So you've decided what to post (Content type - What is the difference between Discussion, Blog Post & Document?) and where to put it in the community (Getting Started in the Green Circle). How do you make sure it has the impact you want - whether sharing something you have learned, posing a product question that you need answered or prompting a broader technical question that you want the community to engage with? Here are the key components with a little bit on how they work to help you have the most bang for your posting buck. Remember, the best posts make it easiest for the users who are interested to get the most out of it. At the end of the day User Experience trumps everything.
- How do you expect that people will find this post in the community? in list of recent posts, using the search function, using google?
- What action do you want a reader to take, if any?
- How can you set up your post to be easiest to find, consume and take action on by this imagined user?
Here are a few elements you can use to make sure you have the impact you want:
- Title: is what the community will see in their feed of recent posts or in a list returned from a search on or off of the community
- It should be relatively short - efficiently say what you need it to.
- It should market your post well - why should someone who sees the title it click on it to read more? This is the one thing they will see in a list returned after a search.
- It should set expectations about what a user will find when they click - the best user experience is where you get what you expect when clicking on a search result - use this as a guide.
- It should reflect that there is something you want people to do or contribute - this can both set expectations and get readers ready to act when they click into your post.
- Keywords: are the terms that help community search and web search apps know what to show users to find your post. A good post will typically have the relevant keywords naturally part of the text, so this - what terms do you think people might be using if they have a similar question to yours? or if they have the answer? or if they are interested in the topic to which you want them to contribute?
- In the title - are there terms in the title that will help searchers? You should not violate the guidelines in #1 above.
- In the text of the document or post - as mentioned above, hopefully, you do this naturally as part of creating the content - artificially adding keywords here can detract from user experience, so make sure it naturally flows in your post.
- In the tags - tags appear at the bottom when you are creating a post - use tags sparingly, once you start typing a tag name you will be presented a list of suggested tags - try to use ones that already exist where appropriate by clicking on the correct one presented as you begin to type.
- Links: are what point users to related content already in the community. Are there other posts related to your topic that will help people engage? Using the @ sign and typing keywords (spaces need to be "_" if you want to use multiple words in your search) will activate search in the community and make it easy for you to find and select a post, a place or a person to link to.
- Has someone posted a related question? - link to a post (in the first line of this post).
- Has someone answered a related question or is someone a known expert that could help? - you can refer to them in your post.
- Is there some external content that is particularly relevant? - you can insert a link using the web address.
- Categories: are pre-determined groupings to help organize specific types of post (this one, for example, is part of "Getting Started in the Green Circle Community"). You can add your post to a category if it makes sense, but there is no need to if you don't see one that works
- Call to Action: tells people what you want them to do after reading your post. Be clear. Set it off from other parts of the text. Use clear direct language to ask or tell readers exactly what you hope they will do after reading your post.
I hope these suggestions help you get the most out of your posts in the Green Circle Community.
Add your comments, suggestions or other best practices in response below!