Maybe you didn’t know it yet, but you are part of several communities. Think of your tennis club, drama club, business club or your membership in a (local) political party. These are all places where you seek community with people who share your interests, norms or values. We call these “places” communities. But, what is a community?
A community is a (sometimes online) place where a group of people with the same interests, norms or values come together. Within a community, people share interests or values with each other and seek community. Interaction is an important part of the community. Members exchange knowledge, ideas or news with each other in order to work toward a common goal.
Sharing knowledge is often at the center of a community, but your community can also have another purpose. Actually, there is a community for just about anything.
Companies can use communities to get in touch with their customers. You can think of a community where advice, tips or updates are shared with customers.
In addition, a company’s internal communications can be set up as a community. By being transparent, making information freely available, and promoting knowledge sharing, several large organizations improved the collaboration between their different teams.
In addition, companies can also join communities. Examples include industry associations, in which members share professional knowledge with each other, or business clubs where entrepreneurs come together to make new connections.
Interest groups also regularly use communities. In these communities, they share important news updates and developments, keeping stakeholders informed and encouraging members to share their stories or experiences with others.
Setting up a community requires a number of concerns. First, you need a platform on which the members of your community can come together. Within this platform, making connections and seeking contact should be promoted. In addition, the platform must be accessible when it comes to finding information pieces or documents.
Second, it must be clear to community members what the common goal is and how they can contribute to it. You do this by adding rules to your community and sharing success stories. This way you make it clear to members what behavior is desired and what is not.
A final point of attention is keeping your members active. This is perhaps one of the most difficult points in setting up a community. How do you get people to actively contribute to your goals? Especially in communities where sharing knowledge and experience is central, it can be difficult to turn ‘readers’ into ‘sharers’.
After all, everyone wants to absorb knowledge. However, sharing knowledge yourself takes effort and you don’t get anything in return. That makes it less attractive. Encouraging people to contribute is therefore difficult. You will have to develop some community management skills for this.
Community management is about activating and connecting your community. In many cases, you make a community manager responsible for promoting member interaction. There are several things you can do as a community manager to activate members.
As a community manager, you will have to set up your community yourself. Think about dividing people into focus groups, setting up rules, setting up your news or bulletin board and making important documents available.
You will also have to set a good example yourself, by proactively sharing news or other content. As a community manager, don’t forget to respond to others’ posts. By doing so, you create action and encourage others to do the same.
Tip: Find 3 to 5 motivated members in your community and ask them personally to actively contribute to your community. That way the ball will start rolling automatically!
Want to know more? In this blog, we tell you how to build a vibrant community.
Bundeling is the smart communication platform for every organization. Connect Smarter thanks to our app and stay in touch with your employees, stakeholders or community. With a Bundeling platform you bundle all communication flows in one, we set up your platform completely according to your wishes and corporate identity.
Bundeling allows you to easily set up your organization as a community. The design of the platform promotes interaction between members and as a community manager you can divide your members into separate focus groups using smart labels. In addition, it is easy for members to contribute and the platform is easy to use. Want to try it yourself? Request a free demo now!