What should you consider before setting up community

Setting up a Zendesk community forum is a great way to stay engaged with your target market. However, it is not uncommon for community forums to start strong only for them to fade into oblivion.

Taking the following factors into consideration before setting up a Zendesk community forum will help you to set up correctly and keep growing your membership:

  • Select a particular community topic

If you'll be running your Zendesk community yourself, make it something you are passionate and knowledgeable about. Go for a topic that will stand out and apart from similar forums.  

  • Create your discussions or forums

The ideal situation is four to 10 different forums, each one dedicated to one side or aspect of your selected community topic. For instance, you can have a forum for general discussions, political discussion or one for health that is directing to those infected or affected with a particular disease or condition.

  • Talk about it

You have to get word about your forum out there. Reach out to friends, colleagues and family on social media by sharing about your forum. Talk about the 'grand opening' or launch of your website. Create as much hype about it as you can. Another way to attract traffic to your forum is by adding information about your community on your profile as your signature. Whenever you post something, your community would be seen.

You need to tread carefully when doing this. You don't want to spam or send emails to strangers without their permission. Spamming will ruin the reputation of your community even before you get started.

  • Choose moderators

Every separate discussion forum in your community should have a moderator of its own. Their role will be to start discussions and keep them going by starting new topics and getting rid of content that is inappropriate. It is best to have a moderator who is well versed with the subject matter. They will keep things going and will give accurate information.

  • Stay on top of it

Together with your team of moderators, you should lay down some ground rules on conduct. For instance, you need to agree on how to handle a member who posts offensive or otherwise inappropriate content.

  • Forge alliances

It will be helpful to exchange links with communities that have the same struggles as yours. This will help you to widen your user base. With a growing community with more members and more activity, you will have created even more opportunities to forge strategic and mutually beneficial websites.

  • Strengthen the bond

Something else you need to do is create a bond with your members in order to gain their loyalty. Otherwise, they will move on to similar communities.

Keep them engaged with activities with contests, games, and customized titles for users. Above all, the friendly, interesting, engaging and respectful especially when there is a difference of opinion.

  • Make use of Zendesk integration

If you are using Zendesk for customer support and tracking tickets, take advantage of the new feature that allows you to have tickets automatically created in Zendesk when a new question or another activity is detected in your community.

You can come up with rules that the system will use to assign tickets to the different groups. This way, the right people on your team of moderators get notified that there has been activity in their group and they can respond without any delay.

  • Grow thick skin
As an administrator, expect and be ready to deal with all kinds of people, including those who join your community to harass you and your members. Be ready to deal with them.

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