Building an Online Community: What You Need to Know

DSM Digital School of Marketing-online community

Recently a lot has been asked regarding what some of the best ways are of building an engaged online community.

It’s mainly because building a community can be lucrative for a business, if done right of course.

Having a community around your business gives you the edge over competitors solely because of the fact that you are changing the narrative of the marketing landscape.

Instead of putting your marketing messages in front of people, you are allowing people to move closer to your brand while getting them to first interact with you.

Most businesses today are considering more niche platforms, such as Ning.

They want content-focused communities similar to Medium, and even moving to double-down on platform-based groups on LinkedIn or Facebook.

And the real question is, which will deliver the finest results and what can be done to maximise those efforts?

Because there’s a wavering display of results from all different platforms.

Which then ultimately reflects on how little or how much, they’ll end up profiting an organisation is mostly dependent on four important factors.

Like one great man said; it is the quality of our questions that gives us our quality of life.

A few questions to keep in mind when it comes to building your online community.

Do you have a willingness to foster a community? 

Remember, there’s a big difference between posting content and nurturing a community.

Another wise man once said: “No one cares about how much you know until they see just how much you care.” Which is true, growing a community requires a lot of effort.

You would need to show your community that you care about their views and opinions, by simply taking the time to engage with them, through thoughtful commentary.

Yes, it’s time-consuming, yet the investment in building it is worth it, and it will be long-standing.

Do you offer value?

There is nothing worse than being part of a group where the group owner posts nothing but sales pitches.

You will need to offer value if you want people to stick around. Hardcore sales posts will push people away and leave you empty-handed.

Don’t force them in; allow them to opt-in!

Refrain from forcing your connections into the said community.

People are notorious for adding connections to groups lacking their permission.

It’s a simple no go; you must allow people to opt-in themselves.

Are you meeting people where they are or are you simply asking them to join you?

Facebook groups won’t vanish anytime soon.

Audiences are already on the platform daily, and there has been little need for them to go anywhere else.

Because ultimately, people want what’s convenient.

So bare this in mind when considering where to look for building your community.

The most important thing is always to give the people what the people want! And find them at their most relaxed state. 

The Bottom Line

It’s simple, like everything else, you only get out of groups, exactly what you put in.

Meaning building an engaged online community requires you to put the community first, establishing and nurturing relationships over time by sharing helpful content, and serving your community needs.

So in that sense, maybe the most significant question of all is ‘are you keen on doing the work, or rather what it takes?

Well, take your time, although you shouldn’t think about it too long, because very soon your competitors will lead the game.

Think about it, business landscapes are changing and then so should your policies and the efforts you employ. In essence, you’d need to play the Modern day game.

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