By Julia Smekalina, News Partnerships
In October, Quartz launched a new edition called Quartz At Work. It’s directed toward business professionals who are looking to be better managers, build a career, and stay up-to-date with the latest research and trends around what it means to thrive in the modern workplace. When it came to building a presence on Facebook, Quartz At Work decided to launch as a closed Facebook Group, rather than a Page. The group is called Manage It: A Community for Managers by Quartz At Work, and it has become a place where readers can have meaningful and productive discussions around the topics that matter to them most.
We talked with Khe Hy, one of the editors of Quartz At Work, about why creating a Facebook Group was better suited to the edition, how they plan on managing it, how they’ll measure its success, and what their content strategy looks like.
Why did you decide to use a Facebook Group, rather than a Facebook Page, to launch the new Quartz At Work edition?
Something we’ve always heard from both readers and peers is that people didn’t know where to go to learn how to become a better manager. There’s no single manual for it and every situation is unique. This suggests to us that the ability to truly engage in conversations — whether we’re taking an active role in the conversation or not — would be better suited for this community of readers than the “push” approach of a traditional page.
Also, as a news team, we are going to experiment with various management/organizational approaches and we wanted a place where we could share and discuss those results with our readers — and we’ll encourage other members of the group to share feedback based on experiences with their own teams.
How are you thinking about your content strategy for the group?
We want the group to be global, actionable, and playful, and we’re developing a strategy that’s meant to be consistent with that vision. The moderators’ posts will typically have some kind of question to spark discussion and we will never just post links in isolation. We’ll encourage posts to facilitate the curation of ideas (whether asking them to share go-to podcasts or books, or interesting longform pieces they’ve come across) and ignite debate on timeless questions (i.e. “how do you grow your emotional intelligence?”) and more niche ones (i.e. Slack etiquette).
We want the voice of the group to be consistent with our voice as a newsroom, so you’ll also see a good helping of emojis, gifs, and punchy headlines.
How are you facilitating group member participation?
We’ve been fortunate that even a basic question such as “What skills are you looking to develop as a manager” has been answered over 100 times since our group’s creation, providing us with a nice little lens (and flywheel) about the topics that our group members care about.
Our editors and reporters, even Quartz editor in chief Kevin Delaney, are actively responding to posts/comments and in some cases encouraging commenters to broaden a pointed remark into a fuller post. We’ve asked a few polls, have crowdsourced some reading lists, and have kept the weekends a bit lighter as we broaden the discussion around more playful topics (i.e. “What music puts you in the flow?” or “Share something that you’re proud of”).
Who is your target audience/membership for the group?
This group is for anyone around the world who manages others, from first-time managers to seasoned executives, and really for anyone who aspires to lead.
What KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are you considering to determine whether this group is successful?
Our KPIs are focused on the quality and breadth of engagement and activity. These KPIs will likely benefit from member growth, but we’re not assuming that more members equates to higher-quality engagement.
Do you have any monetization plans for the group in the future?
We’re taking a holistic approach, focusing on the monetization of Quartz At Work as a whole. Our goal for the group is to create deeper engagement with the Quartz At Work community, fostering deeper engagement with the broader brand and with that, our ability to monetize it successfully.
How do you manage and staff the group day to day? How much of a commitment is that?
Four Quartz editors (me, Heather Landy, Sarah Kessler, and Jean-Luc Bouchard) are responsible for the group’s editorial strategy and are designated moderators. Jean-Luc and I have primary responsibility for the administrative aspects of the group. Internally, we have a content calendar and a Slack channel dedicated to managing the group. It’s still early to know the full extent of the commitment.
In the very early days we were more focused on getting the right posts to ignite conversation; as the group has grown, the activity has been centered around keeping the conversation going.
What do you hope readers will get out of being part of this group that would be different if they just followed a Page?
We believe that reading about management topics can only take one so far. You need to put these ideas in action by creating a genuine learning community, laboratory, and forum to discuss—and that applies to a really wide breadth of work-related topics.
We believe that community involvement will also help Quartz At Work to stay on top of the trends and innovations that are powering work in the new global economy.
Are there any specific moments, interactions, discussions etc. that have stood out so far?
We invited Tiago Forte, the founder of the productivity consultancy Forte Labs (and Quartz At Work contributor), to answer questions from the group. His “AMA” showed the breadth of questions and challenges that managers face each day. On one end of the spectrum, he was a cheerleader encouraging folks to start any kind of productivity system. And on the other end he addressed the subtle psychological behaviors of teams, such as how to implement knowledge management in decentralized organizations.
Learn More about Facebook Groups
If you have a Facebook Page and want to link or create a new group to engage your community — please find more detail here.
Want to know more about our latest tools to help grow and manage your group? We recently announced new tools such as welcome posts, badges, member profiles, new management controls, and expanded group insights.