Fool-Proof Guidelines for Online Community Building

Online Community Guidelines FollrBuilding an online community – whether it’s for your business, special interest, religious group, or even your child’s little league team – can seem like a constant uphill battle. If you’re struggling with your online community, or if you just want a few tips on how to enhance yours, we’ve got your all-you-need-to-know, comprehensive-yet-concise guide to online community building here. You’ll find tips on how to get started, what and when to post, and how to retain members/followers.

 

Getting Started

–               Once you’ve chosen your platform get to know the site by clicking around to other members’ profiles and communities. Take note of what you like and what you don’t like, a.k.a. learn from others’ mistakes.

–               Decide who your target audience is and don’t divert from it. Focus directly on this group of people and start following key prospective members on twitter and other social media outlets.

–               Search relevant hashtags and see what others are talking about around your topic or interest. This will tell you the kind of content you should start posting and discussing once you have your community up and running.

–               Keep in mind that building a following of members is not a one-time job. Keep searching and following, keep joining conversations and continue to invite key prospective people to your community. Shoot for one new active member per day.

–               Once you have a small community of members, start connecting them! Search their profiles for skills or interests they might have in common and encourage them to communicate with one another. If your followers see you as a connector who wants to help build their reputation and career, they’ll be more inclined to do the same.

–               When you get stuck, take a peek at this great list of Online Community Building Resources.

Posting & Engagement

–               Post content between 3-5 times per day and always once at the very least (yes, even if you’re on vacation!). Members want to see consistency and commitment.

–               Post original content – a link to your most recent blog post or, a conversation starter, etc. – at least once every other day, and post other relevant content often. Just make sure the source is credible and you’ve read the article in its entirety first.

–               ALWAYS respond to a member’s contribution with a thoughtful and gracious response.

–               Keep in touch with members who may become less active over time. Reach out and ask about a project their working on or a life event.

–               Frequent and meaningful Engagement is the key to scoring and retaining members. Keep at it no matter what and always be positive.

Member Retention

–               Offer thought-provoking content related to your topic of interest or business. Your goal is to make your community a staple of their online experience.

–               Try one of these 4 Online Community Engagement Ideas and see which one(s) your members respond to best.

–               Be candid. Put yourself out there. Tell the truth. Give members something they can relate to. They’ll feel more connected and feel drawn to keep checking in every once in a while to see what’s new.

Good Luck with your new online community!

This entry was posted in Community Building, Follr, Social Media and tagged , , , , , , , , by Laura Johnson. Bookmark the permalink.

About Laura Johnson

Laura - a Texas native & Southern California transplant - is a new breed of media mogul. With experience and interest in all sorts of industries – Tech, Finance, Fashion, Wine & Spirits, Journalism – It’s no surprise www.Follr.com swooped her up to head their social media and content strategy. Media and Journalism being in her blood (Dad owns Dallas-based media powerhouse Success Partners), she’s a fresh & well-rounded authority on all things currently taking over the universe. As for accolades, Laura started writing and editing for SUCCESS.com before she had her high school diploma. From there she organized and lead massive email and print campaigns for international social justice organization, Invisible Children’s some 500k donors and helped weather the media MEGA-storm that was #KONY2012. With degrees in International Business & Economics, Laura then left the non-profit world to become the social media strategist for a SoCal based fashion retailer. In addition to freelance writing and blogging, she spends her free time taking in as many beautiful San Diego sunsets as possible and perfecting the G&T (extra lime please).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *