Membership

Friday Buzz: Should You Build That Online Community?

By / Jan 30, 2015 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Why market research is important to do before you dive too deep into building a private hub for your members. Also: the value of gamification at events.

Just because you create an online community doesn’t mean that community will fill itself. It may not even make sense for your membership.

That’s why you have to do a little market research ahead of time, and Socious’ Katie Bapple has a blueprint to help you get started.  “By taking the time to assess your target audience’s level of interest, you can determine whether an online community is the type of engagement platform your target audience is likely to participate in,” she writes.

Among her tips: Figure out who you’re trying to reach. Look at where those people are congregating, and then reach out to them. Talk to them about the benefits of a private online community, ask research questions that get to the heart of the matter, and be open and personable throughout the process.

“Set your platform up for success by pumping the [brakes] on your launch momentum and taking the time to assess your target market’s interest level,” she adds.

Get Your Game On

Speaking of engagement, if you’re trying to get your attendees to actually, y’know, converse with one another, a great way to do that is through gamification—especially when it’s driven by a mobile device or 50. Event Industry News has a nice breakdown of game-based app platforms you can launch at your own conferences.

Just one thing before you jump in with both feet: There’s a bit of a learning curve, the site’s Adam Parry admits. But once you get a handle on the platform, it becomes easier the second or third time around.

Other Links of Note

“It’s wonderful that we believe in equality, but believing in it does not make it happen any more than believing in physical fitness makes you physically fit. You have to do stuff.” — Speaker Joe Gerstandt notes the difference between words and actions when it comes to diversity.

Trying to write blog posts that draw in more readers? This ProBlogger post is the right place to start.

Putting together a board election the old way—with printing, postage, and all that other fun stuff—can get expensive, Survey & Ballot Systems notes.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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