There are a few key strategies every brand or creator should keep in mind when trying to expand their online community. From just starting out and choosing a channel of focus, to hosting spaces across multiple channels – these tactics can help drive engagement and growth for any online space you host.
Engage influential members of your community to provide feedback on what works and doesn’t work for their members, such as providing them with their own dedicated channel or permitting them to beta test new products.
1. Promote Your Content
By creating content tailored specifically to the interests of your target audience, they’ll be more inclined to join and participate. Start by identifying common interests among ideal members and then narrow them further by sub-niches like workout routines, metabolism-boosting exercises and hydration tips.
Once your niches and topics are in place, it’s time to invite people into your online community. Use email, social media and alternative marketing materials to spread the word about it; consider offering webinars, early bird offers or personality tests as incentives to encourage people to participate actively.
As your community expands, channels (also known as groups, threads or circles) may help members find what they need quickly and give them ownership over their space. For instance, creating a channel dedicated to active members could demonstrate to all that their contributions are valued within your community.
Make the most of your community to unearth ideas to enhance, expand and strengthen your business over time. Your community members may share innovative products and services ideas; provide feedback that allows you to refine offerings; or upload user-generated content that lowers marketing costs while offering social proof.
2. Engage Your Members
An exceptional community experience keeps members coming back, increasing both customer lifetime value and referral rates. Use automation or personalized emails to highlight members’ successes, questions, or ideas and encourage participation; for instance Herizon encourages newcomers to book an initial meeting with their community manager when joining as this helps the team understand each member’s individual needs more quickly.
Finding compelling reasons to remain a member requires constant engagement from membership organizations. One effective method for doing this is offering everyday perks that justify membership fees such as discounts at restaurants or shops – this strategy works equally well in maintaining existing members and recruiting new ones.
Social media can also help boost community interest. MoneySavingExpert, for instance, runs regular lists of its top tips and recommendations – these prove extremely popular – drawing in new members while stimulating debate. You could also encourage members to create profiles highlighting their passions, experiences, or opinions to make connecting easier for others – these strategies require some time and investment but could pay dividends by decreasing member churn.
3. Encourage Participation
To expand your community, it is vital that your members actively participate and share your content. A great way to achieve this is through encouraging discussions and forums; these will foster a sense of belonging within the group while aiding collaboration between members.
Encourage participation within your community by offering benefits to its members, such as exclusive webinars, live Q&A sessions, personality tests or any other valuable content that cannot be found elsewhere. Not only will these perks make your community more appealing to prospective newcomers but will help to retain existing members too!
Finally, to encourage participation by motivating community members. You can do this by offering them feedback on their contributions and acknowledging their efforts – this will demonstrate to your members that you value their suggestions in developing products and services for them.
Enhance participation by highlighting your community’s best discussions on social media platforms. MoneySavingExpert’s community is growing quickly due to highly engaged and helpful discussions that they facilitate on a regular basis, and are actively present on social media to attract newcomers by showcasing the benefits of membership and providing clear rules on their sign-up page to make understanding what is expected easier for individuals.
4. Encourage Sharing
Community managers use many strategies to encourage sharing and foster their online communities, including offering free entry to the group, featuring member promotions, assigning specific days for members to promote their businesses, organizing industry challenges and hosting webinars, as well as encouraging content creation such as articles or eBooks while outlining clear community guidelines.
Once your core group of members have come together, it’s essential that they feel motivated to help expand your community. Offer them free access to your platform or reward their participation with exclusive offers such as webinars, early bird specials or personality tests – these could all serve as incentive.
Establish a list of influential members or industry influencers from your community and ask them to promote its content with their followers. You should also provide easy-to-use tools so your members can post links from their social media accounts and websites directly into the community.
Create sub-communities tailored to the unique needs and interests of different demographic groups or user types, such as Duolingo’s community of users learning languages by contributing content and participating in discussions. Establishing these niche communities will enable you to better connect with your target audience while driving long-term ROI.