There are many strategic decisions that you must make when creating your online community. What should we call our community? Who are we going to invite? What kind of content are we going to post?
These are just some of the initial decisions you must make as you begin to create your community. It may feel daunting to have to answer all these questions. Before you give up, we may have a solution to help get you started on your community creation process.
What’s your community purpose?
Before you can get to all of those questions we just mentioned, you must able to answer one simple question. What is the purpose behind your community? The community purpose helps set a direction for creating your community and the activity it will eventually host.
Once you have decided your community’s purpose, the rest of the questions can start to answer themselves. The name, the members, the content you are going to post all must align with the stated purpose of your community.
Focus on what’s important
Defining a community purpose helps you hone in on the goals for your community. Community administrators will often have a great initial idea for their community that is manageable to execute. Unfortunately, community administrators sometimes forget to stay focused on what’s important.
The administrator will begin to imagine all of these incredible possibilities that they could add to their community. What if we did this? Oh, how awesome would it be if we could just add this one feature? We understand; you want to make your community perfect. There are a couple issues with this mentality. First, there will always be more features that you can add. This limits your ability to quickly launch your community and see the reaction of your audience. Second, many of these ideas don’t directly contribute to the main purpose behind your community. Sometimes these extra features can even be distracting or create a negative experience for the user.
Create a clear reason to use the community
When inviting your audience to join your community, you want to make sure they have a clear understanding of what they will get out of the community. Having a well-defined community purpose allows you to create this understanding. If you have done this, you should see higher registration rates and a more relevant audience as members know what to expect from the community.
Furthermore, a clear community purpose will help with engagement and user-generated content. Creating engagement is one of the most difficult and most critical parts of running a successful online community. If your users understand the purpose behind your community, they will feel more comfortable joining the conversation and posting their own content.
The foundation of your community
The purpose sets the tone for everything else about your community. Take some time to critically think about what your community purpose will be and how it will affect your community. Building a community can seem like a daunting task. As a community administrator, each decision feels like it can make or break the community. Now, you can look back to your community purpose and allow it to guide your decisions as you build and grow your community.
Still have questions about what your community purpose should be? Get in touch with one of our team members and they’ll be happy to work with you on building your community