A successful community feeds on engagement. Therefore, it is important to identify and recognize topic experts within your community who actively share insights and drive relevant discussions.
Here are three easy ways to build and strengthen relationships with topic experts in your community:
1. Reward Community Activity
If an expert is regularly visiting your community and providing quality participation, reward them. AnswerHub includes gamification features such as badges, reputation points, and topic expertise status that can be awarded based on quality engagement. This recognition will encourage experts to continue their contributions and incentivize others to participate on a regular basis.
2. Create an Insider Group
An effective way to build relationships and foster engagement is an insider group. An insider group enables community experts to have a sense of ownership. Listen to their advice and opinions to create a more beneficial experience for your community members; they often possess insight into the needs and interests of your community. At DZone, we leverage our own experts, or Zone Leaders, to lead by example in our community.
3. Ask for Feedback
Experts are the backbone of a community’s success. As a best practice, actively communicate with your experts to gauge user satisfaction. Regularly send out surveys soliciting feedback or create a dedicated group within your community where experts can leave suggestions and share ideas on how to build a stronger community. Open communication between your organization and community experts is crucial. Incorporating user feedback will ensure a more beneficial experience and keep members coming back to your community.
Also, as a final best practice, remember to thank experts for their feedback – even if you can’t make every suggested improvement, they want to be acknowledged and feel that their opinions matter.