Community is getting hot again. Even non social media/community companies are running an online community – often with a specific target audience in mind.

The actual functions of an online community include engagement, customer service, marketing and more. Some also use the community to convert potential customers. 

However, to make a community serve its purpose is often not straightforward. Many communities have failed to take hold – and there are generally a few types: 

There are three common community operations mistakes here: 

1) No clear positioning/plan of/for the community 

If you are confused, your community members will be more confused. Sooner or later, they will abandon you. 

2) Only following SOP, with organic engagement/growth 

This is the problem with many community operators. They just follow a standard procedure: invite people to join, send announcements, and give scripted answers to enquiries. 

3) Lack of empathy for users or proper communication skills 

Some community operators simply do not know how to understand/uncover the real needs of users. Nor could they engage with the users effectively to create a constructive and engaging atmosphere. 

Because of one or a combination of the factors above, users do not feel the value of the community, hence your community will head towards failure. 

If you want to improve the “community value”, you need to think about 3 things before starting the community operation work: community positioning, community activity, and community conversion.

1) What is your community positioning?

You need to consider these questions: Who is your target group? What problem does the community solve and what value does it provide?

2) How to improve the activity and loyalty of the community?

The real “active” state is the “semi-self-operating” state. Community operators only need to make rules and take the lead to enable users to consciously maintain the community atmosphere and make valuable speeches. Also, if your community cannot provide users with long-term value, the so-called “active” is just “false prosperity”.

To do this, you need to know: how to start a topic in the community? How to create user links? How to build a community image?

3) How to increase the conversion rate of the community?

This is the most critical step in enhancing the value of the community. You eventually want to monetise the users you have, through either direct monetisation or conversion for other products/services. 

Making a community is different from writing an article. You are closer to the user. Their dissatisfaction and criticism will directly flow to you. Exposing them directly in the community may have a negative impact on the company and the brand.

The basic principles are in fact very simple, but quite often, and especially in a KPI-driven world, they get lost. 

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].