Learning with Laurel: 10 tips for setting up a community forum

The Learning with Laurel series of posts have been generated from notes taken during a 3-day social media course presented by Laurel Papworth.

If you have the opportunity to take one of Laurel’s courses or to hear her speak, I highly recommend it.


Community Forums

When setting up a community forum, decide on:

  1. demographics
  2. psychographics
  3. spaces (do they match the profiles you’re aiming at)

And now, the 10 tips for setting up a forum

  1. do not ask too many questions on sign up, you can always go back later to find out needed info like an email, birthdate or suburb etc
  2. Keep questions to as few as possible – one or two is good
  3. Keep sign up as simple as possible – if people can sign up, receive an email confirmation and keep on moving with what they are doing, they will be much happier and more likely to hang around in your forum
  4. Avoid landing pages designed to attract likes and subscriptions. Go straight to the main page so people can see what you are about
  5. Remember, social media is about Reach not Circulation (number of likes is not as important as number of people your posts have reached)
  6. What opportunities do you have for people to leave things behind (pics, lists etc etc)
  7. How will your new member help to build your community (FB asks to Find Friends through your gmail address book) – activate new members to get their friends on board.
  8. Competitions: rather than self-nomination to win something, nominate a friend to win the prize. Nominate a friend has far more reach than self as the nominator want people to see what they have done. Self nominating are more likely to not tell anyone to make it easier for them to win the prize. You want to get your fans activating your network for you. The more people can add to their friends list the more they can show how popular they are
  9. Remember to include Block Lists to allow members to do their own filtering of who they do and don’t want to access their pages.
  10. Roles need to be identified and rewarded. Teachers, Event managers etc. Teachers drive learning for new products and answer basic questions. Engineer will answer tech how to questions, show how things work. Event managers will organise for people to meet (21% people that meet online will want to meet offline – LandParty). Policemen – grammar nazis, correctors, rule enforcers.

Coming up: Finding your very own Influencer

If you found this list handy, you might also appreciate:

Learning with Laurel

Campaigns: Answers to Questions


One thought on “Learning with Laurel: 10 tips for setting up a community forum

  1. Pingback: Campaigns: Answers to Questions « Social Side Notes

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