Have you ever wondered how a community can go from from a small, tight-knit group of 800 members into a thriving ecosystem of 18,000 engaged enthusiasts?
CUR8, a once-small community, is now a buzzing hive of activity with 18,000 enthusiastic members.
How did they do it? That's what we're here to explore today.
The catch? Tapping into the incredible potential of effective community management.
In this blog, we explore the best practices and expert insights that played a pivotal role in CUR8's and other such successful community’s remarkable growth that can help you build and nurture a strong, engaged community.
1. Communicate a Big Purpose
Every successful community has a clear purpose or mission. So, when we talk about "communicating a big purpose," we're essentially saying, "Hey, folks, this community is here for a reason, and here's what that reason is!"
Think of it as the North Star that guides your community. It's like having a mission or a goal. This could be anything, really – a shared hobby, a cause you're passionate about, or even a love for a particular type of music or art.
So, whether you're running a community about sports, environmental activism, or vintage video games, make sure everyone knows why they're there. Share that purpose loud and clear. It's like putting up a signpost that says, "This way for like-minded people who care about the same things you do!"
When you communicate that big purpose, it not only attracts the right people but also gives your community a sense of identity and direction. It's like giving your community a heart and soul, something to rally around. And that's what makes a community truly special.
2. Introduce Guidelines and Expectations
Think of these guidelines as the 'house rules' for your community. You know how every house has its own set of rules, like taking off your shoes before entering or not eating in the living room? Well, your community needs its own set of rules to keep things friendly, respectful, and on track.
Here's why it's super important:
Creating a Safe Space: Guidelines set the tone for the kind of environment you want your community to be. They ensure that everyone feels safe and respected. Just like you wouldn't want anyone causing trouble at your house party, you don't want disruptive or disrespectful behavior in your community.
Clarity is Key: Guidelines provide clarity. They tell your community members what's acceptable and what isn't. This helps prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. When everyone knows the rules, it's easier for them to play nice together.
Fostering Inclusivity: Guidelines can promote inclusivity. By explicitly stating that your community is open to everyone, regardless of background or identity, you're sending a welcoming message. This encourages a diverse group of people to join and contribute.
Moderation: For larger communities, having guidelines in place helps your moderators or community managers do their job effectively. They can refer to these rules when they need to step in and handle issues.
With Scenes, you can ensure that the guidelines are enforced consistently across all interactions within your community. Scenes provide moderation tools that make it easier for community managers and hosts to enforce the established guidelines. This includes features to monitor discussions, remove inappropriate content, and take action when necessary.
3. Create an Onboarding Experience
Onboarding is the process of helping new community members settle in and feel at home. You're saying, "Hey, we're thrilled to have you here, and we're going to make sure you feel right at home!" It's a small but mighty step in creating a community where people feel valued and included from day one.
Here's how it works and why it matters:
First Impressions: The first interactions in any community are crucial. When new members join, you want to make sure they have a smooth and welcoming experience. This sets the tone for their entire journey within your community.
Guidance: Imagine you're in a maze, and someone hands you a map. Onboarding is like giving your new members that map. It shows them around, introduces them to the key spots, and helps them find their way. This might include an introductory message, a welcome video, or even a dedicated section for newcomers.
Connection: Onboarding helps new members connect with your community's culture and values. You can share stories about your community's history, highlight its achievements, or showcase some of the amazing things your members have done. This helps newcomers understand what your community is all about and why they should be excited to be a part of it.
Information: New members often have questions. Where can they find resources? How do they participate? What's expected of them? Onboarding is the perfect opportunity to provide answers and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Scenes, as a community-building platform, understands the importance of a seamless and engaging onboarding process. With the Modular onboarding feature, you can ask your community members specific questions to craft a personalized onboarding experience that aligns perfectly with your community's identity and goals.
4. Hold Regular Live Streams & Live Events
Regular live streams and events are like hosting awesome parties for your members. Here's why they matter:
Building Excitement: Live events are the heartbeats of your community. They create a buzz, like an exclusive party invitation. When members know there's a live event happening, they get excited and look forward to it. It's a chance for everyone to come together in real time.
Fostering Connections: Just like at a party, live events give your members a chance to mingle and connect. They can chat, ask questions, and share their thoughts in real time. It's a different level of engagement compared to typical text-based interactions.
Expert Insights: These events can feature experts, community leaders, or guest speakers who share their knowledge. It's like having a famous guest at your party – everyone wants to hear what they have to say. These insights can be incredibly valuable to your community.
Fun and Entertainment: Live streams don't always have to be serious; they can also be fun and entertaining. You could host game nights, talent shows, or themed parties. It's a great way to let loose and have a good time with your community members.
Scenes offer a seamless platform for hosting live events and streams, powered with interactive tools like live chat and polls. You can easily schedule and promote these events to your community. It provides a virtual stage for your presenters, making it easy to share their expertise.
So, whether you're planning educational webinars, fireside chats with experts, or just a good old-fashioned community hangout, Scenes can help you set the stage and make your live events enjoyable and engaging for everyone in your digital neighborhood. It's like being the host of the best online parties in town, where everyone feels welcome and excited to join in the fun!
5. Empower Your Hosts
Hosts are friendly faces who welcome new members, answer questions and guide discussions. They're the ones who set the tone for your community. But why is empowering these hosts so important? Think about it in the context of a real neighborhood. Local leaders and community organizers play a vital role in maintaining a sense of order, helping neighbors connect, and resolving issues. In the online world, community hosts serve a similar purpose. They embody your community's values and culture, setting the tone for interactions and ensuring that everyone has a positive experience.
Scenes recognize the importance of community hosts. The platform provides tools and features that empower hosts to do their job effectively. Here's how:
Moderation Tools: Scenes equips hosts with powerful moderation tools to manage discussions and enforce community guidelines. They can monitor conversations, remove inappropriate content, and keep the community safe.
Communication: Effective communication is at the core of hosting. Scenes offer features like private messaging and group chats, enabling hosts to reach out to members directly, address concerns, and provide support.
Recognition and Rewards: Scenes allow you to acknowledge the efforts of your hosts. You can spotlight their contributions, celebrate their achievements, and even offer them rewards for their dedication. This recognition not only motivates hosts but also sets a positive example for other members.
6. Listen to Your Community
Listening to your community goes beyond passive observation; it involves actively engaging with your members, understanding their needs, and responding to their feedback.
Effective communication is a two-way street. Don't just broadcast information; actively listen to your community members. Use surveys, polls, and feedback mechanisms to understand their needs, preferences, and concerns. Act on this feedback when making decisions or adjustments to your community's direction. Showing that you value their input fosters a sense of ownership among members.
Here's why it matters:
Building Trust: When you listen to your community, you show that you value their opinions and are genuinely interested in their well-being. This builds trust and strengthens the sense of belonging. Just like at a dinner party, people feel more comfortable and connected when they know their host cares about their experience.
Improving Engagement: Engaging with your community's feedback helps you make meaningful changes. It's like adjusting the menu at your dinner party based on what your guests enjoyed the most. This keeps them coming back for more.
Now, how can you do this effectively, especially in an online community? Here's where technology, like the Scenes platform, can help:
Feedback Mechanisms: Scenes allow you to set up feedback mechanisms like surveys and polls. You can ask your community members for their thoughts on various topics, gather their opinions on community events, or even inquire about their preferences.
Community Forums: Scenes provide spaces for open discussions. These forums allow members to share their ideas, concerns, and feedback openly. It's like having a suggestion box at your party where everyone can contribute their thoughts.
Private Messaging: Sometimes, people may want to share feedback privately. Scenes enable private messaging, allowing community members to have one-on-one conversations with you or your hosts.
Regular Check-Ins: Scenes also support regular check-ins with your community through announcements and updates. You can keep them informed about changes and improvements, showing that you're actively working to enhance their experience.
7. Show Appreciation to Your Community Members
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, show genuine appreciation for your community members. Recognize and celebrate their contributions, whether it's through shoutouts, member spotlights, or rewards for active participation. A simple thank you can go a long way in reinforcing a positive community culture. Remember, your community is built on the members' collective efforts and engagement.
Creating an environment where members feel valued and appreciated is not just a nice to have; it's a key factor in building a thriving and engaged community. Similar to hosting a memorable gathering, showing appreciation fosters a culture of trust, respect, and camaraderie. It motivates your community members to remain active and enthusiastic participants, ultimately contributing to the success of your online community.
Ready to elevate your community? Let's have a conversation about how Scenes can work for you and your community.