Top 10 tips for a successful Market Research Online Community (MROC)

I honestly tried to compile a list of “top 10 tips” for any budding MROC moderators out there. Promise. Then I gave up. I figured given tip number 8 below, 11 tips wouldn’t harm anyone!

1.) Be open and honest.  Honesty really is the best policy! As a community manager you have to encourage members to be open and honest to ensure you get the best feedback. Empathise, and share your own thoughts and experiences with the community.

2.) Be active on the community. Your community members need to see that you are actively participating in the community. Having a “Who is online” function show’s members the community manager is ready and waiting for their response and when other members are online.

3.) Be responsive and available. It may sound obvious but respond to your members! Show them you have listened and respond accordingly, you will get the most out of your members this way.

4) Don’t be a faceless community manager – show your members you are human and introduce yourselves to new community members via a welcome video.

5.) Acknowledge members’ good work. Acknowledging good work publicly is good for everyone. It encourages the contributor and shows your appreciation of their time and efforts.

6.) Respect others’ opinions and agree to disagree. Some topics can be polarising and members can be very passionate. Pre-empt any negativity on subjects that could be ‘close to the bone’ by asking everyone to respect others’ opinions.

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7.) Encourage members to create their own discussions. Allowing members to create their own topics of debate gives them the chance to get their thinking hats on and create the topics that matter to them. They may also bring up new topics or have a different spin on things to that of the community manager which could lead to richer insight.

8.) Mix it up. Although it is great to have a basic structure for your community (i.e. weekly discussions) it is also good to mix things up a little. Alongside regular polls and discussions have live chats with your members, send them an online survey to complete or invite them to take part in online diary projects. Keep the content fresh!

9.) Give your members feedback. Keep your members involved by sharing insight and results with them. Allow them to see whether they share the same opinions as other community members or how they have helped a client.

10.) Incentivise members. Although community members should have an interest in the community and the subject matter, a little incentive goes a long way! This can be done by prize draw, selecting a comment of the week or by allowing members to earn points for taking part in the various aspects of a community (I.e. discussions, polls, live chats) that equate to money / vouchers.

11.) Don’t forget to have fun! Communities can often have a serious tone to them so lighten the mood every now and again and have some fun or playful topics. You can even use gamification to implement research that can be a little different to the norm. You never know you might even see a sudden influx of smiley faces!

If you think there is anything missing on this list (we could stretch to 12, why not!) or you would like to have a bit more of a chat about MROCs, feel free to contact Anthony or just ring the office