As an online community manager, you must be careful while planning and executing platform migration. It is a delicate process through which you build a new home for your members. To make it easy and efficient for you, we have broken down the migration process into four critical steps.
1. Decide when it’s time to migrate
Picking the right platform is essential, so you’ve already made a great choice! However, it will help if you exercise caution while timing the migration. You’ve to ensure that you don’t hinder any current conversations in the existing platform.
You also need to verify that all the necessary documentation such as community guidelines, FAQs, etc. has been migrated. If you didn’t have such documentation before, here’s your chance to create them.
2. Prepare for new community takeoff
Informing all your members are fully aware of the community’s move is only half the battle. You must also consistently communicate with your members about the reasons for migration. By answering any doubts they may have, you will increase their buy-in of the new community platform.
You should also draft a communication plan to keep them informed as early and often as possible about the launch date. It is vital to set migration KPIs such as account creation, discussion posts, etc. These KPIs will help you measure the success rate of your migration.
3. Manage the migration of members
After the initial migration, you must log your current activity data, KPIs, and users. It will give insights on how your members feel about the new platform. You are likely to receive tons of questions from them – so, you must be available to address their concerns.
You can also use this data to see who needs assistance while helping such members to come up to speed on new platform functionalities.
4. Proactively encourage participation
Getting active participation from your members is the most crucial part of the migrating journey. You can accelerate it by running contests, polls, and focused chat discussions. These will provide contextual cues to your members about why they need to be excited about the new platform. You could even start a weekly “tips and tricks” thread or create use cases that highlight new functionalities.
After all, if your members are engaged from the get-go, they may prove to be invaluable. For instance, they may even unearth a flaw you may have missed in beta testing!
Despite the complicated journey of online community migration, in the end, – online community managers are bound to breathe a sigh of relief. Remember that you decided to move for very valid reasons. And building a community takes time because meaningful engagement doesn’t happen overnight. Especially when you are shifting your home base, things can be tricky.
We hope that these four steps gave you clarity on how you can plan and ensure a successful migration.