those VIP seeds to get your community up and running. Twenty can be enough, even a dozen. They just have to be chosen well.

You don’t need too many of those VIP seeds to get your community up and running. Twenty can be enough, even a dozen. They just have to be chosen well.

Communities that thrive over the long term don’t start with a flash. They begin as a small gathering and grow into a fun party. The right way to start isn’t with a mass email and a broad appeal. It’s with exclusive invitations to a select few who you know will talk and communicate—and eventually attract a bunch of friends.

You don’t need too many of those VIP seeds to get your community up and running. Twenty can be enough, even a dozen. They just have to be chosen well.

The first place to look for them is among people you know. It’s likely that you’re already part of a community so tell your friends and the people you’ve met at conferences what you’re doing and invite them to participate.

It’s possible that those contacts alone will be enough to seed your community.

If you need to look further, hit bloggers. Avoid the top bloggers in your field. They already have a community. Try to bring in the mid-rankers, people who have a way to climb and will want to work with you to reach more people.

You can also contact commenters on those blogs. You know they have opinions so invite them to share those opinions in your community where they’ll be seen and discussed instead of hiding them away in a comment section.

Amazon book reviewers can share their knowledge with your members, and if you still need more people, contact the biggest contributors to targeted Facebook pages.

It shouldn’t take you long to sign up your first twenty members and because they’ll be knowledgeable and opinionated, they’ll be real contributors who build conversations and attract more people.

That’s all for now! In the next post, I’ll be talking about a community manager’s first job.