Tips for Nurturing an Effective Online Community

Social media has changed how people communicate and interact. In days past, a community was defined as a social unit consisting of members from the same geographical location, sharing specific customs, values, and norms. However, today social media has changed all that.

People from different continents and language groups can come together and form a community. The change in the meaning of community has also challenged how people govern these interactions. For people from different backgrounds to have constructive interactions, there needs to be a set of community guidelines that govern members’ conduct. If you are an inspiring leader, below are tips on how you can successfully moderate a community:

1. Define community guideline

When setting up a community, it is vital to have clearly outlined behavior expectations and purpose. Every community member should accept that he/she will abide by the rules upon joining the group. For successful implementation, these rules should also define the consequences of straying from the group’s purpose.

2. Identify a community leader

To maintain order and adhere to the issued guidelines, people need to be custodians of those rules. In social groups, the custodians of the rules use names such as moderator, leader, social pilot, elder, group manager, etc. The community leader ensures that the community members’ activities align with the group’s purpose. Whenever individual members deviate from the set rules, the group manager should ensure that rule-breakers meet justice as per the regulations.

3. Control content delivery and access

Since there are rules and regulations governing communities, some members may defy the set rules from time to time. To avoid this from happening, community managers need to set up procedures that filter out unnecessary content and remarks. When children are involved in the community, you can use a profanity filter for your children’s media as an extra security layer.

4. Share quality content

As a community moderator, you may need to do more than regulate the behavior of others. At times this may entail leading by example. When group leaders expect positive content and comments from members, they also need to be social pilots of such content. When you are writing and posting content as a leader, ensure that it is helpful to group members.  Also be sure to check out options like building a membership website as well.

5. Recognize Quality Contributions

When bad behavior is discouraged in a community, leaders should commend good behavior as well. While group leaders sieve out bad behavior from an organization, they should also recognize people who contribute to the group’s development. As a group leader, you can appreciate group members who occasionally participate in discussions through status awards, acclamations, and honorable mentions. Such acts indicate model behavior for other members and act as incentives for the contributors to continue doing the good work.

For a community to achieve its goals, members need to align their vision and focus on attaining them. For this to happen, there should be community leaders to promote the group’s purpose. Facilitating the group’s goal can be through the issuance of quality content, filtering out unnecessary content, and recognizing positive contributions.