One of the best things about community building is that the challenges faced by two completely unrelated communities could ideally be solved by the same approach. At LikeMinds, we saw this happening this month when we hosted our first “Community Reflection”. We hosted this session to reflect and brainstorm on the challenges of our very own LMCM ( LikeMinds Community Managers) community members.
Here are some interesting discussion highlights from the session –
Aditya Kulshreshtha’s, founder of Travander, query on “Should focus on organic/inorganic reach for member expansion in our communities?”
Member expansion comes under one of the crucial responsibilities of any community builder.
- When we are starting out, our first focus should always be organic growth, i.e., hunting down people in our direct connections who resonate with our ideal community member persona .We then need to organically utilize their connections (2nd-degree connections) and their connections’ connections (3rd-degree connections) to grow members in our community.
- Additionally, if we have a budget, we should focus on how we can improve the community experience of our members. For instance, we could bring in elite speakers for events, offer one to one mentorship programmes by experts or any other incentives which will shout out to the world that we give the best community experience.
- We could also do paid / unpaid collaborations with large communities that has a similar target audience as ours and evangelize our upcoming community initiatives on their platform.
- We could also utilize Google and Facebook digital marketing tools to promote our community events such that they help the right audience discover these events and in turn our communities.
- If we have a good influencer network, paid partnerships with them to promote our community could be a good idea to explore upon.
“How to utilize members as community volunteers?” raised by Ruchee Tibrewal, founder of Mom Shares Club
As our communities expand, leaning into our inner circle of community members for help can be a key for generating sustainable engagement on the platform. The inner circle always want to give back to the community because they have already experienced the essence of belongingness here. Following is a step by step plan which we can utilize for ensuring that we can better structure the energy of our enthusiastic inner circle towards contributing to the community.
- Begin by identifying a distinct list of tasks for a given short time period related but not limited to content creation, event planning, graphic designing etc that you need help with to run your community and group these tasks into roles.
- Define what personal growth benefits each role would bring in for an individual and how their contributions would contribute to the overall community mission.
- Define benchmarks for every task that would be used to evaluate whether the task was a success/not.
- Put up a post in the community to ask members who would be interested to volunteer for the community.
- Hold a call with interested members to walk them through the task list and understand if they have other ideas that they would like to work on and feel could benefit the community and let them choose their roles. There could be two ways of picking a role – either pick one that utilizes their skills or the one that helps them build a skill.
- Execute, execute and execute. But while you are at it, conduct frequent volunteer touch-base calls to strengthen inner circle bonds and check on their progress. These bonds are what will keep bringing them back to the community.
- Post the completion of the time period, evaluate the outcomes and recognize community volunteers for their contributions through community features, titles etc.
Query on “How to deal with members becoming disinterested in the community mission?” from Aashish Bhongade, founder of Cracking CAT and Apoorv, founder of Football Mania
Members becoming disinterested in the community mission isn’t very unusual. This can happen due to many reasons. As community manager, we first want to understand what is the actual cause of it. We can do this by –
- Checking with existing active community members to understand what still brings them to the community and what they feel should be improved/ is lagging in the community.
- Ping former active and now dormant community members to understand why they aren’t motivated to contribute/participate in the community any longer.
- Group these viewpoints to get an overall holistic view of what’s working and isn’t working for the community. We can use this to rephrase our community content strategy.
- Many times, members becoming disinterested in the community could also arise from many of them never being our right audience. We need to ensure that we spend some quality time defining our community niche, what our core community audience should look like and rephrasing our member filter questions, such that only the right people are filtered and onboarded in the community.
Deepak Selhar’s, founder of Alira Insurance, question on “How to increase member retention during community events?”
Member retention during events is a challenge faced by most communities, especially ever since meetups/sessions have gone virtual. While we can’t expect a 100% turnout of people who register, the following are some ways to incentivize people to join and stick during our event :
- Focus on planning and hosting one good monthly event over multiple events in a month with little or no planning. We need to ensure that we have spent enough time to identify what value addition the event’s going to bring to the community members.
- During the event marketing process, we need to clearly highlight these value additions.
- If we have a budget, we could opt for giving giveaways to attendees such as platform/course subscriptions, certificates of participation etc. We could also accompany our sessions with fun gaming elements like – Wheel of names (lucky draws) wherein one lucky attendee wins access to a mentorship programme/premium content.
- We could also make our events paid. This would ensure that members who register feel responsible to attend the event as they have monetarily invested in them.