When it comes to Growing a Community Organically, it has been observed that every company, big or small, is at the same starting point. This is because money does not play a significant role in the process of community building. Hence, running a marketing scheme with a huge budget is not as effective as hiring a community manager. The most common question that gets asked by business owners is how exactly does one builds a community organically from scratch. Well, this article will answer all your questions regarding community building.
Before we move on to the steps of building a community, let’s first understand what will make your potential audience join your community. Here are some key factors:
- A member would always want to relate to the Growing a Community Organically he is joining. People with common interests would discuss more things relevant to their field of work.
- A member should also believe that they will be liked by the existing members of the community.
- A member must have an aim and a purpose to join the community.
- A member would want to get rewarded for the contributions he makes towards the community.
When building a community organically from scratch, it might seem to be difficult to convey the above-mentioned factors. When you are just starting from scratch, you won’t have any members to make your potential members realize the value of your community. Hence, we have brought to you a step-by-step guide to manually build these reasons for members to join your community as a long-term plan.
Steps to build a community organically from scratch:
As the community owner, you must first build a personality of the community you want to create. Something that coincides with your interests and goals too. With this, you can start with a small group of people with similar interests and goals, and ask them if they would be interested in joining such a community. Make sure to clearly define the values your members can be expecting from the community.
2. Find members:
As a business owner, you can start with your existing customers and target audience, and see who you already know would like to be a part of Growing a Community Organically. Also, remember that you must not rush into letting in the first few members just because you want to get the community started. These members will eventually shape the community and all your decisions will be based on their feedbacks.
3. Gain trust:
It is important to gain the trust of the first few members of your community. Of course, it is important to gain the trust of every member of the community, but as we are Growing a Community Organically from the scratch, let’s keep the first few members in mind. The members must be highly convinced that you are going to commit to the idea of the community and help them.
4. Initiate Engagement:
As a community owner, it is your task to initiate engagement among the members who have joined the community. Introduction, a general discussion of the community could be great ice-breakers to initiate engagement. The members will be able to help you grow the community only if they trust and get along with each other.
5. Rewards and Feedbacks:
In the initial phase of the community, the members are very excited to get rewarded for the contributions they make towards the community. Collecting feedback and making improvements based on them is also a great way to gain trust and value for the community.
6. Select a community platform:
Once discussions Growing a Community Organically, you can build a community platform for the members to connect and perform the activities that you want as a brand. A community platform helps you build a community that is active 24/7, as opposed to scheduled meetings that you might arrange. The community platform can be helpful in many ways such as sharing ideas and experiences, collecting feedback, or keeping the members updated about the community.
7. Invite the right people:
Growing a Community Organically and staying true to its values is a repeatable process. Inviting people that share similar ideas and values is important to follow in every step. The first few members will inspire the next set of members and help them get involved in the community. Some of the common platforms to look at while inviting people are social media channels like Facebook or LinkedIn, CRM systems, and content subscribers.
8. Add exclusivity to the community:
Once you have a decent number of members, you can start making moderators or a group of trusted individuals that have certain privileges. This exclusive group can monitor the content and ensure quality within the community. This also helps other members to get motivated to do good and gain those privileges. The members with a high reputation will gain privileges and join this exclusive group.
9. Engaging and improving participation:
A community platform has been made to keep your community active at all times. But just making a community platform does not guarantee non-stop engagement. Hence, make sure you have enough content and resources on the platform. You can also include some gamification tools in the community to improve participation. Introducing badges, reputation scores, regular quizzes can help the members get inspired and increase engagement. The more time a member spends on your community platform, Growing a Community Organically. Encourage the members to ask answers to their peers for existing questions.
10. Use your members’ referral network:
Your members are using the community platform well, engagement and participation are at their peak, the value of your community is also intact. It is now time to ask your members if they know people that might want to gain the same value. Even in this stage, you can prioritize the referrals given by your exclusive group, and then move on to the rest of the members. The idea is to build a long-lasting community, with as many people as possible. Of course, keeping in mind the original idea and aims behind the community.
To conclude of Growing a Community Organically :
Well, these were the basic steps to follow while growing a community from scratch. As your community evolves with time, you will notice more and more participation and contribution from the members. Just start with an idea that lays the foundation of the community, bring in a few people that share similar ideas, collect feedback regularly, build a community platform to keep the members engaged and motivated, and finally, leverage the referral network of the members to build an effective and long-term community.
We hope this article has been helpful to you. Thank you and all the best!