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Communty Playbook Created wth love by the Yammer communty team for communty managers and busnesses they support. A comprehensve gude to communty strategy, desgn and executon.

Community Management Playbook

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Online communities have taken hold among businesses, to connect employees, customers and partners. However, community management as a profession is largely misunderstood and inadequately resourced. We created this book to raise the literacy level among businesses on what community managers actually do, and for community managers to have a trusted guide in their daily jobs. This guide addresses at a high level the strategy, design and everyday execution of a successful and healthy community.

Text of Community Management Playbook

  • Community Playbook A comprehensive guide to community strategy, design and execution.Created with love by the Yammer community team forcommunity managers and businesses they support.
  • What is community?Community is a group of people with unique shared values, behaviors and artifacts. - The Community Roundtable
  • External community ecosystem has business benefits Customer and partner advocacy Richer customer Top line experience growth Greater visibility, Customer Bottom line richer stories growth partnerships Better Market decisions relevance Best practices evolution
  • Internal (employee) communities make companies more adaptable Engaged employees Stronger Business innovation transformation High Business Better performing agility communication teams Employee Market advocacy relevance Better customer experience
  • But.. communities arent yet strategic Value hard to quantify Lack of resources Unhealthy communities Poor ROI
  • When done right, they have tangible benefits membership in employee community customer community makes better burgers increases spending by 19% Source: University of Michigan collaboration with stores in shopping largely untapped centers opportunity in social $1.3 Trillion! Source: McKinsey
  • These benefits are achievable but without proper planning andresources, your community may not reach its potential; even worse, it may backfire.
  • Potential risks without active and strategic community management 1. Lack of supporting resources: people, technology, finances 2. Low engagement; vocal minority drowns out the community 3. Negativity: can be cultural or ongoing, driven by culture or bad fit, habitual trolling. May be situational or temporary negativity. 4. Content sprawl: Too many resources across too many spaces can feel confusing and daunting to members 5. Lack of direction: People dont know what to do when they get into the community or why its relevant to them For more pitfalls, check out the Community Roundtable
  • What do we do now?
  • Communitymanagers: you mustelevate communitybuilding as astrategic discipline
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day What a community is What a community Engine that mobilizes and isnt empowers, gives people what they A marketing, broadcast or one-way need, speeds up your business and communications channel helps you make better decisions
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day A community strategist is an individual who has tacit or explicit authority to define enterprise-wide standards for social media and community engagement. This includes approaches to strategy, leadership, culture, community management, content and programming, measurement, policies / governance and tools. - The Community Roundtable
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Community managers strategic goal: Facilitate an environment where members work together to build shared outcomes, driven by a common vision
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Role of a community managerA CM facilitates this kind of environment by: Building an environment of trust to convert tacit knowledge into shared artifacts Being a cheerleader, anthropologist, connector, leader, detective, conductor Giving people a voice, inspiring and mobilizing to act Curating stories and celebrating members success Handling negative situations Upholding the communitys mission and vision; builds community WITH community Educating, paying it forward, nurturing community Ambassadors Collaborating internally, getting support for initiatives and removing roadblocks
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Internal Communities External Communities Internal hierarchies and politics come Bridge gap between company and into focus external stakeholders Need to help teams and business Help stakeholders meet each other & units think through use cases form a working relationship Internal and external communities possess some differences, but behavioral foundations are very similar
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day The community manager mindset HEART BRAIN COURAGE Empathetic Well-connected Tactful and diplomatic Passionate Has credibility Confident and shrewd Inspired by people Understands existing politician Inspires others to act business process Creates structure without Patient Industry and market stifling Approachable expertise Can make difficult decisions Honest, transparent
  • Examine cultureas the foundationto community
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Culture Community Communitys health (internally and externally) is a manifestation of companysculture. Being open magnifies the good and the bad; culture can enable or hurt community efforts. Community orientation can help shape culture.
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to dayTo be effective externally, get your house in order! Engaged employees Engaged customers 37% Engaged employees drive customer 3x more likely to stay with more likely to engagement their employer recommend product Source: Constellation Research Source: Gallup Source: Constellation Research Engaged companies However, Engaged and informed employees are a source of knowledge 5x 71% higher shareholder of employees are return unengaged Source: Dachis Group Source: Kenexa Source: Gallup
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Strive for community-centric cultureComfortable Honesty fromwith working leaders out loudCollaborative Mutual trust & & open accountability Hierarchy Aligns to higherdoesnt define purpose, the flow of why informationTransparency Ability to communicate without fear ofAuthenticity retribution
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Be realistic about culture change Culture is highly ingrained in the ways people work; any company culture has assets. Honor your cultures strengths, focusing on changing just a few critical behaviors rather than attempting a wholesale transformation. Harvard Business Review, Cultural Change that SticksInstead: Focus on a few behavior changes Take actions every day as individuals and teams: work out loud Discover pockets of people practicing the desired behaviors Focus on changing behaviors you can change To change your behavior, change your mind Focus on helping each other to turn narrating your work into a habit Harold Jarche
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Catalyze change through observable actions Working out loud = Narrating Your Work + Observable Work Bryce Williams Narration is making ones tacit knowledge (what one feels) more explicit (what one is doing with that knowledge). Narrating work is a powerful behaviour changer Harold Jarche Working out loud requires courage and comfort with making mistakes publicly. Trust is necessary to work out loud, and transparency, in turn builds trust. " DO IT Post a draft, update or what youre working on and ask the community for feedback and insight. Do this often and encourage others to do the same.
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Set expectations for your community Community is not a one-way communication or broadcast channel It takes time to build a healthy community; ROI wont be immediate Communities are messy You have to learn to let go Feedback is a gift You cant control what members do, nor should you try. But you can increase purposefulness by helping people be their best Expectation setting is an ongoing process internally and externally. Have a vision and stick to it DO IT Determine your communitys mission and vision before you set up and build the community.
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to dayTo create the conditions thatcan support a self-sustainingcommunity, you must bedeliberate about communitydesign. Community designguides members to outcomesand helps them iterate andmake the community their own.
  • Be deliberate incommunitydesign
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Understand your community Design with the purpose of creating value for each member. Start by profiling your members. You need to know: Needs, jobs that need to get done (official and unofficial) Expertise that exists, expertise thats needed Intrinsic motivators; is there a higher purpose that binds? Where they are in employee / customer life cycle What other informational sources compete for their attention / time DO IT Get to know your community, their goals and motivators
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Discover the sweet spot Your community needs to be healthy and deliver business value Striking the sweet spot between the interests and needs of the community and the interests and needs of the organization is critical to the long Organizations Target member needs and needs and term success of business wants wants communities. - Rachel Happe, The Community Roundtable What is your sweet spot? Map needs of company to needs of membersDO IT
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Build community WITH community Charter & Enlist Make it Result: vision: co- Evolve best founding about the Healthy create with practices members members foundation community Founding members are the early members of your community. These early Ambassadors are stewards of communitys vision and culture. Their behavior informs & shapes behaviors of those who come after. Come up with a list of 20-50 early members. Work with them to define the vision andDO IT purpose of community. Grow the community as culture congeals
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Create light structure without stifling Work with your early Ambassadors to design spaces By function to bring like-minded people together By Design wider spaces for geography purposeful mingling across interest and work groups By expertise levels May need separate communities if value sought is too different What do your members have in common and how are they different? Map out groupsDO IT inside of communities & work with Ambassadors to seed them
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Help members make it their own Provide guidance in group creation; help members become leaders Ask Does the group have a specific purpose? Is someone responsible for making sure the group thrives? How will you measure the success of your group? Encourage To choose the group leader / administrator To determine group settings To set the tone To keep engagement levels up DO IT Encourage community members to create their own groups; create a group creation guide and list of responsibilities
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Set people free by providing guardrails Focus on what TO DO, not on what not to do - People want to do the right thing, they just dont know how - Clarify roles, expectations and etiquette - Help evolve best practices and community culture Think through governance and policy internally and externally - Involve IT, Legal, HR and Comms early on - Understand and address fears and plan scenarios - Work together, but be careful of voting by committee - Understand how policy fits in with existing policies, but dont be afraid to tread new ground. Hold people accountable - take action when necessary DO IT Work with stakeholders to create a policy that creates a safe and productive environment for all members
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Be thoughtful about membership In external communities, think through vetting Vetting process impacts engagement: the higher the hurdle, the higher a sense of purpose, participation and engagement Dont invite all customers at once; allow culture to evolve first Think through an exit process, if necessary Figure out flow between communities; what are the triggers? Think through community sunsetting at the beginning what happens to content & members? Beyond a certain level of activity, it becomes difficult for all members to believe they can influence the community. Members no longer feel a genuine sense of connection with another member. Richard Millington, FeverBee
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Onboard new members Outline a 30-60-90 day plan Example: NAB has 10 day plan overseen by a Yammer mentor. Helps people go through daily milestones Public and private welcomes set the tone, orients, gives information Socialize new members with existing members DO IT Create an onboarding plan to welcome members, integrates them into the community and provides insight into how to get the most out of the community
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Educate and guide Onboarding, Employees expectation Educate employees setting, & open through onboarding communication Bring together stakeholders and are an ongoing champions process Educate and reiterate purpose with and group leads Externally Executives Educate the community Address fears and around vision concerns Educate members about Get the right resources community through Encourage execs to onboarding participate Align to existing training Reiterate purpose, programs and provide updates certifications
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Collaborate internally to power external communities Establish an active work channel to support activity in external communities Example: we work closely with internal teams (product, marketing, customer support, PR, legal, IT) to be proactive with issues, inform, and operationalize feedback. Each teams ambassador posts as subject matter expert Encourage execs to engage with customers DO IT Establish an enablement board internally. Set up collaboration groups with all the jobs that touch your customers and partners.
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Expand your global reach Global communications are complex: Languages Time zones Customs and cultures Subtle peculiarities Solutions: Work with ambassadors in local areas Create local groups digitally and physically Localize content Can someone translate? DO IT Get to know your international community. Surface Ambassadors in each local area and nurture them. Conversation more meaningful coming from a local.
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Design to self-sustain Help members get to know each other. It builds trust. Uphold your vision and policy to ensure its a trusted space. Make meeting people and exchanging stories and experiences easy, connect & facilitate Engage silent majority, avoid vocal minority from taking over Create and curate engaging content Start dialogue that moves the conversation forward (nascent community) Curate members stories, Ambassadors start dialogue (mature community) Model healthy behaviors, encourage others to do the same Avoid unilateral moves; ask Ambassadors to think through and implement change with you DO IT Think of ways that you can connect members online and offline. Ask good questions to uncover stories. Make it easy to share.
  • Commit to dailyaction
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Aim, fire, adjust! Befriend change & be comfortable with ambiguity. You wont have all the answers, and you will be wrong sometimes. Design with purpose and take cues from community. Listen, learn and iterate quickly.
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Strive for balance Diversity of members in external Diversity of content communities - Questions, answers, statements - Balance of company & customer - Discussion of big picture representatives - Tactical problem solving - Across industries and job types - Dialogue, narration of work - Community manager should be invisible as much as possible Facilitate a mix of conversations and problem solving. Resist the urge to answer DO IT everything yourself; ask other members to contribute. In external communities, select members with same purpose, but different experiences.
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Give up control to Ambassadors Let champions emerge & become Ambassadors. Ensure diversity from across members. Pay it forward; invest in Ambassadors Understand and meet needs Understand motivators: recognition, ability to help, drive, influence Be clear around expectations Relegate control to Ambassadors; its more meaningful & authentic Help ambassadors model behaviors by doing For more on working with Ambassadors, check out this post! Look for people who are most helpful to others; dontambassadors check out this post. For more on look at level of activity only. Create an ongoing channel where you can work closely with them.
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Build engagement Engagement activities Celebrate members by building activities around them Be purposeful; dont do it for engagements sake Help members share their stories; make sharing easy Dont do it for them, but ask good questions. Design daily / weekly activities Let Ambassadors lead Build trust first; make small asks first, ask bigger questions later Measure success and iterate DO IT Think about activities that can boost your communitys engagement. Look to your Ambassadors for suggestions and ideas. Pull quieter members in.
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Connect community members Via community-wide and small-group activities On a conversation basis; draw people in to contribute by tagging them publicly or privately If people trust you, and you take the time to bring them relevant questions, people are more likely to participate As community matures, the environment itself will allow people to connect, without CM brokering introductions DO IT Get to know your members first. Understand their needs and expertise. If an opportunity arises, ask a member to display their expertise to help others.
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Help create artifacts and history Create Curate Stories are the kernel of the Tagging, categorizing and curating community makes things easy to find Make sharing easy Help people make sense of Ask good questions information and adapt it for their context Connect people with issues to people with solutions Encourage remixing. It increases shelf-life of information and makes it Celebrate successes and learn from more useful failure Tyco publishes a success booklet to inspire through personal stories DO IT Ask Ambassadors to post and encourage others to do the same. Develop a tagging scheme to organize. Let people know the content is there.
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Partner with customersLook for ways to partner with external community: Innovation / product ideas Marketing campaigns, social sharing Running & designing the community itselfHeres what weve done with our customers: Customer named annual conference Source & co-create content Celebrate customers, facilitate sharing Work with champions to evolve dialogue Advisory boards for innovation & high-level strategy Become outside-in vs. inside-out. Ditch campaign mindset; communities dont want to consume campaigns, they want to create with you.
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Engage employees in internal communityEmployees want to know how they can contribute;they want to be respected, listened to and nothandcuffed in process. Help them translate high-levelstrategy to their daily actions.Design around these sources of motivationAutonomy: Are employees free to get their job done theway they need to? Do they feel trusted and empowered?Mastery: Do employees have opportunities to get betterat their craft? Formal training is not enough; allow them tolearn from each other daily.Purpose: Do employees feel like they are part ofsomething bigger? Do they feel like they can directlyinfluence the direction of the company? From Daniel Pinks book Drive
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Turn those frowns upside down Create a balanced culture by working with Ambassadors early. Have a clear set of guidelines, expectations and etiquette To find source of negativity, ask yourself Why? If unfounded or troll behavior have a private conversation, then take action as necessary. Ambassadors should come to the rescue If compelling reason, fix issue & create the feedback loop back Never make it personal Take it to a private channel DO IT Have a plan for how you will deal with negativity as it arises. On a daily basis, remind offenders about your common goals and expectations of members.
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Blend online and offline " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " Catalyze online relationships in Enhance physical events with online person. Physical space should match community elements. online interactions & community Examples: personality All-hands meetings, exec breakfasts Examples: (internal) User groups, meetups (external) Customer and partner events, Innovation jams (internal) conferences, roadshows (external)
  • Strategic CM Cultural foundation Community design Day to day Measure success 1. What does it look like? What does it mean to the community? What does it mean to the organization? 2. How will you measure it? Tell the whole story with: Quantitative metrics Qualitative benefits and impacts 3. Understand and quantify value to your business Check out this FeverBee article on community health metrics DO IT Go back to the business goals that your community supports. Measure quantitative indicators, as well as ability to meet business goals.
  • Wrapping up
  • What will you get in the end? Agility Awesome culture Customers are partners Engaged employees produce
  • Remember 1. Be realistic about your culture 2. Take baby steps and be patient; behavior change takes a long time. Prepare for a marathon, not a sprint 3. Thoughtful community design should free and enable; not handcuff 4. Be the change you want to see; model behaviors 5. Pay it forward
  • Resources Six Risks of Not Having Community Management from Community Roundtable Community Managers, Dont Try To Do It All On Your Own on The Yammer blog Measuring an Online Community from Feverbee The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies, McKinsey Global Institute Firms own social networks better for business than Facebook, University of Michigan Narration of Work, Harold Jarche Three Principles of Net Work, Harold Jarche How to Engage Your Customers and Employees, Ray Wang for Harvard Business Review Majority of American Workers Not Engaged In Their Jobs, Gallup How Employee Engagement Leads to Higher Stock Prices, Kevin Kruse for Open Forum Change That Sticks by Harvard Business Review When Will We Work Out Loud? Soon by Bryce Williams
  • Photo CreditsSlide 9: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2542767294/Slide 11: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4465392937/ & http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/1464005913/Slide 15: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/1048905340/ & http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2703980776/Slide 20: Yammer Engineering BlogSlide 22: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2575986601/Slide 24: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5726726600/Slide 26: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3120385357/in/set-72157606844282993/Slide 27: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6231641551/Slide 31: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2137729430/Slide 34: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4388984995/Slide 36: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/128655796/Slide 37: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4772347311/Slide 40: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/148849801/Slide 42: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2601694302/Slide 44: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4962969492/Slide 46: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7496765660/Slide 48: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2741652353/Slide 49: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2477396306 & http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2265050966/Slide 50: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3306421665/Slide 52: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7625639974/
  • Contact usFor more Community Management tips, connect with us on: Twitter: @Yammer @TheMaria @MollyBugler @MJensen Read our blog: http://blog.yammer.com Email: [email protected]