Helping SHRM Build Their Internet Communtiy
Earlier today I arrived in Washington D.C. to speak as well as take part in a task force for the Society for Human Resource Manager and their professional social media community platform, SHRM Connect The SHRM social community task force includes approximately 15 professionals who are SHRM members as well as a handful of non-members from other professional associations. Our task is centered around improving the social media members only platform, SHRM Connect.
I was invited to participate in the conversation about building a better online community for SHRM and I am happy to do so. I remember those days long ago where I spent many an unproductive hour chatting on HR Talk answering and asking human resource questions. And look at me now. I went from a member of an online community to this: I make a living blogging, tweeting, and facebooking all about human resources. Go figure.
What Exactly is an Online Community?
As I am preparing for the taskforce, I wondered what your thoughts are on social media community best practices. What makes a community worth engaging online? How do and can professional associations such as SHRM motivate its community to engage at SHRM connect engaging others, posting comments, and blog posts. What makes a community special?
Comments, questions, emails are encouraged. I want to hear from you and will happily send your suggestions to the big cheese at the Society for Human Resource Manager.
How to Build a Virtual Community : Best Practices
While I wait for your thoughts, here are a few of mine on how to build an online community that works:
- Any Online Community must be Member Driven: Communities succeed because of the members of the community not the managing organization. Members must be passionate to participate and spread the message. Failing to do so isn’t a community. It’s a one way conversation.
- Create a Free Onlien Community: Communities don’t cost. Twitter is free and so is Brazen Careerist where I’m happily a member of their community. They provide content, time, and encourage engagement at no cost to the individual member. There have been success with paid communities. One that comes to mind is Third Tribe which is a paid online marketing community.
- Your Community Website Must be Easy to Navigate:I like things easy. I have a short attention span. I’m also very busy and I’m guessing that most other HR professionals are the same way. While my work is very different, our days are filled with deadlines, to do’s and conference calls. I don’t have time to learn how navigate an online social network. It’s hard enough for me to remember how to access the company’s resource portal and intranet.
- Have a Fun Internet Community. HR sadly is not all rainbows and sunshine. We do hard and sometimes unpleasant work. Some days are better than others, but when I need support or just an escape I look to my online network to take me away. That means letting your hair down, being a little rowdy, still professional, but having fun. Afterall, HR professionals are people too.
So what did I miss when it comes to building an effective and real conline community? What attributes, suggestions, or best practices do you have for SHRM as we develop our vitural community and improve social networking? And how can communities outside of SHRM improve their social networking platforms? What do you want to see and what do you not want to see when you engage with social communities online?