Community Building Checklist


In our previous post, Social Media Community Management Benefits, we discussed the benefits of managing your community and why you should have a dedicated manager.

In this post, we start posting our exclusive checklist that you can use to execute your project for building your community – The Social Media Performance Group Community Building Checklist™.

This list goes on for several posts, and after the last post, you can access the whole checklist by joining our online community at community.socialmediaperformancegroup.com. (Note: due to the huge amount of spam followers joining our community, we will be instituting a $1 charge to join. However, we’ll be adding a free PDF of our entire 430 page book, Be a Person - The Social Operating Manual for Enterprises – (get it in paper atbit.ly/BeAPersonEFull), which is the basis for this series of blog posts, to help defray the inconvenience of the entry fee.)



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Community Building Checklist

“Every webpage is a latent community.
Each page collects the attention of people interested in its contents,
and those people might well be interested in conversing with one another too.
In almost all cases the community will remain latent, either because
the potential ties are too weak, or because the people looking at the page are separated by too wide a gulf of time, and so on.”

Clay Shirky

The following checklist lays out, step-by-step, how to build your own community site. Be aware of what we said earlier, however, you can’t force, impose, or create community. The members of your community will ultimately decide if your community lives or dies. The best you can do is prepare a comfortable place for them to engage. And in many ways, less is more.

It helps if you have a fanatical following. It helps if you don’t try to control everything. It also helps if you always keep in mind that this is not a channel for your messages — it’s a place where conversations happen; a place where you learn from and about your community. Your job is to close the gulf between people that media and community expert Clay Shirky speaks of in the quote above. Good luck. You’ll need it.

The Social Media Performance Group Community Building Checklist™ that follows comprises the following topics, which we discuss in detail in the sections that follow:

  • Define Your Goals
  • Research Your Community’s Needs
  • Decide Logistical Approach
  • Find What’s Already Out There
  • Design Your Presence
  • Create Your Policies
  • Evolve Your Policies
  • Create Initial Content
  • Launch
  • Manage
  • Attracting Community Members
  • Converting Visitors to Members
  • Measure
  • What NOT to Do

Many of these topics we’ve been discussing throughout this book, and some of the checklist consists of bullet points and references to more detail in other sections. Other sections of the checklist introduce new material and have more detail. In general, though, this checklist is light on the explanations. Its purpose is to attempt to list all that you need to consider as you architect your new community.

We’d love to hear what you think about this checklist, and the blog. You can contribute in our community space at our Website, http://www.socialmediaperformancegroup.com.


Community Building Checklist is the 162nd in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’ve been doing this since 2011 and we’re just past page 403. At this rate it’ll still be a while before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

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—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

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About Social Media Performance Group

Social Media Performance Group is a premier enterprise social media consulting company that offers a unique approach to integrating social media into the enterprise — forget about the tools, it's all about the strategy! Rather than focusing on the tactics (do this or that on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube), first we work with you and your senior leadership to comprehend your corporate strategy. Once we understand your strategic objectives and goals, we show you how a comprehensive social media strategy can integrate with and support your corporate strategy. We take an enterprise-wide view based on our unique Enterprise Social Media Framework, which maps social media to all appropriate touchpoints in your enterprise. We go beyond the obvious quick hits — sales and marketing — and help you achieve social-media-driven results in areas such as product development, customer service, and employee engagement and retention. As a result, social media is not just bolted on; it is integrated with, and provides support for, your company's existing strategy and operations, yielding unprecedented results.
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