Online communities can be valuable for your business. A good community can provide support to your customers, generate insights into what they want, and create ambassadors for your brand.
What Makes a Good Online Community?
Every business is unique, so the online community that you create will need to be tailored to your customers and your brand. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you to ensure that your online community is an active, useful and safe place.
Make sure that people register before they post
Content should be visible before people register with the community, but it’s good practice to require people to sign up before they can post. It can make the community feel more trustworthy, reduce spam and enable your moderators to take action against the account if necessary. However, signing up should be quick and easy.
Set clear guidelines for your online community
The guidelines will set the tone for your online community. You can give users an idea of the atmosphere you’re trying to create and the purpose of the community. You should also make it clear that you won’t accept any harmful behaviour and what will happen if the rules are violated. Users need to feel that the community is safe and that you care about their experiences in it.
Focus on your online community members
Although you will have your own reasons for creating an online community, it is important to provide something that your customers actually want. You should offer entertainment, education, or engagement. However, you shouldn’t try to control the community too much. Users should feel free to express themselves and have some control over how the community grows. It’s also vital to listen to your community and to show your appreciation for them.
Assign community managers
Online communities can seem to be self-organising, but the most effective ones have people in charge to ensure that the community is easy to navigate and use. Community managers can ensure that information is easy to find, highlight the best content, and encourage more engagement. They can answer questions and post messages from your brand.