If you’ve ever thought about growing your online community and yet, every time that you start, you end up feeling defeated and challenged, you’re not alone. If you think that there’s nothing left you can do to grow your online community that thrives and interacts online, there’s hope. Maybe you already have a solid online community and need some help with giving it a substantial boost––if this is true, then you’ve come to the right place. Below we’ve collected our top ten tips to grow an engaged online community so that you have a loyal and interactive community.
Know Your Target Audience
Whether you’ve already started building your community or are just starting one, it’s important that you know your target audience and know them well. These are your people, and you need to ensure that you treat them as such. When you start a company, you usually have the idea of who the company is intended for in mind. When you know the people you’re marketing to and creating content for, the chances that you’ll connect with them are much higher. When you know who you’re building an online community for, you’ll find it easier to build it.
Encourage Real Feedback
Too many companies are prideful and only want to hear the good things about their company and community. In reality, you should ask your members what you’re doing with your community that’s working and what their honest feedback is about what can change. If you want an outgoing and thriving community, you have to be willing to hear everything from your members, even the bad things. What you might think is bad can be incredibly beneficial for your community if you implement the changes they advise to improve your group. More than that, creating a space where members feel safe and welcome and can share their honest opinion will create a warm environment.
Make New Members A Priority
When you’re trying to grow your community, you must treat anyone new that joins your community with value. Make them your priority and show them that you appreciate them by welcoming them to the community and giving them the details of the group. You want to ensure that new members know precisely what your group is and get the full rundown of what you offer, the purpose of the group and how to navigate their way around. Sometimes a welcome post is needed to let new members know the basics and make current members aware of the new members in the group.
In a day and age where everyone seems to be faking it on the internet, you want to be a breath of fresh air by being genuine. If you’re working on growing your online community, one of the best things you can do is be honest with your customers. If it’s not coming naturally to you to be genuine with your customers, remember your reason for starting your online community. Remember why you love your business and want to share it with people––being real will come naturally once you remember your core values.
Be Bold With Your Content
These days, companies are nervous about posting their content and are wary of sharing anything that could cross the line. Sometimes it can feel that the best route is to continue publishing the same content when in reality, this is the last thing you want to do. Sometimes experimenting with posting and trying new types of content is what you need to push your brand to a new level and find new ways to succeed with your online community. Try experimenting with content and see if anything new works better to grow your community. For instance, switch up your content to posts with long captions if you’ve been posting videos. You never know what could work, and sometimes the most minor changes make the most significant impact on your community.
Too many brands say they’ll set goals and then don’t get honest about them and set them. Setting community goals is essential for growing your community and knowing what goals you want to achieve with it. Start with outlining clear, concise goals and setting your expectations for your community, and then write down how you can achieve these goals. You don’t want to waste your time or the time of those in your community by not being clear about the expectations of the community and setting goals for how you can achieve those.
Settle On A Social Media Platform
The social media platform you choose to use for your online community will play a massive part in its success and how your members thrive with it. That’s why it’s so important to know your audience; the social media platform you choose will be significantly influenced by your audience and what works best for them. This forum will be where members of your community can connect and chat. You want to ensure that it’s a social media platform they love and will enjoy using. Knowing your audience will help you understand where they feel most comfortable and which social media platform will work best for them.
Don’t Be Too Strict With The Guidelines
When listing your community guidelines, it can be easy to get caught up with them and make them strict, but this is the opposite of what you want to do. Stay cool with the community guidelines and instead stick to the basics that ask your members to treat each other with mutual respect. You want to include guidelines that will create a safe and trusting environment for community members where they feel valued. However, you don’t want members to feel they’re restricted to new degrees and can’t do anything without getting in trouble. So keep your guidelines basic, and don’t be too strict to keep things as relaxed as possible.
Do A Personalized Spotlight For Members
When attempting to build an online community, it is essential to make members feel valued and appreciated. Start by focusing on the community aspect of the online group, such as providing opportunities for members to interact and engage with one another. This could include activities or events that bring members together or provide members with exclusive content or discounts when they’ve done something that stands out. Making members feel special and focusing on the community aspect of the group will help foster a sense of belonging and loyalty to the online community. When particular members stand out, maybe for their level of participation in the group or how they contributed over time, make sure you notice them.
Create Quality Content
Typically when it comes to growing your engaged community, you’ll hear a lot about creating content without focusing on the content you’re creating. Although the amount of content you’re producing matters, what’s even more important is the content you’re putting out. The more you research, the more you’ll find the quality content that you need to be producing, and when you put out content, it will do well and be worth the time and effort you put in. The more time that you spend on researching, the higher quality content it will be when you produce it