Taking time to build a community brick by brick and getting to know the people within has long lasting effects. We know well that building a community is not a zero-sum game, if everyone engages, the community wins as a whole. But what remains a puzzle for the community builders is how to engage and strengthen their community better. The closely knit network of like-minded individuals sharing interests, ideas, and passion, work and win together when the ecosystem is right. And like every exquisite dish, there’s a secret recipe for getting it right. Neither less, nor more – Just the right amount of everything is the secret! But identifying the correct ingredients might be a bit of pain, so here we are with our Venturesity community capes on, to tell you how to build a successful space.
- Breaking the barriers: The first step in community building is breaking down the awkwardness, and to establish a relationship of trust in the group. For instance, a simple code golfing problem or an ice breaker marshmallow challenge which requires group members to collaborate have worked for us in striking that initial communal bond among our hackers.
- Opening up: When an individual can share his thoughts and ideas freely in the group, an exciting step in group building is in place. If people perceive that others are genuinely interested in their ideas, only then trust begets trust.
- Thought leadership: Promote and create thought leadership in your space. This not only reaffirms your community of your standing but also gives them a purpose which is meaningful and promising. Thought leadership helps you build your own brand and demonstrates expertise and evidence through reviews and other social commentaries.
- Affirmation: The act of instilling encouragement into each other through affirmation is crucial for the overall growth of a group. When somebody’s peers compliment him, he has a greater sense of confidence in himself and can work and share better.
- Goal Setting: When affirmation and opening up happens, individuals share deeply with one another and set goals with mutual trust. The space becomes a setting where the members can express their visions of the future and present struggles. When in alignment, the end goal or objective is acknowledged in unison. The community which works together wins together.
- Engagement: It’s very important to actively engage your community. And the easiest way to do this is by getting people to ask questions. Putting your members in the spotlight is a very successful way of growing engagement. Meetups, open discussions, newsletters, crowdsourcing, quizzing and active social media tactics are what keeps your space engaged.
- Recycle: You should aim to use every part of the community. From content to ideas. How? Let me explain. Let us suppose you had an Ask me Anything session with an expert for this space. Do not let it evaporate with the session. Create a blog post or an e-book out of it. Stats sell, publish your own statistics with some great visualizations.
- Timing: Timing is everything. Whether it’s your promotions or some event for your space. You cannot expect to shout out that you have over 50K active members when your facebook page has some 10K odd likes! Plan your marketing and promotional strategy effectively. Cross promotion through other communities is also a great way to gain traction. Make friends, you need them!
With all the lecturing above, does community building/supporting resonate with you? If yes, here we have one of India’s first Hacks of Community Building coming up. The main focus point here is around building your own communities, understanding how to grow it and differentiate it from others. Sign up today and become a Super Community Manager. Fly high with your Community Builder capes!