We have figured out what your users should be doing, great! Now we need to think about what it would take for them to actually do it. Unfortunately, just asking them to do it doesn’t work for a lot of communities. You have to trigger your users so that they conduct the necessary actions on their own. They need to be able to recognize the advantages themselves.
What’s your role in this? You need to trigger certain emotions in your users that motivates them to act on their own (that’s right, by themselves!). This is what a strategy is all about! Setting up your community in such a way that it can become sustainable without constant management.
The first step is to get in touch with members who are performing actions and to get to know how they feel when they make a (valuable) contribution.
- If they reacted on a help-question, why did they do that? And dive deeper than ‘ well, they ask, I respond’! Did they feel loved while helping someone out? Or did they feel proud to share their opinion?
- If they joined a group, what is the reason that they joined? And not just because there is interesting content in there for them, but why do they want to read about that topic? Is it the fear of missing out, feeling excluded? Or do they feel respected being part of that group?
The next step is to note down these emotions for your strategy and determine which are the most important ones that you need to amplify in your community.
I would advise reading over the entire chapter of FeverBee on this step, their insight is invaluable. They provide a lot of tips for talking to your members; how you can deepen your questions, and which emotions you can recognize.
They also provide a few clear examples of strategies:
Just like with your objectives, it’s best to determine a different strategy for each target audience (since you want them to do different things on the platform). The next step (in the section below) is the actionable part: define your tactics. What can you do in the community to provoke these emotions?
Tip: this is the point where you should convince/get approval from your stakeholders.
If they agree on the goals and strategy (and resources), you can continue working on the strategic plan. The plan will be way too detailed for them anyway. And in case they want to provide input on the strategy, you can add it before working out your tactics.