Your community is constantly churning out content, whether in the form of article comments, Facebook replies, or forum discussions. Having a pulse on your community’s input helps understand what type of content makes your community tick, as well as what doesn’t.
On a #CMGRHangout panel around the topic of creating content centric communities, panelists Annemarie Dooling and Carrie Jones offered their insight and expertise on content strategy types used within communities. One of these strategy types included content that is community contributed and how to best utilize it within your community.
Shaping your community’s contributions
Whether you’re part of an established community or helping to develop a new one, shaping community contributions can be achieved by leading by example. For instance, providing specific examples of content contributions can help guide content submitted by your community members. One way of creating examples is by reaching out to existing members or influencers within your community and asking for their help.
By showcasing your existing members, you’re shifting the focus away from your organization and onto the value generated by your community. In addition, featuring members provides transparency and can encourage other members to get involved, resulting in content that is consistent, unique and community focused.
Everyone in your community is an influencer
When considering community contributed content, it may be tempting to lean on influencer discovery tools or vanity metrics such as follower counts, however, consider the context of who your best users are. For instance, look at the types of content your power users are sharing that isn’t yours. Understanding what these users share provides insight into who they are, and can also help your organization generate ideas for content types to develop in the future.
Incentives for community contributed content
For some, contributors are more than happy to be part of something bigger than themselves and may willingly share their insights and experiences in exchange of being featured. However, some community members may want something in return for the value they are providing. Above all, don’t assume content created by your community is up for grabs. Always ask before using, and looping in your organization’s legal department is essential.
Communities are built among people through shared experiences and goals, and when considering community contributed content, aligning both business and community goals are key to success.
What are your thoughts on community contributed content? Does your organization use this type of content as part of your content strategy?
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