When creating and building an online community it is important to put yourself in the members' shoes and think about what he or she would want to gain from your community. Do they want knowledge? Connection? A quick laugh? In order to have an active and thriving group of members - or customers! - on your platform, it's best if your site fits into one of these five online community types.
1. Marketing a Business / Selling a Product
Boosting business is one of, if not THE, most popular reasons for starting an online community. Whether you choose LinkedIn, Facebook or a custom community platform like Follr, building an online presence for your business is a crucial - if not imperative - key to success. If your community fits this bill, consider spreading to other social networks to increase SEO opportunities.
2. Entertainment / Leisure
Pinterest and YouTube are top online social communities for a reason. How many minutes or hours of the day do you use blogs or other social networks to relax, zone-out or just take a short break from work? Use this fact to your advantage and create a community around people's down time. Perhaps a favorite TV series, movie franchise or book could be the launch pad for your community Tip: If entertainment and/or leisure describe your online community type, post consistently and several times a day. These members will take any excuse to get distracted!
3. Personal Development
Another hot online community focus is self- help and improvement. In this news era where happiness and mental health are huge in the media, everyone is interested in bettering themselves. Offering a quick, easy and welcoming online group with which to do so is bound to have members flocking. Success.com is doing this so right.
4. Relationships / Connection
One reason for joining online communities is affirmation and praise. Members want to be heard, appreciated and noticed for their accomplishments and accolades. Online Communities for scholars, writers or more specific groups of achievers are great reasons to start or join and online community. Introduce members with similar interests and engage them often and directly.
If I had a dollar for every time I looked online for a solution to a problem or a quick fix, I could probably retire. The Internet is so accessible that most people reach for the keyboard before the user manual. Establish an online community as an expert of something or be a question and answer platform for similar issues - parenting tips, smart phone fixes, or travel and vacation ideas. CafeMom.com nailed it.
Do you have an online community centering on one of these five types? Let me know about it and you could be featured on Links We Love!