Design Your Presence – SMPG Community Building Checklist

In our previous post, Research Your Community’s Needs, we discussed the importance of researching the needs of your community, deciding on a logistical approach, and finding out what’s already out there.

In this post, we continue posting our exclusive checklist that you can use to execute your project for building your community – The Social Media Performance Group Community Building Checklist™. We discuss how to design your presence in your community.

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Design Your Presence

  • Don’t develop your community as a stand-alone, in a vacuum
    • Create a social presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube
    • Leverage the power of each of your social presences to drive people to your community, and your Website
  • Coordinate branding, graphics, messages across your social media presence
  • Use your research to determine what features the community needs and will use
  • Avoid too much complexity
  • Consider creating an advisory board or surveying prospective members to gauge interest in the planned feature set for the community space
  • Consider creating user levels
  • Reward content creators and question-answerers with recognition
    • Best Practice: Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) an award for exceptional technical community leaders who voluntarily provide technical expertise within Microsoft support communities — see the post Run Contests for more information
  • Determine how you will encourage connection and participation
  • Create guidelines for community behavior
    • Indicate how the community can contribute to the guidelines
    • Ensure guidelines are not overly-restrictive or prescriptive
  • Enable community enforcement of behavior
    • Consider implementing a “flag this post” feature
    • Consider implementing voting for posts
    • Consider creating a special area for power users
    • And listen to what they say there
  • Select your platform
    • Many create-your-own platforms to choose from:
      • Joomla Community Builder and JomSocial
      • Ning
      • Cisco
      • Capterra
      • KickApps
      • Jive
  • Determine your platform requirements — attributes to consider include:
    • Is platform widely supported (or commercially viable)?
    • Forums (of course)
    • RSS Feed support
    • Easy posting
    • Ability to feature posts
    • Security and identity — information security measures and also security features that affect the user experience such as onerous login procedures
    • Privacy
    • Video and other media support (consider embedding from YouTube instead)
    • Mobile support
    • Customization
    • Easy administration
    • Backup
    • Removing posts
    • Approving posts

Design Your Presence is the 165th 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 407. 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 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

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


About NextPhase Selling

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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