Advice from an expert: Ilana Fox on how to get the best from your online community

Ilana Fox knows more about managing online communities than most.  In her career she has worked managing communities for the Daily MailThe Sun and online clothes company ASOS. While she was at ASOS she created from scratch all their  social media and community engagement. Ilana shared her tips for success with us.

1. Have a strategy in place before you embark

  • Be extremely clear about why you believe your company should be involved in interacting with customers / readers.
  • Work out your assessment procedure in weighing up which software and technology will help in your creation of the community.
  • Know who your competitors are, and determine who’s doing a good job and why.
  • Work out the different ways your community will make a positive impact on all areas of your company.
  • Work out the different ways your community can have a positive impact on both existing and potential revenue streams.

2. Be prepared for any eventuality – crisis management is important

  • Determine what the risks are of your company interacting with customers/readers.
  • Weigh up the legal differences between your company engaging with customers on social media vs us hosting your own community.
  • Think about the different types of moderation you may need, and work out resourcing, cost, and suitability before you launch your community. Reassess this at different points in your community’s life cycle.
  • Firm up how you’d respond if someone made a bomb threat against Head Office, or if a customer claims your organisation is racist. Know how you’d react now, so when the time comes you can move fast and appropriately.

3. Measurement is essential (both for community management and retaining your job!)

  • Determine how you – and your organisation –  defines success both within your community and in the wider company.
  • Plan how you’re going to measure campaigns that involve your customers.
  • Work out which tools you’ll use for sentiment tracking.
  • Make it clear to the rest of the organisation that it’s normal that only a small percentage of your active audience will participate in your community (before reminding them of the benefits!).
  • Ensure every stakeholder is clear how you’re going to measure ROI.
  • Have regular internal discussions about what success looks like to both you and those above you.

For more information check out Ilana’s website

1 Comment

Filed under Katy Balls, online communities

One response to “Advice from an expert: Ilana Fox on how to get the best from your online community

  1. jbro88

    Wow, Katy, what a coup! This is really interesting and I’m certianly going to use some of the advice and apply it to my website

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