In the second part of our blog series based on our webinar Driving Community Success with User Experience—with Google’s Yuri Kleban and Grazitti’s Varun Luthra—we’ll talk about enabling scale of your community by increasing participation.
We’ll take a look at how the Google Advertiser Community enhanced user engagement for millions of its users in multiple languages.
Let’s take a look at the key points that can enable you to scale your community:
Eliminating Barriers of Entry
Since every community is unique and has their own set of barriers, this needs to be done on a case-by-case basis. In the case of the Advertiser Community, they enabled a ‘live feed’ feature which allowed users to get real-time updates and new ideas. This is how the feature looks like on the community:
Along with the ‘live feed’ feature, the community also encouraged shares and likes to attract new customers. This was done by completely re-designing the threads page.
This, complemented with the custom Rich Text Editor (RTE) to manage text style and format allowed the Community to eliminate barriers of entry.
User Listening and Responding
An extremely important step to improving your community is user listening and responding. The Community ran a bunch of surveys and asked for feedback from its users. Most of the features which were added were based on these surveys. This resulted in a drastic improvement in Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).
Communities which have multiple products or multiple areas, can improve user participation by rebranding their community through UI improvement. Since the Advertiser Community has multiple areas like Google My Business, AdWords etc. users couldn’t differentiate when they were in one area or the other. To counter this problem, each area was given its own branding guideline. Take a look at how the color changes in the AdWords Community and the My Business Community.
Along with this, the community added ‘Guide Me’ buttons to help users decide what to do next. This acts as a tutorial/guide and can be incorporated in any community.
User Centric Customization
Another key element to increase user participation is user centric customization. And the first part of this is language localization. Since the Community is spread across ten different locales, it was important to take cultural aspects into consideration. One example of this is the JA Name Picker.
This allows users to post questions anonymously, as it is not considered a good practice in Japan to ask questions publicly on a platform.
Another element of user centric customization that the Community implemented is the Blog Reordering feature. This was designed for internal users like community managers, Google employees etc. to make content management easy for them.
Lastly, the Advertiser Community uses gamification as a part of their user centric customization strategy.
The best online communities focus on increasing user participation. By using the above mentioned three points, you can enable scale of your community.