Online Community Building: What Is It And How To Build One?

When someone talks about building an online community, there are always people who do not know what exactly online community building is? If you are someone who does not know what online community building is, then you’ve come to the right place, my friend!

In this blog, we’re going to tell you what exactly is online community building and how to build an online community.

So, think about this for a minute:

Building an online community platform can help you in creating brand awareness, increasing leads, and driving conversions.

You would want to try a platform like this that is offering so much, right?

In a nutshell, this is exactly what building an online community helps you with.

If you want an online community building platform that has extensive moderation features, then give LikeMinds a try today!

In this blog, we are going to tell you:

  • Why build an online community?
  • How to build an online community?
  • What are online community building tools?
  • How to build an online community platform?

Yes, that is right! We aim to make you the master of the ‘Online Community Building’ topic by the end of this blog.

Let us get started:

Why Build An Online Community?

This question is most often than not asked by those people who have to start building an online community from scratch. If you think that building an online community from scratch is too much work and not rewarding enough, then think again! Because brand awareness and lead conversion are a small part of the rewards that come with building an online community.

The perfect reason for building an online community from scratch is that anyone and everyone can have an online community of their own. You need not belong to a specific industry or domain if you want to create an online community. If you aim to drive traffic to your website and retain customers, then that reason is enough for you to start building an online community from scratch.

By building an online community from scratch, you can get real-time feedback on your product and services. And not just this, the interactions that take place in an online community can give you great ideas for your future products or campaigns. Is not all this just invaluable? Just by building an online community platform, you can get so many benefits.

As per research conducted by the University of Michigan, after becoming a member of a brand online community, the customers spent 19% more on that brand’s product and services. This also means, by creating an online community for your brand, you can track user behavior without having to conduct any additional research.

How To Build An Online Community?

To build an online community, there are 3 things that you need to ensure are in place.

1. Define Your Purpose

It is important to know ‘why you want to build an online community?’. Don’t go into making an online community because it’s the new fad. Decide upon the reason that you’re going to give your customers to join your online community. And while deciding that reason, make sure it’s an interactive one on which people can talk to each other as part of the online community.

2. Lay Down The Ground Rules

Even though the community is for the community members, some ground rules need to be set. Setting these ground rules will help you in managing your online community better. For setting these ground rules, think of what you wouldn’t like your community members to do, and then make all those don’ts a

3. Select The Right Platform

With n-number of online community platforms out there, you need to choose the most suitable one for you. And the key metric that will help you to zero in on the right platform is – the size of your community. If you want a small community, then go for online community platforms like WhatsApp. But if you want to create a large community, then explore options similar to Facebook or LikeMinds.

Make sure these 3 parameters have been ticked, and you’re good to go ahead with building an online community from scratch. When building an online community from scratch, one needs to understand that it won’t happen in just one day. Breaking down the whole process into bits and pieces will make it easier for you to create an online community of your own in no time.

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What Are Online Community Building Tools?

Online community building tools are those platforms that you can use for setting up your online community. Every online community building tool has its unique set of offerings. Given below are the 3 online community platforms we suggest you use to make setting up an online community a breeze for you.

1. BuddyBoss

On BuddyBoss, the features are not just limited to community building, but you can also sell memberships and courses on this platform. It is built on WordPress and provides the flexibility & freedom that one needs to build online community website. BuddyBoss boasts of a B2B user base of 50k with names like Infusionsoft, Harvard Business Review, WP Elevation, etc.

2. LikeMinds

Along with the option of creating an online community, LikeMinds provides features wherein you can sell digital products like memberships, events, courses, etc. with ease. It comes with features like personalized onboarding for new members for ensuring higher engagement in the community. It is indeed one of the best platforms to build an online community. LikeMinds is trusted by companies like Digital Writopreneurs Hub, BSB Training Academy, etc.

3. Circle

Next on our list is Tribe. It is another good option for those who want to host discussions, sell membership or promote content within their community. They also give a 14-day free trial so that you can make a well-informed decision as to if the platform is a good fit for your requirements. Circle has some renowned names in its kitty like Forte Labs, Inc., Teachable, SPi, etc.

How To Build An Online Community Platform?

Now that you understand what, why, and how of online community building well, another question that pops up is:

How will you turn your online community into a platform that is a huge success?

Well, everyone starts building a business to make it a huge success, right?

Fret not! We are here to help you.

There are 3 essentials of ensuring that you’re building a community platform that is successful. If you ensure that the below-given pointers are hitting the right place, then trust us, success is guaranteed for your online community.

1. Identify The Key Community Stakeholders

If you think that only one person is required to run an online community, then you’re wrong! For building a successful community, a company needs to have a couple of dedicated people for various functions. This includes a community manager to oversee the community, a marketing manager to create a community content calendar and other stakeholders as per your requirement.

2. Create The Right Member Profile

Once you’ve decided who your target audience is, you must provide your audience with the right kind of content to interact over. In other words, your discussion threads, polls, or community building activities need to be highly relevant to your target audience. The more relevant the topics, the higher the chances of creating conversions.

3. Community Promotion Is The Key

A key metric for successfully building an online community is the number of members that it has. And there is no limit to the numbers you can grow your online community to. All you need to do is to come up with hard-hitting referral programs now and then to ensure your online community grows exponentially, in turn increasing your brand’s awareness.

On that note:

If you want to build a super interactive online community, then check out LikeMinds that provides features like Polls and Events in a chat-like environment to ensure that your customers are being heard.

Key Takeaways!

  • Online community building increases brand awareness, generates leads & drives conversions.
  • It provides real-time product feedback and increases customer spend.
  • To create an online community, define your purpose, ground rules, and select the right platform.
  • Have key stakeholders and build the right member profile to ensure the success of the community.
  • Plan out regular referral programs and open community activities to expand the community.

In short:

Online community building is the need of the hour if you’re someone who is aiming to grow their brand big!