Initially, you may join an online community on an impulse, perhaps you’re curious about the exclusive content that’s being marketed or you simply want to be apart of a group to see what it’s like. But, then you find yourself participating in conversations with strangers and now enjoy engaging with others as much as you enjoy being engaged with. After a short time, the reasons you’re apart of this community have shifted. You’ve found “Your People”.
Community managers that grow, nurture and foster communities during the early stages of a brand find that engagement becomes a daily occurrence for their audience and continues thereafter. You may have started an online community around your favorite hobby and found a way to build a business from that or your brand came first and now your goal is to bring your customers together to amplify their loyalty. Either way, people typically behave the same way online within a social community.
Here are a few reasons why “your people” with join and engage in “your community”:
- You Have a New Friend Request– The need for acceptance is a basic human instinct — although some value it more than others. We all want to fit in, to belong, and to find “our people”. We want to connect with others who love the same things us. We want that connection to be made initially and value is added the more engaged members are.
- Accept Me, Please -A like or a follow is validation on the big social channels we’ve become accustomed to today. But, being able to have a more meaningful interaction such as a conversation about a topic takes that feeling to a different level. Sharing your thoughts and expressing your feelings is a scary thing to do but it’s easier when you’re sharing within an environment full of like-minded people.
- Do You Know Who I am? — We all like to talk about things we know, especially when the topic of conversation is something you’re an expert in. It’s your time to shine. The more you engage within a community and share your knowledge the more likely you are to achieve special recognition from other members or even the organization itself. You’ve gone from an average supporter to a well-known source amongst your community.
- Training Behavior — Gathering with others around a common interest or event is the way your members will interact with each other. Encouraging engagement is a way to make your community a welcoming and inviting place to join and be heard. In a lot of ways, the behavior of your members will shape the way your community grows. Reward good behavior i.e. shoutout your most engaged members, highlight customer experiences, and/or offer exclusive content.
- Entertainment — When someone likes something a lot, they want more of it. They want as much as they can get. A social channel is a great supplement for one to consume content. There are so many different channels and different types of content being produced day in and day out. Give your community a chance to create their own alongside the content they enjoy most. If you love something so much, you’ll take it from how you consume it and spread it across other channels of your life.
Give people something to identify with. Brands and communities have voices that are often crafted from one central story. What’s the story you’re writing?