Build your community plan
Before you create your community, you must first build out a community plan to serve as a blueprint. If you’re creating multiple communities, put together a specific plan for each one. Your plan should answer the following questions:
What are your community goals?
Ask yourself: why are you building this community and how does it support your broader business goals? Break your engagement efforts into three-month chunks. What do you want to accomplish every three months? Don’t forget to keep seasonality top of mind and use it to your advantage. The key is to define your success metrics and build goals around them:
- Reach: If you’re focused on reach, set some metrics around how many people you want your community members to reach on social media and how many posts use your communities hashtag.
- Participation: You of course want your community to actively participate in your campaigns. Set a metric goal based on participation percentage across all of your campaigns.
- Reviews: If you’re aiming for more unique reviews from your community, set a metric goal around that.
- Traffic: How many people are your community members attracting to your site and events? Have your community members use UTM codes to help you monitor traffic.
- Top Performers: Keep track of community members who are continually responsive and provide the most value. Set a goal around how many top-performing folks you hope to have in your community.
Tip: As you build out and engage with your community, revisit your goals along the way and adjust as needed. If you’re unsure about how to set a reasonable goal, your Community Strategist can help.
Communicate benefits and expectations
Your community plan won’t be effective without a key component: members. But to entice experts to join, you first need to give them a reason. Define those reasons along with some guidelines and communicate them to prospective members as you recruit.
Who are your community members?
Define the type of community members you want to recruit. Are they the highest-performing retail associates for your brand? Field reps? Your pro team? Or are they a combination of all of those? Focus on the right personas for your community members that are reflective of your model member and your brand personality.
How will you recruit members?
Use the tools within the Community Manager to set up your community and design a custom application that experts can access from your brand page or a unique URL.
To invite non-ExpertVoice members, share the URL with them via email, social media, etc., to point them towards our Sign Up + Apply onboarding flow.
If you want to give your application a boost in traffic within the ExpertVoice network, our Managed Services team can help. They’ll put together a promotion to uplevel your community to the places that experts already visit most. All in all, plan for recruitment to take about two to four weeks.
- For example, brands who are recruiting members from the ExpertVoice platform will have an additional campaign card visible on the homepage for members that can apply
- For brands who aren't seeing the application response they expect, there are additional media placements that can be implemented at a cost. There are important factors such as audience size, timing, and messaging that should be considered. Your AE or your Community Strategist can discuss these options with you.
What's in it for the members?
Decide what incentives to offer community members. It’s important to mix both recognition and rewards into your community incentive plan. Doing so nurtures an emotional connection between your brand and your community
Use member-generated content in marketing campaigns (don’t forget to give credit!)
|Free products or swag|
|Feature community members in social media campaigns||Sneak peeks at upcoming products|
|Showcase reviews from community members on product pages||Branded Ask Me Anything sessions|
|Engage with their social posts (both on and off ExpertVoice)||Exclusive pricing for community members|
In addition to an emotional connection with your brand, community members can also follow and connect with other experts that are part of your community. Encourage this. The more your members interact with one another about your brand, the stronger their connection to your brand becomes.