The festive season is a great moment to pause, breathe, reflect and plan. Unlike every other holiday throughout the year, there is a good chance that most of your regular business contacts are also taking a well-earned break. Time seems to slow, bringing new perspectives and energy for the coming year. So what are you cooking up to engage and grow your community in 2016?
Planning for growth over a glass of mulled wine
Stop working at the coal face, and take this time to step back and look at the wider picture for your community. Here are five questions to ask yourself as you relax with your mince pies and Christmas films, gently mulling over your plans for the next 12 months.
- What are the organisation’s objectives for 2016? Have they changed since last year? If so, the community focus has to change, too.
- Have you asked your community members what THEY want to get out of membership this year? Don’t just assume that you know!
- What are your measures of success in the short, medium and long term? You need something to aim for: not just raw numbers, but changing behaviours as well.
- Are senior management still buying in to your community? Keep them engaged to keep their support. Successful communities are part of overall strategy.
- Who are your key community advocates and leaders? Can you develop and retain new talent as it emerges?
Build a mental picture of your community in 2016, and come back refreshed to make your plans reality.
What are Ambix community managers doing in 2016?
As the new kid on the online community software block, most Ambix communities have been established within the last 12 months. We spoke to some of our Ambix community managers about plans for their next phase of growth. Many are revisiting the objectives their community can help them to achieve in 2016, to be sure that activity is tailored and guided towards positive engagement and measurable results.
Our oldest client is managing change with its Ambix community; Felix O’Hare of NEPIC told us:
“The BASME project is due to end on 31st December, however the BASNET community is delivering a legacy for all the members. Over the next year we will be supporting SMEs to become part of the Process Industry supply chain, and BASNET is a key tool to help us achieve this.”
Other, newer communities are getting ready for a step change in activity in the New Year. We’ve been carrying out training with volunteers at the Woodland Trust to ensure that 2016 gets off to a flying start for their teams. Here in the North East, Chris Jones of the Skills Network also has plans for expansion:
“We’re growing our community management team so we can build engagement and advocacy within the Skills Network community”.
We’re excited to see how all our Ambix clients build their communities over the next twelve months. If you’d like to join them, contact us to take a trial.
The Ambix Christmas Box: new tools!
We release regular updates to Ambix, and community managers have some extra functionality to look forward to in 2016. If you’re running an Ambix community, you’ll have noticed already that you have more tools to manage Pin Boards in your Groups and Events, and that you can re-pin previously uploaded images and documents now that the Media Library is running in the background. Results are easier to access on Consensus questions, and creating topics, notices, groups and events is a much smoother process. The next scheduled update will be a treat for group managers, introducing sub-groups and adding of social media feeds to your knowledgebase.
What else would you like to see us bring to Ambix in the New Year? Drop us your suggestions, and we will select the most popular ideas for our 2016 product roadmap.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all the team!