Membership

Daily Buzz: Questions To Ask Before Building an Online Community

By / Aug 26, 2019 (lamontak590623/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Starting an online community is an investment. If you don’t have the time to foster engagement, skip it. Also: Venting won’t help ease workplace stress.

Online communities don’t crop up overnight. Like other business initiatives, fostering a community takes effort and a thoughtful strategy.

Rachel Strella from Social Media Today shares a few questions to consider before launching an online community:

Are you willing to put in the work? “There’s a difference between posting content and cultivating a community,” she says. “Regardless of the platform you use, if you only post your content then sign off, you’re wasting your time.” To cultivate a community, you have to take time to listen and engage with member commentary.

Will your community offer value? If the drive behind starting an online group is self-promotion, don’t bother. “No one wants to hear a sales pitch, so save it,” Strella says. “Focus your energy on serving the needs of your community by offering value-based content and suggestions. This will strengthen your relationship with your audience.”

Will members be able to join at will, or will they be included automatically? “What’s worse than posting salesy content without engaging your community? Forcing your connections into said community,” says Strella. Forcing people to get involved can annoy busy members, leaving them potentially frustrated with your association.

Rethink Your Vent Session

Anxious at work? You’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and talk it out with team members, but make sure venting doesn’t turn to gossip.

“‘Triangling’ is the act of bonding with someone by talking about a third person. It’s a very unhealthy way to manage workplace anxiety as it serves to build up stress and tension instead of providing relief,” Victoria Rohrer says on Smart Meetings. “To reduce your anxiety, try approaching the individual you are venting about or have an issue with and communicate the facts of the situation with them. It might seem difficult, but telling them you’d like to find a resolution and want to create an honest workplace will make you feel much better.”

Other Links of Note

Still wondering whether your brand should hop on the TikTok bandwagon? The HubSpot blog makes the case for it.

Don’t plateau on learning. Jeff Cobb from Mission to Learn shares how to jump-start your learning cycle.

If you’re ready for an event calendar refresh, the SocialTables blog offers insight on how to design effective meetings year-round.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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