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The Telegraph’s Top Tips

Ever wondered what the experts say are the best methods of managing your community?

Kate Day

Kate Day is the Telegraph’s Online Communities Editor and photographer. We were lucky enough to speak to her to find out her Top Five Tips for building an online community.

1. Know your audience

  • Who are they? What do they care about? What do they have in common?
  • What can you offer them?
  • Where are they already talking on the web? Don’t use the latest social network if your audience is on Facebook or communicating via blogs.

2. Listen, listen and keep listening

People will give you all sorts of clues about what they like and what they don’t. They will tell you directly, for example using comments, but will also leave clues indirectly, for example in the data about what content is viewed the most and shared the most.

3. Be useful

Don’t make the mistake of valuing content that is difficult to produce. Posting links to great content elsewhere might be just as valuable as an original interview for your audience.

4. Involve people

Find creative ways to make people feel involved, whether it’s by writing about featured members of your community, running polls or giving them a glimpse of what is coming up. Don’t just open a comment box and expect people to submit lengthy opinions, give them all sorts of ways to gradually get more involved. The more you encourage people to participate in a positive way, the less space there is for trolls to derail your community and the more members are likely to contribute.

5. Use technology to help you

Don’t let yourself use the “I’m not technical” cop out. Most of the basic principles and tools that will help you to build your community are not mind-blowingly complicated. Using technology well isn’t about jumping on the next new thing, it’s about being aware of what’s available and selecting the tools that will be most useful for you.

So there you go – top tips from the woman in the know. Now go and get building your community and get your reader gripped.

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Filed under Aleeza Khan, online communities

The true worth of online communities

Comments Online

Here’s a really interesting piece from the Guardian’s CiF site on what people get out of their online communities – and why they are so addictive.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/25/online-communities-virtual-worlds

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Filed under Lizzie Davis, online communities