In a knowledge sharing community or platform with only 30 people, it’s easy to know who your users are and what they want. But when your platform grows from 30 to thousands, how can you maintain the spirit of community and connection? How can you consistently provide a personalized touch?
That’s why you need SMART strategies to build engagement and scale your community, all without sacrificing content or connection.
But while you may know the traditional model of SMART as “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Based,” when it comes to scaling engagement in your knowledge community there’s a unique approach to take.
Identifying segments allows organizations to better target users based on traits or behaviors so that each segment or group can be treated with a personalized touch. It also helps teams discover what makes power users tick so they can attract more of them. Without user segmentation, teams take a “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” approach, and frankly, guess work rarely improves engagement.
On the other hand, when organizations identify their segments, users can expect intuitive and personalized experiences. By facilitating calls and working groups around topics of interest, our teams at Tesla Government have proven effective at cultivating a sense of community, with members of one such group being 128% more active than the average user.
The key is to segment users in your knowledge community and make sure you are treating them as unique groups rather than making mass assumptions about how users will engage in knowledge management systems.
Data drives everything these days, so when an organization grows beyond a small core group, metrics are key. Like the old adage says, “What gets measured gets managed.” It’s crucial to take an ongoing and accurate measurement of how users are engaging with your knowledge community. Focus on how people actually use the platform, not how you wish people used it.
In order to define users and their journeys, teams might want to track usage, retention, churn, conversion, and average visits per user. Then with an analytics tool, teams can generate reports to see the impact different user segments have on key metrics.
When engagement is measured accurately and consistently, teams can see which parts of the knowledge management system are driving it and which features might be slowing it down.
After getting a clear picture of your users and what they need, it’s time to figure out how to give it to them. A well-designed architecture for data and content is the solution, and it starts with understanding how people use the data day-to-day to complete their jobs. Understand the client’s content objective, then design an information architecture specific enough to be useful, but flexible enough to accommodate growing missions and scaling knowledge within the platform.
Effective architecture, not just the data or content itself, makes meaningful pathways so data ingestion and population across content moves at an automated, not manual, pace. Building out the architecture in the beginning is critical to scale as it prepares for future growth of the knowledge management system while focusing on discoverability from the start, not when it’s a problem.
Users’ inboxes are under assault with non-personalized, non-relevant messages on the regular. So scalability maintains relevance. That means reducing email so each message stands out and enhances the user experience.
The users you just segmented? Try emailing messages tailored to specific cohorts instead of taking the bazooka approach. Or configure your knowledge sharing processes to alert on only specific updates rather than every alert to diminish cognitive noise.
Another way to maintain relevance is by filling discoverability gaps. Orphan searches are where users actively leave the knowledge platform and diminish discoverability. If people aren’t finding the information they want, that’s an indication that certain content is either not easy to find, or it contains untapped potential. Scalability reduces orphan searches and removes expired content to give users the best chance to discover content relevant to them.
Tying it all together
Scalability is necessary for any organization that wants to adapt to change and grow successfully, and integrating scalability in engagement will require a SMART strategy. To maintain community as you grow, focus on Segmentation, Metrics, Architecture, Relevance, and Tie it all together with a solution like Tesla Government’s Mission Connect: Engage.
SMART Engagement drives adoption and success
Adding and launching a knowledge management system for your agency doesn’t guarantee platform adoption or long term success. You need to plan for growth and make sure your engagement strategies can scale with the adoption of the platform.
Scale your engagement without sacrificing content or connection
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