April 10, 2023
Behind the scenes of every vibrant online community, there exists a strategic system of community management that drives its success. From community hosts who set the tone to admins who nurture discussions, and moderators who ensure a safe environment, this dedicated team works to cultivate an environment conducive to engagement, collaboration, and growth. In this blog, we delve into the crucial role of community management and shed light on why it is the key to enhancing engagement, fostering a sense of belonging, and unlocking the full potential of an online community.
There are a few main ways for communities to be managed:
The host is the individual who initially creates the community and appoints the first management team, including moderators and administrators. They also set permission controls, defining the powers that each individual on the management team has.
Some platforms, like Reddit, are more decentralized and don’t rely on a single host. Instead, there might be a team of moderators that set rules and steer the general direction of the community. However, other platforms will build communities around a single host. At Sute, we partner with content creators to build a community. Our creator partners serve as the host of the Sute community since the community revolves around their content. We work with our creator partners to effectively build the management team, but the host has the power to act on their own.
Moderation refers to the act of overseeing and regulating the activities within an online community, ensuring that interactions align with community guidelines, maintaining a positive and respectful atmosphere, and addressing any issues that may arise. Moderators play a crucial role in creating a safe and engaging space for community members to connect, share, and collaborate. They actively monitor discussions, review member generated content, and enforce community guidelines to promote a healthy and inclusive environment.
Moderation is important as it helps maintain the integrity of the community by preventing spam, abusive behavior, and misinformation. It fosters a sense of trust and safety among members, encouraging open dialogue, constructive feedback, and meaningful interactions. Effective moderation enhances the overall community experience, cultivating an environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves, learning from one another, and building lasting connections.
Some platforms give users the ability to vote on whether or not they think content should be moderated. Platforms like Periscope automatically detect content that might be controversial, then source that decision among the community and allow them to decide.
Permission controls are usually set by the host and can determine the powers of every member in the community. This is especially valuable when there are custom roles that go beyond the traditional moderator or admin roles.
A content creator community is a community that revolves around the content of a single creator or a team of creators. Content creators wield a unique ability to forge communities around their content, drawing upon their already established and highly engaged audience as a valuable asset. However, content creators typically select engaged community members to serve as moderators, since the creator is responsible for the content that drives the community forward.
Check out this blog to learn more about content creator communities.
Let’s illustrate an example of an entrepreneurship community to demonstrate effective moderation since entrepreneurship and personal development are the most common topics for full-time creators. With something sensitive like business and money, moderation needs to be on point. In an entrepreneurship community, you could see members seeking to learn about entrepreneurship and those seeking to teach and share ideas. However, you could also see people trying to take advantage of the community for their own financial gain. Moderators should be vigilant and try to snuff out these users and moderate them effectively.
Moderators, armed with their expertise and passion for entrepreneurship, diligently oversee discussions and maintain a positive environment. They ensure that conversations remain focused on valuable insights, productive collaboration, and actionable advice. By promptly addressing any inappropriate behavior, spam, or self-promotion, moderators preserve the integrity of the community. This doesn’t mean “bad actors” need to be banned immediately, but they can be muted or “timed out” for a pre-defined period of time.
With their proactive involvement and partnership with the host, moderators nurture a sense of trust, inspiring members to freely exchange ideas, ask questions, and provide meaningful feedback. They encourage respectful dialogue, foster a culture of knowledge-sharing, and offer guidance to members seeking entrepreneurial guidance. Their dedication and skilled facilitation empower the entrepreneurship community to flourish, becoming a go-to platform where aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs alike can connect, learn, and embark on their journeys to success.
This example demonstrates how moderators aren’t only responsible for punishment, but their mere presence also makes community discussions more open and beneficial.
Choosing the best community building platform for your community (whether it's an entrepreneurship community or another niche) depends on your goals.
People like platforms like Discord or Reddit because they’re so popular and many people already have accounts on these platforms. However, the interface on Discord is messy and, for some, not very intuitive, so Geneva came along, offering free communities. But their functionality is a bit limited. If you wanted to host a virtual event, you might choose Luma. And if you want a full-suite of functionality and you’re willing to put in the work for a white-label solution, you might try Circle. And of course, if you’re in the niche of “personal growth,” or entrepreneurship, career development, or personal finance, we’d love to talk to you about hosting your community on Sute. This should illustrate the nuanced differences between the best community management platforms.
The best community building platforms are those that align themselves with the community. Algorithmic platforms profit on advertisements, so they drive engagement through clickbait and misinformation. As a result, younger social media users trust community sites (48%) significantly more than social media sites (36%). For your content creator community, you should find a platform that aligns with you. This means choosing the best community building platform requires some deliberate thought about your goals, your community, and an honest evaluation of the platforms.
If you’re looking to build a community in the fields of entrepreneurship, career development, or personal finance, Sute might be the best community management platform for you. We’re currently accepting applications from the best creators in these fields. Apply now to see if you’re a good fit!