I'm sure my group is much like yours in that we'd all like about 50 more people to help us manage our communities and an extra 5 hours in every day to get it done. However, the reality is that's not going to happen. In order to keep up with all of our communities my group continues to stay creative in our approach to reach as many as possible.
Among all of our groups we identified 50 that are the MOST critical to our core business base on a number of different factors (purpose of the community, size, and activity). We next did a quick scan of those 50 and communities and quickly called out any glaring issues (very poor page layout, no clear statement of community purpose, poor content quality) and offered quick suggestions.
The last step seemed to be the most powerful...We drafted a simple communication to the community owners and made them feel special. We started off the communication by saying "Congratulations!!!! You have a community that is among the 50 most valuable"
This seemed to really get their attention.
Then below that we offered 4 simple tactical things the community owner could do to help keep their community alive and well. Those items were as follows;
We got several great responses from this communication. Some of which stating they had no idea their community was so popular. This is clearly not a one-size fits all approach but has worked pretty well for us. We are still tracking this to see if the communities continue to grow and thrive but so far so good!