Are you looking for a way to connect with your target audience? You might want to consider joining an online community or better yet create your own online community. This approach provides you with opportunities to learn more about your customers. It provides your small business with another path to success in a competitive niche. The informal nature of such communities allows ideas, feedback, and suggestions to flow. You can get insights about your audience through an online community.

 

These are the steps you can take to create your own online community.

 

Determine Important Stakeholders

Organise your online community the same way you would your own small business. Identify people in your team that will handle specific aspects of the community you want to build. Choose a manager that will handle every aspect of the community. This person makes sure that discussion threads, platforms, comments, and others are operating smoothly. They also identify possible improvements you can implement whether it’s branding or the development of the community. Other tasks you can delegate include content creation, product development, and after-purchase service provider.

 

Identify Objectives and Its Purpose

Determine the purpose and the goals of your online community. Is it to inform your audience about the benefits of your brand? Does it solve the problems of your target customers? Does it provide recommendations? It does not have to be all about your company. Create specific discussion threads and topics that your audience might be interested in.

 

Choose a Platform

The platform for your online community can either be as small as a group chat or as big as 100,000 people. Your target community size determines the platform you should use. For thousands of intended participants, you can start a Facebook group or start a community in Reddit. You have the option to create a website specifically for your community wherein people have their own accounts and log-in credentials.

 

Create a Profile

You should know the profile of the people you want to join your community. Identify their demographics, needs, wants, likes and dislikes. You can be topic-specific when you create a profile. For example, are they fellow entrepreneurs that want to share ideas? Do they all play tennis? Once you determine a member profile, your community should give members solutions and value for joining. Monitor their experience before and after they join. This allows you to improve their experience while in the community.

 

Establish Rules

When you create your own online community, it should have rules you implement consistently. This allows you to control the content of the community. Some of the rules you can establish include: no pitching of other products or services, no derogatory remarks about other members, no profanity, and others.

 

Start the Online Community

The online community you create is similar to your organisation. It needs to have specific roles for people managing it. You need to review the member sign-up and log-in process to make sure that members will not have problems creating an account or logging in. Create categories and sub-categories for the discussion threads so that members will know what to look for. This also allows managers to identify problems and provide specific solutions.

 

This guide allows you to start your own online community and interact with your target audience in a meaningful way. An online community gives your small business a chance to reach its potential customers without hard selling.

 

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