Community Management Best Practices: Pre-Launch

Let’s face it, community management can be a sticky subject in some companies. Heck, some companies don’t even think they need a community manager for their site! Here at Jive, we know there are some basic activities that will keep your community in great shape during the early phases as well as into the future. I’m going to share our top practices around the subject of community management.

Building a community management team can spread around the workload of running a community.

Building a community management team can even out the workload of running a community.

Let’s get this list going, starting with the most obvious:

  1. Hire a community manager.
    A community, by its very definition, will contain people. People are living, breathing, questioning, noticing, and needful beings. I often liken a community to throwing a party or a running a hotel. Would you build a hotel and not hire a hotel manager? Would you throw a party then not stick around to make sure that people are fed, everyone has a drink, that folks are having fun? You need a community manager to make sure that you are accomplishing the major goals of your community and at the same time keeping your community members happy and connected. Having a community manager on board is important to pre-launch planning activities as well as the ongoing health of your community. Don’t breeze over this step. Stop right where you are and hire one right now.
  2. Train your community manager.
    Every community has its own quirks, training your community manager in the details of your community is crucial for setting them up for success. What kind of things am I talking about? It could be as simple as educating them on the particulars of the system settings (are status updates turned on or off). If your community manager has experience in some areas of community management but not others, don’t leave them to be blind-sided on the things they don’t know to watch for. Training a CM can be done by the social and community team at your company (if you have one) or by the technology managers who are responsible for the system. You can also get the basics of CM training available here in the Jive Community (more modules in this training course are coming soon). Since Community Managers communicate to members on a wide variety of topics, they should also have a good handle on the culture of your company and have a strong understanding of your company’s priorities and products.

To see the full list of best practices during the pre-launch phase of community building, read the rest of the blog on the Jive Community here.

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