Welcome to The Observatory, the community newsletter from Orbit.
Each week we go down rabbit holes so you don't have to. We share tactics, trends and valuable resources we've observed in the world of community building.
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Community and DevRel Professionals are slammed. I’ve personally seen my fair share perform the herculean on a daily basis. From hosting events, providing feedback to product teams, and writing blogs, attention is split between multiple high priority items. I’m bewildered and frankly impressed by the amount of noise and distraction Community Professionals cut through every day to prioritize what’s best for their members.
Despite their best efforts, Community Professionals still find it hard to engage members and prioritize their actions. According to the CMX’s 2022 Community Industry Report, 46% of Community teams found it difficult to consistently engage members.
Today we’re making Community and DevRel Professionals’ prioritization efforts that much easier with the release of Notifications, now available in Orbit across all plans.
Notifications are in-app reminders that enable Community Professionals to take immediate action and remove the guesswork from prioritizing daily tasks. We're excited to announce we now support the following notification types:
First employee notification: Receive a notification whenever a new member from an organization of 300+ people joins your community.
Milestone notifications: Get an alert when a certain number of members from a single organization join your community. Notification milestones include: 3, 5, 10, 20, and 50 members.
Memberdecrease in activity: Get notified when there is inactivity from key participants in your community over a two-week period.
Major boost in activity: Receive an alert when the number of active members in your community increases by 50% or more.
Major decrease in activity: Get notified when the number of active members decreases by 50% or more in your community.
Here’s how it works
In-app notifications are automatically enabled across all your workspaces. You can manage notifications in the notification center where you can mark them as read or unread. Simply click on a notification to go to the user’s profile, the organization’s profile, and the activities log. If you want to reduce the number or frequency of notifications, you can manage those permissions directly from the notifications modal.
How to prioritize your actions for each type of notification
It can be exciting and maybe even a little nerve-wracking to receive notifications about your community. For each type of notification, we’ve outlined some recommended actions to help you build a healthy, growing community.
First employee notification: This is perhaps the easiest type of notification. A warm, personalized message can go a long way in building a thoughtful and safe environment. It can even encourage users to invite their colleagues too.
Milestone notification: This is a good sign to reach out to key members from that organization, congratulate them, and find out what they like about the community and what could be improved. Make sure to show them some extra love by sending a gift or swag for sharing their input. You can use this information internally to improve content and events.
Member drop in activity: It can be scary to receive this type of message, but we urge you not to panic. There’s a lot that can happen in someone’s life - change of job, vacation, or illness. Maybe they just need a mental break away from the computer. The best way to handle this situation is with love and compassion. First, go to the member’s social media accounts and check if they provided a recent life update. This can take the guess work out of this process for you. If they haven’t posted anything, send a personalized message on their favorite platform to check in and see if they’re okay. Maybe send a funny meme or a cute video. Whatever it is make sure it’s personalized and heartfelt.
Major boost in activity: If there’s a major activity boost, congratulations you’ve done something right! A boost in activity might be in response to a launch, event, or interest in a specific article or topic. Whatever it is, the best way to celebrate is to share the love and thank them for their continued support.
Major decrease in activity: This one can feel disheartening, and may reflect a need for a change in strategy. However, the most common scenario is a drop in activity due to a public holiday. Make sure to diagnose the reason for the drop in activity first. If strategy is the problem, try to understand what’s causing the drop. Maybe there aren’t enough community managers and you need more investment. Perhaps your members are finding that your events and content aren’t meeting their needs and you need to re-evaluate who your target member audience is. Whatever it is, be sure to back your findings with specific metrics. The best way to do this is through a short, anonymous survey. The most important thing is to not be defensive. Ask your members to fill it out anonymously answering three questions:
What do you love about this community?
What topics do you like to discuss and in which format?
Do you have any advice for how we can make your community experience a better one?
Members who want to improve the experience will answer honestly and help provide a direction forward.
Notifications take the guess work out of your daily activities and make it easier to prioritize your life as a Community Professional. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Discord, or attend one of our community events.
Happy community building!
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