I’ve been working on my ideas for building a community and thought I’d share them with you. First I’ve broken down the process into 5 points. Then in my infographic below you can see some more of my ideas.
How to build a community
Step one: Research
First define your aims, what kind of a community do you need? Can you tap into an established community, if not what value could you add? You need to do background checks on how your competitors are doing it, what the best communities in the world are like and figure out why. You also need to check out your expected audience and find out more about them.
Step two: Prepare
You’ve done the ground work, but you need to make some decisions on who will be moderating the community and where the conversation will take place. Take a ‘snapshot’ of where your brand is right now to compare it to future results. Figure out who will provide content, how often and what kind you will need. Write a detailed plan, and include what you will do when something goes wrong.
These first two steps may take some time but it’s worth it.
Step three: Create
Design your site to be easy-to-use and clear, consider whether you need obvious branding. Think about the kind of content that your audience will like and when you’ll be publishing it. Have a stock of generic content incase of a busy spell. It’s important to maintain the community constantly.
Step four: Grow
Look at what your audience is responding to and do more of it. Encourage them to tell other people and reward them for good behaviour. Keep researching who your audience are down to the finer details and categorise the role they play in the community. Keep an eye on brand advocators and trolls.
Step five: Moderate
It’s important throughout the process to have rules and regulations in place that the community members need to adhere to, make these very clear. As your community grows you may find they moderate themselves more but if whether they do or don’t you’re the ‘fall-guy’.
Building a community infographic
(Click on it to make it big-sized)
The Seven Principles of Community Building/The Art of Creating a Community/8 things to avoid when building a community/Five rules for building a successful online community/The ultimate list of resources