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Why Role Access is a Community Manager's Best Friend

By: Christian Britto 11 Aug 2016


Connecting with members and encouraging them to make genuine connections with each other might be the most important charge of a community manager.

To do this, you have to put in the time to understand different breeds of users and the ebb and flow of their activity.

But if your community has thousands of members, hundreds of which are active on a daily basis, this is nearly impossible to pull off without robust software that will allow you to pull the strings of role access.

Using the power of role access wisely

Roles allow you to define and cluster community members according to your own definitions. Giving certain groups of users varying levels of access means you can distribute bulk permissions, manage swaths of user personas, and keep the community as a whole engaged on a granular level. 

Basically, you control who can see and do what in certain parts of the community. Imagine a role as a digital key card to the community that lets chunks of users through certain doors but keeps them out of others.

Your association has the perspective to pinpoint birds of a feather and make sure that they have the right role access to flock together. 

An example of user categorizations in role hierarchies: 

-Group Manager
-Super User

*This structure could also contain several additional tiers of users based on interest, seniority or membership level. You should customize your role hierarchies in accordance with the membership and community strategies you're trying to implement. 

Growing fast and focused 

One of the most significant strategic questions we get from new clients is how to structure their community and which parts of it should be walled.  The reason this is so hard to talk about is because it is at the root of every member-based organization - laying the guidelines for access to content and benefits. It's deeply rooted in community strategy, so it is a big decision to make. But it doesn't have to be sweeping, rigid decision. Community platforms have come a long way in recent years, and toggling roles is easier than ever before.

Managing role access will: 

  • Force you to define engagement and types of users in your community
  • Mirror the benefits of your membership tiers within your community structure 
  • Incentivize more involved memberships with access to more content and benefits 
  • Invite users to carve out their own place in the community based on their level of participation and access 
  • Encourage more frequent logins and conversions 
  • Streamline community management with bulk access control

Controlling expectations and engagement  

People expect more from member-based organizations than ever before.

Manage those expectations and increase their understanding of the work you do by using role access to establish a clear hierarchy of roles and memberships, and the benefits that come with each. Roles are just one of the secret weapons of online community management, but by mastering them, you can start having more engaged groups and better conversations immediately.

Learn more about online community management




Christian Britto

Written by Christian Britto

11 Aug 2016 in strategy, community management

Christian is the Operations Manager at rasa.io

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