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Building and Growing Online Communities

Building, Growth, Online Communities

Building and Growing Online Communities

Online communities enable brands to expand their audiences, sell products at higher margins, provide support services and more. Before your community can become successful, however, you must build and nurture it first.

To do this, it’s necessary to create a comprehensive strategy that sets goals both for your community and for your business, with overlapped goals ensuring effective implementation.

Promote Your Community

Before anyone can participate in your online community, they need to know it exists. Start spreading the word via email, social media and in-person events at local community gathering places.

Encourage existing members to invite friends and colleagues by rewarding them with exclusive content, discounts or points redeemable for rewards. This can be an effective way of growing your community naturally while simultaneously increasing engagement.

Visit blogs and groups active within your target audience’s space and engage with their conversation, casually mentioning how your community is the place where people can go for answers – you could even offer free content (blog post or webinar).

As soon as new members join your community, it’s essential that they can easily navigate a clear and straightforward pathway. A great way to do this is by creating a Welcome or Start Here section containing FAQs and helpful resources.

Encourage Participation

Encourage community participants to interact, dialogue and interact. When their participation increases their knowledge about your products and services, it may increase advocacy for you.

If you’re running an online course, let your students know that their discussion contributions count toward their grade; this will give them extra incentive to engage in discussions throughout their course and participate in forums on a regular basis.

Engaging your members by hosting regular events is another effective strategy to drive engagement. For example, consider scheduling “Ask-me-Anything Tuesday” so they have an opportunity to pose any queries they might not otherwise address.

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Reward your top advocates by giving them access to advanced information about the organization and product releases. This will make them feel they have an invested stake in both your organization and products.

Engage with Your Members

To keep your community engaged, it’s essential to regularly communicate with them. Determine their goals, and ensure your community can assist with meeting those objectives. Customer surveys, website interaction monitoring (which allows you to track how often your organization appears on social media), tracking average resolution times and self-service rates all play an integral part.

Establishing clear goals for your online community will encourage members to participate and interact with one another. This could be as simple as setting out that this space is meant for iPhone users looking for technical support, or that it provides tips and tricks about taking gap years.

As it’s essential that the community reflects what its members want from it, it is also crucial that you shift focus away from what your organization wants out of it and towards listening and acting upon what you hear from members.

Create Perks for Your Members

Online communities provide unique platforms that bring people and organizations together to collaborate towards achieving common goals. By moving away from one-way communication towards two-way dialogue, these communities deliver value beyond expectations.

Communities come in all forms: forums on social media platforms like Facebook or forums on membership websites like Patreon or creator platforms like Thinkific. Communities may focus on specific subjects or products – for instance a creative community for students of an online course or product offering.

Attracting new members by offering incentives can be a powerful way to encourage signups and participation. A brand may offer special content or discounts exclusively available to community members; creators could organize contests or host discussions to drive engagement. Whatever incentive you use, be clear about its purpose so you can easily measure its success against your goals, such as increasing customer loyalty or crowdsourcing innovation.

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Create a Safe Environment for Your Members

Establishing an online community can be a great way for businesses to connect with their customers, but it’s crucial that it remains safe. Communities provide a place for members to discuss products, ask questions, give feedback, and more. To make sure everyone feels welcome in participating, consider offering resources such as guides, FAQs, videos or live/recorded webinars as way of getting things underway.

Offering this type of support can save businesses money in customer support costs while simultaneously improving user experiences by enabling them to quickly and efficiently answer their own queries themselves. As a result, more people will join your community – 39% listed learning new things as one of the primary advantages of joining an online community! This strategy ensures your brand remains up-to-date and competitive.

Track Your Metrics

Once you’ve begun building an online community, it is crucial to track metrics. This will give an indication of whether your efforts are yielding any fruitful results and where improvements may be required.

Member engagement is one of the key metrics of any online community, and can be measured in many ways – for instance by counting how many members commenting or liking posts, sharing them on social media or commenting directly themselves.

Monitoring the growth of your community over time is also key. This can be accomplished by keeping an eye on how many new members join each month, and by monitoring average monthly active user counts.

Share of Voice is another metric that’s useful in measuring community. This measure indicates how your community compares with similar communities centered on similar topics.

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