In a nutshell, an online community is a group of people who share a common interest or goal and who use the internet to exchange with each other.
Online communities enable their members to connect, discover, share, achieve goals, and more.
An online community platform offers community members an online space to engage with content, share ideas, experiences, and best practice, and create conversations with other members.
The best online community platforms offer features to empower community managers to better engage their members.
Success means different things to different communities.
Generally speaking, a successful community is connected to an organization’s broader business strategy. It delivers value to both its members and the organization.
Here are some of the key steps for starting an online community:
- Identify a business need that an online community could solve or support
- Decide how your community will provide members value
- Create a compelling business case for your community to gain buy-in across your organization
- Define your community’s goal and how you will measure its success
- Sketch out a first version of your community engagement strategy and user journey—both will need to be refined along the way
- Choose the right community engagement platform based on your needs
- Decide on the structure and design of your community
- Organize your community management team
Check out this handy infographic for more information on starting an online community.
The structure and design of your online community influence if and how members engage.
Start your online community with as few features and groups as possible—in other words, only the most relevant ones! Add more features and sub-groups as engagement builds.
Community engagement is the process of capturing your members’ attention and encouraging them to participate in the community and work together towards a common goal.
Several techniques can be used to engage online communities including content creation and curation, organizing events, leveraging community champions, and more.
A community app can be used to:
- Increase audience interest
- Build Brand recognition
- Connect with your members wherever they are
- Enhance member engagement
With Hivebrite you can develop your own mobile community app for iOS or Android.