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Community Labels and Tags Strategy

Content Coordinator

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Does the phrase, "Help! I can't find the content I need in the community." sound familiar? Many communities struggle with this issue but don't know where to start to fix the problem.

A good place to start is to look at your community's labels and tags. These categorization features are often overlooked and can greatly improve content navigation. 

One way to think about the hierarchical relationship between labels and tags and their place in your community is through the lens of an encyclopedia. But first... 

How to use an encyclopedia: A refresher 

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Remember when encyclopedias had all the answers? How did you find the information you needed quickly amongst all those pages?

Chances are you looked at the sections within the chapters first to see where you should start searching. After skimming through and picking up some keywords, you hit the index to see where else that keyword might be used and get to learning.

Now, let's apply this resource concept to your community

  • Your community as a whole
    • Encyclopedia Series
  • The categories within your community 
    • The individual volumes that make up the encyclopedia
  • The different discussion types Blogs, Forums, TKBs, and Ideas 
    • Chapters within each volume
  • Labels defined for the different category discussion styles 
    • Sections within the chapters intended to show what broad topics are covered
  • Tags included by content authors
    • Keywords / Glossary / Index at the back of the volume.

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Okay, so what you might be thinking is that nobody reads encyclopedias anymore; they scroll through social media and get fed content.

Well... you're right. But these platforms organize content in a similar manner that aims to feel familiar so users can find new things to follow.

Same concept, applied to social media channels

  • Social media as a whole
    • This is the Encyclopedia Series
  • The apps, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok 
    • These are the different volumes
  • The search or browse section within the app
    • This is equivalent to a chapter. (Most social media apps have 3 content discovery chapters: Home, Search, and Notifications. Search gives the best visibility to label usage for this example.)
  • Categories at the top of the search or browse section
    • These are sections which broadly define the content, just like predefined labels
  • The bottom of the posts contain hashtags
    • These are the keywords that can link other posts together

Take a quick look at the images of social media search for a visual of predefined labels and user-defined tags in social media. 

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Combing through an encyclopedia without sections and keywords to find a specific topic is near-impossible. Predefined labels and user-generated tags help define the content and guide users throughout your community. Well-structured labeling benefits are always worth the effort, but there are many ways to think about them or how to use them.

Comment below and tell us how you use labels in your community or ask any questions about this encyclopedia method. Visit the Labels section of Community Docs to learn more about Labels. 

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