How To Build An Online Community
Building a community online isn't as difficult as you may think. An online community is a great way to bring people together from different backgrounds, connect and inspire one another. Having such a community also brings further benefits to your brand such as genuine relationships and opportunities from networking. Also, potential revenue from engaged followers. But, in order to build a loyal and strong community, it requires time and consistency.
How you can start building an online community today!
The most important aspect before starting the community is your values of your WHY, WHAT and HOW
Why do you want to start the community? Your why behind the start of something will be the driving factor of how you remain consistent. What do you want your community to experience or learn? Consider what will make it beneficial for them. And lastly, how would you like the community to be? and considering how certain needs can also be met. Although these may shift with time and experience. Having the core values outlined will build the foundation and direction of the community, and the people you attract.
Create community rules and guidelines
This is an important step to take so that your community is protected from any trolls, spam, or abuse. Making these clear at the start also informs new members on what behaviour is acceptable and what is not. For example, If you do not tolerate explicit language and make it clear in the community rules, it is more likely for your community and new members to also share the same principle and abide by the set rule. Set rules will also save you time. As they are already in place, community members will know what is accepted and what is not.
Choose your community platform
One of the great advantages of social media is that there are many options when it comes to choosing a free platform for your community. One of the most popular platforms for groups and communities is Facebook and Linkedin. There is also the option to have your own community where you are in control of all the content and branding. This can be created on the following sites; Thinkific, Wix and WordPress.
Set up and start!
Now that you have the community values set, rules and guidelines in place and chosen the platform, it is time to set up the community and start. When starting, be specific with your images. colours and fonts for your audience. Aim to have them aligned with your brand and inviting. Create a community description and a welcome message which is positive to encourage new members to join and reinforce why the community will help them.
Building an online community can seem daunting initially with all the steps, but once you start... The results are worth it!