Building a community or forum is a great way to generate user content and build a business with a strong following. Communities are fostered around relationships whether offline or online and in order to grow an online community it’s important to adhere to the few tips we have outlined below.
Here are a few things to know about Forums and online Community.
Get the best community managers:
You can’t build a community without having a proper community manager, and you must be certain that the culture is present at all levels of the business.
The digital environment in which we live in today can be extremely distracting and it;s important the community manager is able to eject himself and place himself in this community so that he doesn’t lose touch of what’s happening outside of it.
It’s important to have social observations and interactions to give fresh perspectives of the community.
Support is a very important aspect of having a community. People want to speak with the support and customer service.
Every problem is a unique situation, so personalization of the support experience should continue to reinforce the community feeling. Don’t send canned messages and be as authentic as possible.
Community managers should be real people with their own characteristics and personalities who engage with the community not only via individual messages, but also through the platform itself. You want your community to know you on an individual basis and not just see you as a faceless brand entity.
Integrating people within a community and introducing them to the particular culture that drives your community is important, and this can be done through a series of welcome emails and an extensive FAQ list that people could quickly go through.
Always be focused on exposing your new members to the culture and grow quickly as possible with guiding documents, interaction on a high level is important to grow your community and moderation.
Ensure the idea of the community and the culture is seen through all your communications.
Foster a unique community culture
In the process of building your community it’s important to understand your community language and what your community members are communicating with. For example at the fastlaneforum.com, members call themselves fastlaners, which is a term coined to represent influential, wealthy and rising entrepreneurs.
You can reinforce culture by talking to your users and understanding the way they interact with each other. this way you pick up on “terms” and “slangs” that you can reinforce in your own marketing communications.
Use Moderators to grow your community.
Moderators help to enable your community grow by providing order, content and processes to your community. They help to moderate content and ensure that order is maintained within your community.
Select community moderators who know the culture well and stay in touch with them. In the larger sense, moderation should become a task for the community itself, with community managers just preserving culture and encouraging others to moderate themselves by flagging inappropriate posts.
You want to give the community a sense of integrity and ownership of what is being posted, and make members feel as much a part of the company as the people who are employed by it.
Ensure that content created is around your business objectives, it’s important to build content that positively contributes to your business. Figuring the types of content are popular within each community cultural context is important to create content that is engaging among community members.