This article is designed to provide an overview of how to build and manage your Community. While this guide is not meant to be comprehensive, it does include links to individual articles providing more detailed explanations on how to use specific features. Be sure to review these articles as well when setting up your Community for the first time.
1: General Management
All Community tools are found under the Panel Functions dropdown menu under Community Manager. You will find a Default Community already created in your Community Manager. It is recommended that you edit this Community rather than creating a new one. Additional communities can be created by selecting the New Community button.
1.1: How many communities should I create?
Most panels only require one community. These are panels where only one branding and domain is needed for the Community and outgoing emails. Because it is possible to add conditional logic to each page, you can create sections of the Community that are visible only to certain panelists, allowing you to create sub-communities within one website.
If your panel consists of sub-panels and each sub-panel requires its own branding and domain (or subdomain), you will want to create multiple communities. The most efficient way to develop multiple communities is to create a basic community containing all the texts and pages you need, then copy it and modify the theme as needed. Just be sure that when registering panelists, you either append the correct community ID to the registration URL or upload the correct community ID via the CSV importer. Community IDs can be found on the Community Manager landing page to the left of each Community's name. When appending the community ID to the registration URL, you will use the parameter &ks_cid= (Ex: mypanel.opinioninsight.com/?ID=1&ks_cid=1).
For more information, please visit this page.
1.2: How do I handle multilingual Communities?
If your community is multilingual, you will want to develop the English version first. Be sure to finalize all website pages, landing pages, and email communications. You can then download the English XML file from the Panel Language Manager. This XML file will contain all your community and email texts. Once the file is translated, upload the file back to the Language Manager. Your translations are now in place!
The next step will be to ensure that you have a subdomain in place for each language. The subdomain can be anything you like, but it is generally best to select something short and simple, such as the language code. If you have an English / Spanish Community, you will have two URLs:
- English: en.mypanel.com
- Spanish: es.mypanel.com
When registering respondents, you will want your registration survey to be multilingual as well. This allows panel to automatically store your panelist's language preference. This is done either by using the Language Selection system page in survey or by appending the lang code to the end of your registration URL (Ex: en.mypanel.com/?ID=1&lang=en).
The Community Settings page allows you to create universal settings for your Community. You will see multiple tabs across the top of the settings page; the two most-used tabs are Settings and Redemptions.
2.1: Settings Tab
The setings tab allows you specify how panelists are contacted from your Community (via email or SMS), how many double opt-in reminders they receive, and also allows to set restrictions on whether unsubscribed or blacklisted panelists can continue to login. You will want to familiarize yourself with the options below:
- General Settings
- Portal Settings
- Sender information for outgoing email
- Double opt-in reminders (Kinesis recommends at least 2 reminders no closer than 1-2 days apart)
If you are planning on integrating your Community with Facebook, you will also want to review the Facebook settings:
The Redemptions tab is where you will select which incentives you created in the Redemption Manager will be available to the Community. If you do not select anything here, no redemption options will show on the Rewards page.
The next seven menu item on the left (Themes through Menu Builder) are used to set up the pages, content, and menu system of your Community. The menu is designed for you to work with it in order from top to bottom.
Themes gives you access to the color CSS sheets of your Community. However, these are fully editable and you may add classes and stylings as needed. There is no access to the HTML structure of the site. Kinesis recommends a web designer work with the CSS sheets to get the website looking as you would like.
There are three basic themes to choose from and four CSS sheets that must be modified: desktop, smartphone, tablet, and feature phone. It is best to work with the desktop CSS first. Once it is finalized, you can then copy stylings over to the smartphone and tablet sheets. While you can also modify feature phone, most clients do not bother with setting this up as feature phone traffic is very low. Unless you are targeting a specific audience that will be using feature phones in high numbers, it is best to concentrate your energies on the other CSS sheets.
3.2: Page Elements
The next steps in setting up your Community will be to decide what pages and features you want to include. If you are working from the Default Community that came with your panel, you will want to review the Components and Pages to ensure that the site meets your needs. Each page in your community will consist of the following elements:
- header / footer
- banner (optional)
- component (this is the main function of the page and takes up the most room)
- widgets (optional; these take up space typically on the left or right-hand side of the page)
You can create as many of each as needed and apply them to each page for customization. Keep in mind, however, that you are restricted to one component per page. Once your page elements are created, you will need to drop them into individual pages. You will want to review the steps for creating unique pages.
3.3: Menu Builder
The very last step in putting together your site is to arrange your pages into the menu system. You will want to review the Community Menu Builder page for instructions on how to create and rearrange your menu items. Please keep in mind that you are restricted to 9 menu items across and an unlimited number of submenu items. Unless you modify the site's width, your menu will be approx. 960 pixels wide, so you will not want to create menu buttons that include lengthy texts. Be sure to preview your menu changes using the Preview Community button (do not use the Preview button within the menu builder as it does not take your CSS into account).
4.1: Landing Pages
As panelists complete surveys, they will be directed back to landing pages housed within the Community. Panelists will NOT be viewing Survey info pages. Landing pages can be edited under the Landing Pages menu item on the left. You do not need to add surrounding HTML here, such as headers/footers, etc. These will be added automatically based on what has been created in the Themes, headers & footers, etc.
4.2: Editing existing content
Editing content within your community is managed through the widgets and components tools. Find the module that needs editing and simply use the HTML editor to modify texts as needed (just as when you first created each module). Changes will appear on your site immediately. Additionally, new pages can be added to your site as often as needed and old pages taken down.
To keep traffic coming to your site, it is best to add fresh content to your site on a regular basis. This can be managed via a blog, survey data reports, discussion forums, and quick polls. Many clients will add fresh content to their site via additional widgets. Do not believe that you can only have three widgets on each page; because each widget is built via an HTML editor, you can create an unlimited number of widgets within widgets you have already created.
5: Email Communications
Several email communications originate from Community, including the double opt-in email, double opt-in reminder, password reset, and refer-a-friend emails. These should not be confused with panel project invitations, which are created via the Campaign tools in Panel Project Mode, or the Bulk Email tools.
5.1: Email Templates
The email template tool allows you to create a professional-looking HTML wrapper for your Community emails. A default template is created when your panel is set up. If you wish to modify the template, use the edit button next to the default email template. You do not need to create a new template.
By default, the template contains texts that you may not wish to include. The only text that is required when creating the template is %EMAILBODY%. This tag will be used to pipe in the texts you create within the Communications menu. However, you must adhere to the anti-spam legislation of your respondents’ countries. More information on anti-spam compliancy can be found here.
5.2: What type of email template should I create?
Most clients choose to use a responsive email template. These emails can be created via the Responsive Email Template tool, giving them a professional look and feel. Just be sure that you have an appropriate ratio of HTML to text; too much HTML will raise your email’s SPAM score.
Community Communications include all emails sent out via the Community website. Each email will use the email template if specified. Email texts are editable via an HTML editor. Community communications include:
- opt-in reminder
- password recovery
- refer a friend
- message containing new password (NOTE: this is no longer used)
6: Making Changes
Kinesis Community allows panel managers to update content in realtime for maximum flexibility. Accordingly, it's important to have a property testing and implementation protocol in place for making changes to the live site.
Kinesis recommends making two copies of a community each time changes are to be made. The first copy (copy #1) will serve as a backup, and the second copy (copy #2) will server as your testing grounds. Implement changes on copy #2, test extensively on all devices (desktops, tablets, and smartphones, across platforms), and then when all testing has been finalized copy your proven content / code / CSS over to the live community. If a mistake is made during this final process you always have copy #1 to retreive backup content / code / css.