Every community manager has a motherly instinct irrespective of gender, just like how a mom would wait for her child to utter their first word and find unfathomable joy in it. Here, a community manager finds that in the first post or comment of the member.
But, imagine if it’s a complaint. This does break any community manager’s fantasy but, the state of mind does not change. To make the members open up and converse, a community manager works both strategically and tactically.
How do you build a strategy for members to open up?
1. Know Your Member
- Do you know who your first cohort members are?
- What data have you used to make them your first cohorts?
- How are their presence and activity like?
- Has anyone from your team spoken to them previously?
2. Talk to your members
- Interview your potential first cohort members
- Understand their sense of liking
- Set the expectations right when it comes to community
- Have a clear and defined messaging so that the purpose aligns
- Prepare a questionnaire that will help you track their interests and ideas
- Create a sense of connection with your members
- Build rapport with the members to understand their conversation triggers
- Connect to understand their lifestyle, culture, and habits so that you can make the community a better place for them
4. Document everything you did
- Document all the member conversations
- Document the questionnaire answers shared
- Document the takeaways you have had post your conversation
with each of your member
5. Align your goals
- Connect data and conversations with the members
- Identify a pattern around interests, likes, lifestyle, triggers
- Match the identified pattern with your strategy
The tactical approach
- Create your ice-breaker conversation templates based on the pattern identified
- Your ice breakers should be based on the type of members you are talking to as well
- Keep ice-breakers for days that show less engagement and for new members to open up
- Keep a day for peer to peer ice breaker sessions
- Recognize frequently participating member
Breaking down how to prepare ice-breakers
Community member: Women entrepreneurs in India
Location: Metro Cities of India
Age: 35 - 45 and above
The pattern observed via conversation and questionnaire: Love to talk about self-improvement, Tricks, tips, Solving problems around lifestyle and health.
What members expected: Feel empowered, recognized, and belonged to women like them
Result: Naturally inclination to participate in the conversation
It may look like a small question that garnered maximum engagement or low engagement. But, a community manager goes through this process to understand the audience more than just increasing engagement.
- Ice-breakers are to set and create an amicable environment for members to open up
- It is not solely meant for engagement. It is meant to understand community members and make their life easier for a good head start in the community
- Good ice-breakers will improve peer-to-peer connect if they find commonality
- Interesting ice-breakers can make members come to your community every other day