Our communities are our comfort zones, and sometimes we start creating community without consciously thinking about it.
They’re the places where we find similar-minded people, make friends, and geek out about the things we’re passionate about.
Your publication and its subscription have the potential —with some strategy and gentle nudges— to elevate into the status of a community with loyal members.
Wondering what community can bring to your business? We’ll breakdown the importance of community, and the top five ways to create it in a way unique to your business.
The Importance of Creating Community
We tend to see a lot of strategies to attract new community members. However, the number of strategies regarding keeping these new members in the fold seems to be a bit on the thin side.
How you treat your new community members in the first 30 to 60 days will be crucial in determining whether they’ll stay or leave. In other words: what’s your customer retention rate?
A slight increase of 5% in your customer retention rate can boost your profits from 25% up to 95%, according to Bain researchers.
Therefore, the importance of creating a community can’t be overstated. How should we start?
Creating Community 101
It can be a bit daunting at first to create a community from what seems to be a ‘void’.
However, if you follow the five upcoming steps, you’ll find that the key to start is your brand. Afterward, all things follow.
1. What Do You Stand For?
Or it can be worded differently by saying: what’s your brand all about?
Communities tend to grow organically around either a common purpose or shared values, so you need to have a clear idea of what those are. Who are your readers? Do they have similar values to the ones written in your mission statement?
Moreover, after identifying who you want in our community, you’ll have to also identify where your borders are.
It might be tempting to try to fit everyone’s standards, however, going too broad won’t do you any favors. You won’t be able to create a tight community if you try to cater to everyone and their mother. Unless you’re Coca Cola.
2. What are you offering?
There are commonly shared characteristics that the best brands offer to their communities.
If you can provide all five elements via your content as well as your subscription revenue model, you’re already on your way.
3. What Are the Right Tools for Smooth Community Communication?
The right tools for you and your community have to fit your business and what you’re trying to do.
Since you’ve already established what you stand for, and who you’re targeting, it’s time to decide the ‘where’ and ‘how.’
Your ‘where’ and ‘how’ will be met by choosing the right platform. As time goes on, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your readers. But as a start, think small and simple.
A basic comment section might be good enough for your website, especially if you pair it with a Facebook group.
Have a specific project that will work best with constant daily communication? Don’t be shy to use Slack.
With monitoring how active your platforms are (social media or others), you’ll be able to deduce which ones are getting more engagement and why.
4. How Valuable and Exclusive Is Your Membership?
For the highest impact possible on customer retention, your membership should be of high value, and exclusive to your ‘insiders.’
How to do that?
The start would be by making sure that your community members feel safe with sharing information both with you and others in your community.
Then, they have to internalize that they’ve been not only accepted but that they earned their spot in the community.
It sounds tricky, but you can do that by clearly defining and enforcing moderation standards. In addition, as well as creating layers into your community by engagement levels and setting up rewards to match.
These benefits can range from simple icons showcasing their elevated status to discounts and invitations to exclusive events.
5. Are Communication Lines Open Between Your Community Members?
Because it’s not enough that they feel comfortable talking to you. They also need to feel comfortable talking to each other.
Of course, there will be an awkward phase where people aren’t comfortable initiating conversations yet.
However, by providing value on a consistent basis as well as asking your community for feedback and answers, it’ll begin flowing naturally in time.
Our Digital Communities Will Keep Evolving
Thus, we’ll evolve with it as well.
Our communities can be our home away from home. Creating one for your publication and readers can bring you so much value on multiple levels. Monetary and otherwise.
Are you ready to create the right subscription platform for your readers? Make sure to schedule a demo, so we can show you where to start!