We’ve come up with a list of five things any member of your team can do in five minutes that can take your community from good to great:
Ensure Maximum Capacity
Developers don’t stick around forever, and teams are growing rapidly nowadays, therefore, your team could be welcoming new team members on a regular basis. Both circumstances have become common experiences that most companies face from time to time. Although turnover is not something any team leader wants to face, these circumstances open the door for opportunities to engage and retain new devs.
Ideas to engage your developers:
- Have another member of your team demo the day-to-day
- Challenge them to find a flaw within the community or a place where they can correct a previously submitted answer
- Give them the opportunity to ask questions
- Regularly schedule time for training throughout their first few weeks with a handful of different people throughout the development, engineering, and product teams
Stay on top of it from the get-go and do a weekly sweep of new employees that haven’t participated much and sharing a few examples of how connecting to the rest of the team, regardless of physical location. Doing this with new team members (as well as your more tenured team members) can help with productivity, engagement, and investment in their work.
You can’t do it all; enlist others to help you build bigger. Warrant and enlist the help of thought leaders outside of your company. By making use of a private space to invite in those top contributors and moderators, you are opening the range of your expertise to a new level. You also can’t forget that these people play a large part in making your community hum day in and out. Seek these experts’ opinions about upcoming changes, involve them in testing new designs or ideas, and encourage them to recognize others when they see something that is great. This team of leaders will help you extend your influence as your community grows and will act as a force multiplier.
It doesn’t take much time out of your day to comment on something that you’re interested in, or ask that question you’ve been needing an answer to. Think about how much time you spend on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter liking and commenting on other people’s posts, why can’t you do the same in your developer community?
Think about a topic that you are interested in; Now search for other people who are asking questions or discussing said topic. Ask a guiding question via comment to expand the discussion and encourage experts to share more. If you are an expert or have information to share make your voice and expertise heard by commenting on existing articles and questions to deepen the conversation.
If you can, recognize top contributors on a weekly or monthly basis – frequency can be determined by the volume of content and participation – you decide the right intervals. Mix it up and recognize people for being great in different ways; who got the most right answers, who contributed an idea with the most votes, who contributed an article that got the most views? Highlight these to the community in a visible way.
Social media channels are also a great way to promote strong content especially if you think it might help others perform better or better understand a topic. Taking it a step further, likes are always good, and certainly the easiest form of social media flattery, but a thoughtful or thought-provoking comment recognizing the contribution in a meaningful way can help to reinforce desired behaviors.
Check in on Success Metrics
Track your community success and share it! Is the community gaining lots of new visitors? Are you crushing SEO with your great content? Have you been gaining traffic from your own website? What about those great promotions and links that have been produced? Is your community answering questions in less time? Have you seen an increase in members signing up?
Take 5 minutes to look at your key metrics at least once a week to keep your finger on the pulse, adjust your strategy, amplify and continue what is working, and take corrective actions sooner rather than later on what is not.
Sharing this information with your team is a vital aspect of keeping your community at peak engagement. If you have set your team up for success, each of their individual tasks/projects should feed up into a team (community) goal, and ultimately again into a business objective set for the company. When your team can see what their contributions are doing to the bottom line, it’s much more rewarding for them and will aid in keeping them motivated.
Celebrate a Little
Verbalize the value that your community is creating for the overall organization and how it is transforming your developer program and your business. You may understand the impact of your community, but the rest of the company may not. Translating your successes into digestible terms will make adoption a breeze and make other departments feel included in your successes.
Try to put 5 minutes on the agenda of a company-wide meeting to talk about your team’s successes, or maybe send out a company-wide email update; Both are great ideas to widen the scope of how your community is perceived, and it gives you a platform to recognize your devs in a larger setting.
Tell your story – amp up your company’s awareness and participation. Use measurements to illustrate the big picture and use specific problems your company faces, ideas, and people to make your community data come to life. Be sure to close with a call to action to promote!
Lastly, don’t overlook the small gestures. Be sure to recognize your community’s anniversary. You’ve put in the work all year, why not celebrate how far you have come?!
Keep It Growing
Utilize your management team and subject matter experts to come up with fresh new content. Every day (ideally) for topic experts that frequent your community, and at least once a week for your management team and peers.
Editorial calendars are also a great way to stay on track and save time when it comes to publishing and moderating content. Take the necessary time to lay out an editorial calendar that could include product/feature/version update announcements, promotions, trade show and event updates, upcoming interviews (or their summaries) with company leaders, noteworthy community members, etc. You can set content updates up to go out on their own via a scheduler, or you can have them ready to go and at your fingertips for when you’re ready to shoot out an update.
For more ways to engage in your community visit Devada.com/AnswerHub and subscribe to receive monthly updates from the blog.