Community Chat Weekly is a newsletter about building and growing communities, featuring collected tweets, posts and thoughts from various community managers.
In 2017, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would have a new focus: building communities. Yet at the time, only a handful of people at Facebook were focused on the platform’s biggest community-building tool: Facebook groups.
According to Lindsay Russell, who was five years into her Facebook career, groups were a “sleepy part of the business” up until that point. So when she joined the small groups team, they started looking at the product with renewed vigor.
They started by digging into the data and learned that a sliver of groups were “off the charts” active. These successful groups had one clear commonality: a remarkable admin. These admins were spending hours and hours every day running the special, even life changing, groups where users could talk about everything from infertility and miscarriages, to gender politics in Nigeria, even dog spotting and cruise-going.
As Lindsay shared, “Every party needs a host. Every team needs a coach. It’s no different online than it is in our real world communities.” That insight led Lindsay and her team to spearhead a novel effort within Facebook’s walls: focusing on the niche community of admins who were essential to their product’s success.
What can we learn about building successful groups from her research? What investments helped community leaders spark and stoke their communities?
- Not all Facebook groups are equal. Turn scattered sparks into a roaring fire by pinpointing thriving groups and identifying what makes outlier groups so remarkable.
- Groups don’t work without a community leader. Search for your “hand-raisers,” individuals who are the most engaged and who seem to be raising their hand to take on bigger responsibilities.
- Build a bridge between HQ and power admins. Radical empathy building begins by connecting internal teams to the people they are building with.
- Supercharging the superusers can supercharge your impact. Solve problems that will supercharge your community leaders’ work—whether as content creators, influencers, enforcers, or power users.
See the full breakdown of insights People & Company’s case study and tune in for the conversation with Lindsay on the Get Together podcast.
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Community-driven acquisition is the future
A handful of recommended readings from the past week.
Audience Engagement tools to create communities that care (5 min read)
By Erin Mikail Staples
Pools, Hubs, and Webs (3 min read)
By Danielle Maveal
Covid-19 "long haulers" are organizing online to study themselves (12 min read)
By Tanya Basu - h/t to Alex Angel for sending this one our way!
A handful of open community roles from our community!
Community Manager @ AspireIQ
Team Lead, Internal Community Developer @ Ubisoft