How To Grow A Vibrant Online Community

If advertising aims to bring a product or service before you and draw an involved response, to grow the online community surrounding the brand is a constituent of that which translates that response into a sustainable relationship. 

Such a relationship is valuable for your customers. The online community creates a destination for its members to exchange their ideas and share anecdotes. It develops a storehouse of knowledge related to your business that can be referred to if there is a query. The more vibrant your expanse of information, the more your audience spends their time thinking and talking about your services or products. You place your finger on the pulse of your consumers’ desires and business requirements by serving through your community.

Building a robust, growing online community makes it easy for a brand to drive loyalty, generate leads, and repeat purchases from their dedicated followers. 

Here we share some of the advice of the community-building experts who hail from various fields and perform businesses across different industry verticals. Let us hear their secrets for growing a vibrant online community.

1. Maya Delano: A Decade Of Community Engagement at NextSpace Santa Cruz

Grow Online Community

 “My number one important thing is staying connected to your current members,” she states, which applies both to those working from home as well as those who are coming back into space.

“Keep them informed and communicate with them regularly. We created a weekly video chat that we call ‘Reimagining NextSpace.’ Members can listen in, and we talk about our latest updates and what we’ve done to make the space safe.”

2. Guy Kawasaki: Present Chief Evangelist of Canva and author of Twelve books

As one of the highly recognized industry leaders, Guy Kawasaki has shared his valuable advice while explaining “The Art Of Creating and grow an online community.”

“This is a repeated theme in my writing: the key to evangelism, sales, demoing, and building a community is a great product. Frankly, if you create a great product, you may not be able to stop a community from forming even if you tried. By contrast, it’s hard to build a community around mundane and mediocre crap no matter how hard you try.”

3. Mark Schaefer: Founder & Executive Director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions And Author of 4 Best-Selling Books

Grow Online Community

Mark held a unique view on starting a blog community. Stop being nice. Mark addressed the leading bloggers when he was associated with social media in 2009. 

He believed that there “was an almost total lack of any meaningful debate or Community” when he condemned the A-listers of the industry. Generating a debate made Mark achieve an impetus with his {grow} community.

To put it differently, Mark holds that if you prefer a “blog community that TALKS to each other, you’ve got to get out of nicey-nicey mode.” 

In order to accomplish it, he advises that you :

  • Display some passion
  • Disagree about something
  • Go for a risk
  • Write a blog that only you can write

Also Read: 5 Marketplace Features to Outrank your Competitors this Holiday

4. Dave Kerpen : CEO of Likeable Media

Grow online community requires providing a lot of value, and being responsive to that community.

At Likeable, we’ve always tried to help marketers in our community, giving them articles, webinars, and ebooks. Not everyone has hired us, but more than enough have to make it worth our efforts.

5. Peg Fitzpatrick: Head of Social Strategy at Canva

Peg’s perspective on community building is to be giving, helpfu, and supportive without expecting anything in return. 

He says, “ I feel if you are kind and giving that people will remember it and do the same for you when the time comes. People who spend a lot of time asking other people to share their content via direct message have failed in their growing online community and could be damaging their future community.”.

For Peg, “Respect and reciprocation are earned bonuses from your community”.

6. Jay Baer: Author of the Famous Book Youtility and Founder of the Content Marketing Blog Convince and Convert

During a presentation at Social Fresh Conference, Jay spelled out how “social media is terrible at reliable reach” and the way to rectify that problem.

In the words of Jay, “reliable reach is the ability to send a message to a person who has asked to hear from you, and for that message to reach that person.” Instances of reliable reach can be email, mobile phone, direct mail, and also fax.

Jay recommends that in place of applying a “rifle approach,” you must try out a “shotgun approach’ so far as connecting on social media with your audience is concerned. This includes sending greater messages in maximum places, the optimum size of a social network has lesser significance compared to the actual number of people reached, and adopting an editorial calendar that operates across the board because only a slight percentage of your overall audience can view a single message sent by you in any specific venue.

Create your own community

7. Kim Garnett: Thinkific Expert

Tips offered by Kim Garnett for adoption by learning communities with Thinkific includes: 

“Firstly, make sure you invite your students/learners! Add a lesson to your welcome chapter, and the welcome email, with a link to join the group and a summary of what they can expect by 

Joining. It will certainly take more work on your part at the start of building your online community. Posting prompts and encouraging interaction will land on you, at least until the 

community begins to grow and co-create more group content.”

8. Kathryn Aragon: An Award-winning Copywriter, Consultant, Product Generator, and Content Marketer

Also, a content strategist at Crazy Egg, Kathryn, during her stint there, was able to augment traffic doubly and achieve triple subscriptions in only one year. She offers plenty of amazing tips in her post “Perception Is Reality, and Other Marketing Truisms” on the ways to place  “control back into visitors’ hands.” 

She says that one of her favorite and clear points was understanding that “creating the wrong impression can hurt your brand.”

Kathryn further defines that, “The only way to know how your brand is perceived is to talk to your customers. Look for ways to get customer feedback, such as through surveys or one-on-one conversations.”

As claimed by Kathryn: “ Whenever appropriate, invite responses. If people know it’s okay to communicate with you, you’ll get more customer emails, phone calls, and comments.”

9. Shervonne Cherry: Director of Community and Partnerships at Spark Coworking

Shervonne’s Baltimore was launched in 2015, and Spark intends to begin a second venue across Kansas City. For Shervonne, what matters is to be human. “One, be a good human. Two, be a good partner.”

One of the strong points that consolidate their community is knowing what every member does and how Spark helps them accomplish it. 

 “Our lifeblood is digging into the side hustle,” tells Shervonne. “What’s happening with our members? I have a sense point of what everyone is doing, who just hired, what’s going on. We share that with our community and the local Baltimore area, which connects them with the outside space.”

This reveals that when members join Spark, they receive much more than simply a workplace. They gain resources, information, and networks that support them as well as their teams. Shavonne adds, “It’s personal too.” “Our members experience good and bad times. We celebrate the good and try to lift them during the bad. We want to be good humans.”

It is essential to highlight that such an approach also empowers community managers to know first whether a team member is on the verge of expansion or the point of breakup and form their individual side hustle. This gets converted into new members and extra revenue.  

10. Garrett Tichy: Founder and Owner of Hygge Coworking

Garett is a great believer in helping people. He says: “Space isn’t that exciting. It’s who fills it that makes it exciting,” Garett mentions further, “I play a tiny role in seeing people grow; that is so exciting.”

Among the highest priority of Hygge is wellness. Before the advent of Coronavirus, Hygge was about to launch a new program named Hygge Wellness, showcasing physical therapy, yoga, group fitness, besides more. At present, they are conducting outdoor classes and in the toe for launching the complete program the moment the present situation permits.

Wellness occupies a top spot in their mission and is going great guns, especially during the current times of Covid. “We were one of the first spaces to close, right on March 15th even before the state-mandated it, because this felt like our responsibility,” Garett says. Further, they ventilated that, “Those decisions were tough. We are hurting like everyone, but it’s our duty to help people. We were applauded for this decision because we showed care and attention, and we saw an outpouring of support. For us, it’s about finding every way possible to help people.”

11. Ryan Levesque: CEO, Author, And Founder Of The ASK Method

Ryan believes that it is important to build a culture where every participant feels invited, and this was one aspect that he considered carefully. At the same time, his online community expanded from 100 participants to above 2000 within a span of 2 years. He thought of hiring one paid “community advocate” for every 400 subscribers so that discussions can be started, the level of interactions can be monitored, and general assistance can be provided. 

Levesque has built a series of private messages for members who have joined, motivating them to carry one particular step each day with the community, like reading a particular blog post. The objective behind this is to acclimatize them to the group and develop the habit of participation while assuring that newcomers do not suddenly overpower the site or trigger an “us versus them” response in lifelong members. The systematic method of onboarding followed by Ryan takes care of such problems arising, besides he also focuses on private, offline discussions to resolve these problems.

12. Christel Quek: Regional Content Lead For Middle East, Asia Pacific And Africa At Twitter

Christel Quek heads the content development , marketing plus strategy of the company in that area.

She holds the below mentioned core values to be followed while investing in a community termed by her as the “Humanifesto for Community Building On Social Media”:

C – Collaboration

O – Openness

M – Meditation

M – Magnetic

U – Utilitarian

N – Nice

I- Integrity

T – Tact

Y –  Yield

Also Read: Proven Tips to Secure Your WordPress Website 

13. Calvin Lee: Creator Of Mayhem Studios

Calvin mentions that “Helping others and expecting nothing in return has always been my motto. I like helping by sharing useful resources on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks.”

He likes to share links and blog posts having relevant information and believes in re-sharing them. He says that irrespective of them being brands, friends, or strangers, he likes to share good and can spread content.

He says that he shares from a trusted list that he has compiled during the years on many occasions. This way, new friends can be made by sharing the content with others because people express a sense of gratitude and regard you as a specialist in your domain.

Calvin states that they desire to return the favor and this forms the basis of friendship.

In his words “The more you share, the bigger a community you will build. Why do you think I have so many friends on Twitter? That’s my little secret I used in my early days of Twitter to get popular people’s attention.”

BuddyX Community

14. Carla Young: Founder Of The Magazine MOMeo

Carla Young believes that you should constantly post what is relevant to your personal brand.

He suggests that you should understand your audience and discover what makes them tickled or ticked off and incorporate that knowledge into your social media messaging.

He advises you to allow yourself to be known to your community. Keep all your idiosyncrasies and faults to yourself. Forming a community involves cultivating reciprocal relationships.

15. Emeric Ernoult: CEO And Pioneer Of AgoraPulse

Emeric believes that developing a thriving community on social media requires an awesome product (or service). If no one bothers about what you sell or engage in, the possibility of interacting on social networks with your audience is almost nil. 

While launching your business, it is possible that your product or service may not be excellent. Still, you have to remain patient to rise to the point where it becomes sufficiently productive to draw an engaged community. Emeric says the basics of a healthy grow online community lies in constantly presenting them with awesome content,

To quote Emeric: “Post Planner does a great job at that! But as they would probably confirm, this is a tough job. It takes time and resources, but this is key.” He invests nearly $50,000 yearly on content, which he claims to be a rough estimate but believes that his content strategy has fetched the best results for him.

Emily advises remaining there for your community, being helpful, giving timely responses, and ensuring your community a friendly response each time they engage with you. In his words, “As a CEO, I do a lot of this myself, and you have no idea how people feel when they get a personal message from the CEO on Twitter or Facebook. It certainly doesn’t scale, but in the early days, it will make a difference!”

Conclusion of How to Grow Online Community

Learnmate

Grow an online community is not an easy task, but you can get inspiration from the success stories of these experts and expand your brand community. You can grow an online community and garner additional revenue by following these leading community experts who have built their community resourcefully and have made it a thriving one. 

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