How to Start a Volunteer Program for Your Online Community – Ep 97
We have outlined a plan for you to start a volunteer program for your online community to increase participation and create more loyalty.
One of the best ways to get consistent interaction in your online community is to build a strong volunteer program to support your members. It also helps you to manage the needs of the community. No community is built by one person.
In today’s episode, we talk about the types of people who make great volunteers and how to get them involved.
Types of People Who Make Great Volunteers
- People who stand out in their interactions in the group and how they demonstrate expertise. You can’t be an expert in everything. It is always a good idea to get a feel for who in your community could answer questions about specific topics. You can then tag them when a question comes up, which highlights them and gets your community the answers they need.
- People who encourage and serve others in your group. These people stand out as they serve others in your group by welcoming them and connect with them. Our community manager, Kyle Hetrick, who we spoke with in the last episode, welcomes new members in our community and follows up with them on their progress.
(P.S. Kyle also works with small and military veteran businesses with their social media through his own business, IUBY. Check him out!)
How to Get Volunteers Involved
- Create Defined Roles. Reach out to individuals about a specific role. Define the roles you want to be covered and sketch out what’s in it for them. Be very clear about their involvement and how it can benefit the community. Communication is important for you and the volunteer.
- Nurture your Volunteers. Create a small community within a community of your volunteer coordinators. Meet with this community to discuss expectations, to share information and create an overall buy-in.
- Recognize Volunteers. Make sure to call out your volunteers and give them public recognition often using tweets, posts in the group, link to them or interviewing them. Always make a point to express gratitude for their time and involvement in the community.
- Paid Positions. Consider a paid position once you have revenue. You can offer the position to your volunteer coordinators first if they are a good fit.
Make a list of 3-5 community members that you think have special expertise or are great at encouraging others and reach out to them to set up a call to chat about volunteering. Come join us in our Facebook group for more support in finding community volunteers. The secret word is ACTION.
How to reach Kami:
If you’d like to learn more about Kami Huyse, visit her website at www.zoeticamedia.com. You can contact her by email at email@example.com or tweet to @kamichat.
How to reach Madalyn:
If you’d like to learn more about Madalyn Sklar, visit her website at www.madalynsklar.com. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet to @MadalynSklar.
Join Our Community
We have a new community on Facebook. We will extend the conversation from each episode and deliver bonus content. Sign up for our email list at http://bit.ly/CTCVIP to get an invitation to join or just click the “Join Our Free Community” below to head straight to Facebook (shhh. The codeword is ACTION)!