How to successfully launch your group according to its purpose and its audience? Below, we have listed methodological elements that you can use in order to successfully launch your groups on your collaborative platform.
Phase 1: Preparation for the launch
A project group targeting only a few members doesn’t require the same preparation as a company-wide news group or a transverse thematic group. We suggest that project leaders who wish to launch a group begin by defining the group’s identity and to imagine what will be its function.
Here are some answers that can help you:
- Group Name: The name of the group is important in order to easily locate it in the group menu. We recommend naming all groups of the same type in the same way. For example, start all project groups with the prefix: “P –
- Objectives/value created or perceived by users: what do you want to do within your group? What problems do you want to solve? What “doesn’t work” or “doesn’t work well” and where can the group make improvements? What benefits are expected? In a few months from now, what will allow you to say: “we succeeded!”
- Content: what content will be shared within the group? Does this content require editorial work?
- Contributors/content sources: where is the content? How is it accessible? How is it currently being broadcast? Who will be the main contributors? Can the content be gathered automatically? Should animation be planed?
- Audience: who will access this content? Should the group be open? restricted? confidential?
- Governance: are there rules of operation specific to this group? If it’s a private group, what criteria will be applied for membership? What work tools will be abandoned because of this group? Which ones will continue to be used alongside the group and for what purpose? What means can be implemented to promote the transition to this group?
- Promotion: how to promote this group to the target audience? Are new platform members automatically registered to this group?
You may not have all the required answers before launching your group and this is normal. Some answers will appear more obvious once your group is launched, thanks to the help of the main contributors. Use a nimble approach as well as the idea that it’s work in progress.
Phase 2: Initialise
You can now:
- Create the group
- Publish a welcome message. Take advantage of this publication to provide context and understanding to members or guests. Pay particular attention to the purpose of the group, the members invited to participate, the few operating principles of the group and especially how you intend to use it in place of other practices or tools that existed before. Tip: Pin this publication to the top of the group to give it greater visibility.
- Invite the main contributors to prepare the launch of your group with them (this phase concerns groups whose content will be mainly created by a limited number of users)
- Gather and publish the first content of importance: publications, documents, upcoming events. Create a favorable context that will allow the invited audience to identify with the shared content. We only have one opportunity to make a good impression, don’t we?
- Prepare promotional material. Depending on the purpose of the group you are launching and its target audience, prepare the appropriate communication media to inform others about the upcoming launch of your group.
Phase 3: Launch, development, and facilitation
Project groups generally function autonomously through the interactions of their members, but other groups may need special monitoring and animation in order to succeed.
D-Day has arrived, it’s time to invite members and/or guests (partners, clients, etc) and carry out your promotional campaign if necessary.
As the group manager, make sure that the group you are spearheading regularly carries out the desired objectives and modify them along the way if necessary. The metrics specific to each group will help you to carry out this analysis.
The following tasks can be carried out on a monthly basis at first and then on a quarterly basis:
- Regularly assess the relevance of the group to its members. Monitor the objectives reached through a simple survey.
- Broadly share successes and benefits. Publish a publication in a General news group that will make your initiative known and attract the interest of other project leaders.
- Implement corrective measures if necessary: should the scope of the group be changed? Should you broaden its audience? Are the rules of the “group life” respected? Is content being published outside the group?
This article is part of a series focusing on to the best practices to be adopted for the launch and implementation of a collaborative platform or private social network within a company or organization.