Building a community is exciting. You start with a fresh new platform and invite your supporters. The community grows to a certain point then plateaus. What to do then?
Scott Hammond is a frequent commenter on my blog & he offered to share the work that his company Nattergalen is doing. He hopes that it will give you ideas for your own community building practice.
Some quick facts on Nattergalen. They offer community moderation services. It’s a white label service so their work isn’t easily attributed to them. Scott & Marguerite from Nattergalen are supportive of my work. Scott put the following comment in a
I can’t think of any places better to look than the blogs of Jeremiah Owyang (Web Strategy by Jeremiah), Connie Benson (Community Strategist), Jake McKee (The Community Guy), and Dion Hinchcliffe (Enterprise Web 2.0).
These blogs are so informative and insightful that my company, Nattergalen, a community management outsourcer, uses them as training tools and reading them is considered tacitly obligatory by our employees.
Finally, as a disclaimer: Nattergalen’s client has agreed to allow me to report on the benchmarks and progress of Nattegalen’s strategy & implementation. I appreciate Scott’s willingness to share their work because if you’ve worked in community you know that decisions are based on experience, but there are no guarantees that they will work.
FohBoh.com is for professionals working in the restaurant industry meaning:
- owner/operators or managers of restaurants
- people who work for companies that supply restaurants
- manufacture restaurant equipment
- run franchise chains, etc.
The membership focus is very much B2B for these professionals, and the site is an independant property. FohBoh is an independent startup, not a site run by a brick and mortar company. (FohBoh stands for Front of House, Back of House meaning the dining area & the kitchen area – both important places in a restaurant).
- FohBoh opened at beginning of 2008 & has had steady growth.
- Membership is around 10,000 to date
- Stat’s plateaued after the fist 6 month wave, namely uniques and total page views
- So members aren’t actively involved
- And they aren’t returning to generate new activity
The initial plan consists of 3 main initiatives;
- To set up a FohBoh news section on the site with links to relevant e-zines and bloggers
- To set up weekly moderated chats with high level restaurant industry insiders talking about topics relevant to restaurant operations.
- To help restaurant operators set up private groups in FohBoh, sort of like company intranet style social networks.
And there is a fourth section of our plan: to transition FohBoh from a static property to a broader based community, with the FohBoh site as the anchor point for a greater web presence, connected to multiple properties by linking to them (as in the FohBoh news section) or by making FohBoh information portable, for instance by turning the weekly moderated chat windows into transportable widgets members can put on their own blogs or social networking homepages.
The next post will outline the FohBoh news section. I would like you to join in this case study & make it interactive. Take a look at the site & offer suggestions that you have for increasing membership & activity.