Quick Tips for a Successful Launch
There are various methods to improve the success of your community launch, but it will always come down to the actionable steps you are taking to achieve your organizational and user goals. Increasing the success of your launch begins with creating and understanding the outcome you’d like to accomplish with your community.
In theory, the community bridges your organization and user goals. As you define what the community goals are and what you’d like to achieve, take a moment to review these questions and compare them to your goals:
- How can we put the community at heart where all stakeholders benefit?
- What makes the community valuable to all types of users?
- What need does the community solve? As a user, is this clear when navigating the community?
Set the Foundation
When planning for launch day, it can feel overwhelming to understand what may be considered best practice and what matters to your users. Setting the foundation can be as simple as starting with a foundation and adding more features each quarter. Since we don’t want to overwhelm users when they first join, starting simple is best. With that in mind, let’s consider some essential considerations from pre-launch to post-launching your community.
- How will some categories be moderated? Will you have specific stakeholders in charge of this queue? Who will be managing the community and monitoring overall engagement? Create a project plan, similar to a RACI, so all roles within the community are clear.
- How will you promote the community launch? Will you be sending personal outreach to your users? Will you have a call to action on your organization’s site? Will you be posting the exciting community features throughout social media channels? Use a mixture of promotional tactics starting from 4 weeks before launch and forward. The best success in promoting the community comes from cross-promotion.
- Identify super users to join the community as beta testers. The group of members you choose with this soft launch will depend on the criteria that you would like them to fit into (length of membership, product feedback history, type of user, and overall engagement).
- Invite the super users you've chosen to the community 1-2 weeks before launch. This soft launch allows you to gain feedback from trusted users, and when you open to the rest of your community, the groundwork has been laid. Take an extra step to reward these users with badges only early adopters can earn.
In the initial few months after the launch of your community, there may be a higher lift from your organization to help bring continuous engagement. This can be having various stakeholders from your organization or ambassadors frequently post within the community with a Call to Action (such as asking the community a question at the end of a post). Although there are various ways you can promote the types of engagement you’d like to see within your community, there are multiple tactics that can help:
- Publish articles and posts frequently within the community on organizational news, product knowledge, or general topics your users will likely be interested in.
- Monitor analytics in your dashboard to track where your users engage most and where they are not. The data found
- Frequently ask for feedback from users about the community. What would they like to see? What are they enjoying? A reasonable timeline here is per quarter or every six months.
- What will you consider a top engagement factor within your community? Reward the leading member based on those metrics monthly or quarterly. This can be a member spotlight pocket, custom badge, or even a post that includes information you’ve gathered from them.
What does a successful launch indeed mean?
It depends. Plenty of key performance indicators can resemble what a healthy community is portrayed as, but the honest answer is ‘It Depends.’ Community benchmarks should be designed specifically for your community and what matters most to you. A community in a similar industry and users may focus primarily on monthly discussions, whereas you may be more interested in peer-to-peer support. When it comes to success, that benchmark can only be found if you compare it to where you were from. Take a deep dive into your analytics dashboard each month and quarter to find trends, understand your users, and build strategies.
Are you interested in learning more? Receive a free copy of our Community Launch Checklist!
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