When you think of an online community, what comes to mind? Do you think of a forum, Slack channel, or social network filled with thousands or millions of users constantly chatting? Maybe you imagine a relatively small group of a hundred or so members who are all passionate about a common topic.
Successfully building an online community is often one of the most challenging and greatest accomplishments for any professional on the web. Building an online community isn’t something that happens instantly.
Regardless of whether you’re aiming for something large or small, with the right amount of effort, you can successfully build a lively community that encourages collaboration.
Tips for Getting Started
In order to build your community, you need to first gauge your audience and understand what their needs and wants are. Once you’ve gathered your information, make a list of the positives and negatives.
Then take those key points key points and use surveys and user interviews to gain additional context.
You should let the community know that they can be heard, making the user feel at ease when online, which will encourage them to stick around and contribute.
Think outside the box when communicating with your community. Utilize all the information you have. Community managers should make sure to always keep plenty of notes. Users love it when others make shoutouts for them or remember something that they said.
To drum up engagement on social media, use sweepstakes and challenges with hashtags, retweets, likes, and shares. For example, you could start regular features such as #WisdomWednesday (give out a piece of advice that day) or #FanFriday (feature a fan or do a giveaway that day). Use holidays to your advantage, doing something to celebrate them on behalf of your brand or product that is relevant to the community.
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