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Building a Community on your Site: Forum, Groups and Community Settings

Hi, everyone. It's Olivia from Simparo, and today we're going to be talking about building a community on your membership site. So, essentially, what are those community features that are available to you and to your members when when you have a membership site? So the first thing that we're gonna talk about today is the membership site form. Now a form is a great way for you and your members you to interact with your members and your members to interact with each other.
So the forum, the membership site forum, is available to everyone who has access access to this membership site. So, yeah, so this is a public forum for the membership site. To add a forum post, you can click this button in the top right corner, add the post like Wednesday comments or whatever you want it to be, body text here, And you can also pin, which means a pin a post, which means it can it will go to the top of the forum. You can publish it right away if you're ready. You can schedule it to be published at a later date.
And you can also create or work on a forum post and leave it in draft if you're not ready to get it up on the site yet. So you can create forum posts Now, the other thing to note here is that you can create categories for your forum posts. So when you are on the forum tab of the membership site, you can hop over to the forum settings, this little link in the top right corner. And here are some options here. First of all, in the in the right side column, you'll see forum categories.
So right when I created my forum post just now. It automatically shows general discussion because that is the only form category that I currently have. If I were to add a forum post like thoughts or whatever. Update that. I can add as many categories as I want And then if I go back to my forum, so we'll just take a look here.
If I want to to for example, to change that, you'll see now that I have the option to change to a different category. And then I can pin to the top of the forum and I can also pin to the category. So I'm gonna change this to my new category, publish it, and save. Now let's take a look at what that looks like on the back end or on the front end. I'm sorry.
So on the side, you'll see that there are they'll show the categories. Here, your your members can write posts. And they can also comment on other forum posts. So if I were coming in here, I can comment on a post, and I can also comment on other posts. And this is what it'll look like to your members.
And they can come in and look at different categories. And comment and like and all of those fun things. Alright. Let's go back to the back end and we're gonna talk about groups. So essentially, we talked about the forum being a public forum.
It's available to everyone who has access to the site. Groups are private closed forums on the membership site. Good example of a use case here would be if you have a cohort of a course that's going from June to July, and you have another you're running the same course. A few months later, but you want to separate or if you have different courses on the site and you want only those people in those courses, to communicate with each other. This is what groups are for.
So you can hop over to that group's tab, create a group, Test group. And you can create that group here. Once you have created a group, each group has a private forum. So if I go back to the membership site, I already had created a group here. You can add it now becomes the same the same user interface.
To create forums. And it's the same of what we just walked through, except it's closed off specifically. So if you click that little settings tab here, these are the forums or the settings for the group. It's self. So you have to enable the forum of the group.
And then for forum posts, you have these options. For each group. So moderate means that you that you will be emailed and notified of a new post and you can say yes, I allow this to be on the membership site or no, I don't allow this to be on the membership site in the forum. Allow means that you're not going to be moderating any comments or forum posts. And you can also, if you don't want to use that community feature, you cannot allow forum posts from your members.
So that's completely up to you. Alright. So now we're going to talk about the settings, the community features on the membership site level. So underneath the figure tab of the membership site. There is a a little section here called community features.
This is what we're going to talk about. We're going to get to engagement badges. In just a second, we're going to talk about the blog. And we're also going to talk about the member directory. So If you leave this toggle off, you can like.
Your members will be able to like and love and add reactions to comments and posts. If you allow comments without a login that's really only necessary if the site is made public, most of the time, a membership site is going to be a closed site. And then we're gonna talk again with badges in a second. But first, we're gonna talk about the member directory and member profiles. And then if you allow the member directory, then you're also allowing the mentioning of other members.
Someone can say at this member, I'm replying to you or tagging you in this. So the member directory, we're gonna take a look at the site. If you have enabled the member directory, you can add it to your page here. Oops. Sorry about that.
I added the wrong URL. Here to add it to the navigation. But here's what it looks like from the member's point of view. So this is all of the members. You can add this the picture comes from your profile.
So if someone is a member of the site, they can go to their profile. And well, this is my my profile here. But if I go to my account. Sorry. And I can go to my profile and I can add a photo to my profile.
But here is also this is what the member directory for each person can look like. So this is what you see initially. And here are all the members at the site. And when I click on a member of the site, I see when they joined the site, I see any badges that they have. I'll show you that last.
And also any comments and posts that they have made on the forum. So great way to interact great way for other members to to see the members of the site and see what they're commenting on and all of that fun stuff. You also noticed or I hope you noticed, we're going to go back and take a look again, that we also talk about a blog here. So each site has a blog feature. Here you can add blog posts.
So obviously, only you can create a blog post. The forum is like a public forum where people can post and comment A blog is is your standard blog. So I can create a blog post. And the blog is gonna look something like this. And if you want, you can allow people to comment on blog post and all that stuff depending on the settings under the configure tab.
You can also display engagement badges. So the last thing we're gonna talk about here are engagement badges. When you are on the back end here and you click these 3 dots, you're going to see this option engagement. Now engagement batches are like a fun way to kind of gamify the community. So you can we have these default engagement badges here with, like, the little icon.
And you can also create your own engagement badges. So I wanted to create a new engagement badge. Something like that. You can choose the bad color. You can choose the emoji that it uses, the 1 that it shows.
And then you can also choose how this badge is awarded. So you can manually add badges, you can award a badge for how many forum posts somebody has has written. Posting comments, how many, anytime. You have a lot of options here. You can revoke a badge after a certain amount of time.
And so the the it's just a yeah. Just a fun way to to keep it fun out there. And Let's go back to engagement. You can also edit our engagement badges. So here you can change the name And if you come over here to click the pencil, you can also change this 1 as well.
So you can choose like how it's awarded. And Let's go and add an engagement badge just manually so we can see what it looks like. So if you wanted to manually add an engagement badge, you could select the member. And you can choose adding engagement badge. And I can say great work.
There's my engagement badge. And so now if this member were to post on a forum, or comment on a blog or anything like that. Let's go to the members. If I were to post, this person were to post on a forum, the engagement badge would just show up next to their name. Alright.
So I hope that that gives you some fun ideas of how to engage the community on your membership site. Thanks so much.

If you would like to create a community (or many) on your membership site, there are different ways that Simplero can help. You can create forums and interact with your members via comments or emoji reactions. You'll be able to organize your members based on the group they belong to and have multiple forums under the same membership site with wider access permissions and broadcast configuration.

You can also create excitement using engagement badges, and configure your notifications.

If you would like to know more, have a look at our How To Guides:


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