For most of my marketing career, content has been king. Blogs (like this one) and videos were the best way to tell your story and connect with your audience.
So, building a community for the world’s first interactive experience platform was a new challenge to me. Less monologue, more dialog. And I had a lot of questions! What’s the difference between a post and a reply? How do you get new members to join? Will our flock show up?
Hi! I’m Craig, Community Manager at Goosechase. You can usually find me playing with my two-year-old daughter or walking my dog Foster, with Springsteen in my headphones.
To celebrate the 1-year anniversary of The Nest, our community for Goosechase creators to ask questions, get answers, and honk about anything under the sun, I am sharing a few helpful honks I’ve picked up along the way.
The 5 Most Important Lessons I Learned as a New Community Manager
1) Join the Community
Even community managers need a community.
Step one of learning the ropes of community management was building my own network of super smart community managers. I was already part of online communities like Typeform, Culture Amp, and Sprout Social, so I did some research, found the right people, introduced myself (LinkedIn is a great tool), and asked for their best tips and tricks. Turns out community managers are kind, generous, and welcoming! They were happy to share the recipe to their secret sauce.
On a day-to-day basis, I tag in other members of the Goosechase flock to answer questions, brainstorm new content, and send event invitations. Community building can benefit every member of your team and every aspect of the business. Find opportunities to collaborate and showcase your amazing team. Then go beyond your own nest and collaborate with industry experts, thought leaders, and your most helpful community members to elevate everything you do. They have the knowledge and expertise your community members are looking for.
2) Build Relationships IRL
When you’re building an online community like The Nest, it’s easy to forget that what you’re actually doing is growing a community of real people. Funny, right?
Our goal at Goosechase is to re-connect people with the world and people around them, and our online community is no different. When I get lost in the metrics and “liking” the latest post, I remind myself to focus on relationship building. How would I interact with a friend? Seek out opportunities to speak directly with your customers, go to conferences, learn from your most engaged members, send them awesome swag in the mail, then use the online community to provide value and support the relationships you’ve been tending to.
Thank you for continuing to provide this amazing tool, as well as The Nest, to provide us a common space to inspire, and be inspired to further the joy of learning of our students.
- Eric Bentley, Educator and Member of The Nest
3) Do Your Research
We might be building the world’s first interactive experience platform, but we aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel of community (that’s a thing, right?). Why not learn from those who came before us?
Every community manager I spoke with mentioned The Business of Belonging by David Spinks as their go-to reference book. This made learning the ropes feel more like a book club than a research project. David Spinks talks about doing things that don’t scale, speaking authentically, and how to not fear the crickets when your community gets quiet. They didn’t build Rome in a day, and resources like The Business of Belonging gave our team the confidence to trust the process and build The Nest one member at a time.
4) Make Data Personal
Goosechase loves a good experiment (come to think of it, each of these posts is about doing things differently!). We aren’t afraid to try something new, learn from the results, and then try, try, again! So community building is equal parts data and relationship building.
The Nest is hosted on Gainsight, and like most online tools, the platform collects all sorts of insights. Use this data to communicate with your members in a personal way, welcome them with open wings, and don’t overload their inbox.
I am constantly experimenting with tagging members in the thread to increase engagement, sending personal emails to thank members for sharing a great story, and inviting them to events that relate to their business. Data can lead to more thoughtful and personal conversations.
5) Grow Your Gaggles
Goosechase creators are always dreaming up new ways to use the app. From international student onboarding and culture shifting holiday parties to year-long outdoor challenges and company retreats, no two Experiences are the same. Our community should provide the opportunity for all these different gaggles to share ideas, learn new things, and feel like the leader of their flock. We host events to connect our community members with industry experts, start conversations that are relevant to their work, and share insights that help them solve their problems - and we can’t wait to do more!
One year later, and there is still so much to learn about community building. With over 385 members in The Nest (and counting), we are ready to host more events, showcase incredible industry experts, and help Goosechase creators make the world more fun, playful, and human.
What is Goosechase?
At Goosechase, experience is everything. Originally inspired by scavenger hunts, Goosechase is an online platform that enables organizations and schools to engage, activate, and educate their communities through delightful interactive experiences. Sign up and try creating a free recreational Experience, or check out our Pricing!