5 Steps to Create a Vibrant Community
If you’ve ever been lost in a sea of people. you know how it feels to be separated from your group. It’s almost impossible to find them unless they’re wearing something bright and out of the ordinary. That’s what you want for your online community: spark and uniqueness. Giving your community an edge can be done in a variety of ways. You can do something as basic as changing the color scheme on your website to creating forums to encourage more interaction. The possibilities are endless and there is always room for improvement. But here are some key steps that should be utilized to help set you apart from other online communities.
This may come across as an obvious step but you want to target to the right audience by:
- Identifying what you want
- Telling potential readers what you want achieved
- Letting readers know what your strengths are
It’s impossible to please everyone, but it is important to state what content will be shown from the start. You want to define what kind of audience you target.
After you stated what your purpose is and what kind of audience you want to attract, you need to find a topic your online community will revolve around:
- Promote great content
- Know what you’re talking about
- Be consistent
It’s important to set yourself aside from everyone else. Try to put your own unique spin on what you are writing. Adding infographics and videos can spice up your content. Once you have finalized on what your topic should be, make sure you do your research before you post any content. You want your readers to know that you are knowledgeable about what you are writing. Lastly, post content consistently. It is frustrating for a reader if you post massive amounts of content for three weeks and have a hiatus of three weeks.
Your online community will not be able to thrive without your users, make sure to give some TLC by:
- Feeding the community’s needs
- Building relationships
- Getting personal
It’s important to know what your audience wants to read. If you don’t want content that is a snooze fest, make sure you ask what people want to see. This will start up interaction within the community which allows you to build intimate relationships.
Like any good relationship, you need to continue to learn more about one another by:
- Responding to comments
- Taking a comment to a whole other level by making it into a conversation or into your next topic
- Getting active participation by having constant flow of information or by opening up the floor with forums
Interaction should be encouraged and this can be achieved in a number of ways. If you are just starting up with your online community, it would be a great idea to have one on ones with the audience. Taking the reader’s opinion into consideration will make them feel that their opinions are valued. Constant engagement will help promote the content to the public, readers who really enjoy your content will act as advertisement for your online community.
Networking is key. It’s hard to make your community to blossom without help of others. Here are a few ways:
- Reach out to different people through social media sites
- Share content other than yours
- Make Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn buttons on your page noticeable and just one click away
Building your online empire requires more than you providing content to the readers, you also need to reach out other people with online communities that is relevant to your content. You need to find people that want to contribute to your online community, and you want people that has great content that you can share with your readers.
Lively Communities In Real Life
One great example of a community that implemented some of these key steps is Schooldude. Schooldude is a cloud-based solution that caters to the unique needs of each educational institution. Interaction between the reader’s for this online community has made this community very successful. Schooldude has a place for people to participate in discussions, ask and answer questions, and contributing to what they want to see next. Schooldude has implemented steps 3,4, and 5 and they have quite an impact in their community. Imagine if all 5 steps were put together, your online community will be more vibrant
Another real-life example is Cleanipedia.They are an online community that answer questions about different ways to clean household items. Cleanipedia has implemented the first
4 key steps stated. A purpose was stated, and you can tell by the name of their website that this community will discuss about different cleaning methods. If you look through the website, a total number of asked and answers questions are shown. You can see they answer questions consistently and there are only a few unanswered questions. This not only shows consistency, it also shows Cleanipedia as a responsive online community. As you continue to look through the website, you can see there is a section about most popular topics. They are catering to the community’s needs by showing relevant links people want to see. Cleanipedia has hit most of these key steps, and look how successful they are. Implement these 5 steps and your online community will be golden.
There are endless ways to spice up your online community. Building a vibrant community is a lot of work and it can get overwhelming at times. Other than building your community from the ground up, there are different softwares that will help maintain organization for you. But if you prefer to do everything yourself, these 5 steps will help you stick out. You never have to worry about losing your friends in a sea of people ever again.
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