Recently, I went to a wedding reception, packed with people, eager to celebrate. The only problem was, after the vows were said and the attendees made their pilgrimage to the reception, none of the guests knew what to do. They were literally all dressed up but didn't know where to go. What was the program for the evening? Where was the food? Where was the bar? Where were the bathrooms? Where should they sit, stand, or dance? What table were they sitting at? Ready to party, the guests were left spending time and energy on logistics, rather than the purpose of the event - celebrating the happy couple. Needless to say, a great party has quick and easy ways of sharing logistics so the guests can focus on the main event. The same rules apply to thriving online communities - it's important to keep housekeeping logistics in order to ensure new participants and old feel at home in your community and have the experience of being all dressed up with somewhere to go.
Here are three quick ideas to communicate regularly and often with your community to make sure everyone can enjoy the party:
By employing these three guidelines, you're actually strengthening your brand by implementing a standard operating procedure. Bet you didn't see that coming, did ya? Now your community members will thrive within your brand, which provides them (and let's face it, you) with some understated but necessary rules of engagement. Once these routines are met, you'll find yourself having a stronger confidence in your own brand along with community members who have a greater appreciation of how you run it. So whip out your fancy shoes, you've got places to be!
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Laney Whitcanack is Federated Media Publishing's chief community officer. Prior to joining FM, Laney co-founded BigTent in 2006 and focused on innovating online and offline ways to connect people with communities they care about. She spent the decade previous to BigTent coaching and training hundreds of community leaders, in the U.S. and Mexico, most recently as the director of community programs for the Coro Center for Civic Leadership.
A published author and speaker on entrepreneurship and community organizing, Laney received the Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2008. She is currently a board member of Zeum: San Francisco's Children's Museum and The Princess Project and is involved in even more community groups after the birth of her daughter, Campbell, last year. Laney has a B.A. from UCLA, and MBA from the Simmons School of Management, and an Ed.M from Harvard University.
December 5, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT