To what extent do participants in joint activi...

Managing forums and groups on the various networks can be a lot of fun if you want to find ways to really get people talking about focused topics.

Focused interest groups can be a powerful way to connect with other business people in a meaningful way. Here are  some tips for beginning community managers as well as experienced community managers. Remember, creating the group is only the first step. It won’t thrive if you don’t nurture it.

Forum (group) management is also known as moderation, and it’s a whole lot more than just deleting posts and putting out flame wars.

  • The most important thing is to be an active manager. Every registration needs to be manually approved, preferably with a welcome email telling them how they can use the group, interact with you and how to get in touch with you.
  • Regularly contact members directly with helpful (not sales) information.
  • Scan LinkedIn and your other networks for likely members and invite them to join  or get introductions from members to people they think would be good members.
  • When a user becomes prominent as a poster, support  and encourage them. These are the catalyst to a thriving group.
  • Even if somebody is a bit obstreperous, unless they openly attack someone they can be good to stimulate the community. Handle them with care and they can turn into evangelists.
  • Are people continually posting off-topic discussions like jobs? Give them a place to post those and point them to the jobs board in the group.

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