Communities serve an important function. They act as a hub of interaction and information between like-minded people, members, residents, and fans. Individuals sometimes get together in the form of groups and communities to look for short-term solutions to common challenges or things they have a shared passion about., More often than not, communities work on long-term projects towards the common goal of its members. This is why you as an active member of the community, should always be ready to create atmospheres that foster engagement and good will for everyone.
Are communities really that important? Well, as you may have read in the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, being social and participating in a community is an essential human need. It helps them on the path towards their search for self-actualization.
Like any business, a community needs a mission — a reason for being. Communities need to be driven for a purpose towards a solution to problems. This is the reason every leader should ask themselves the question — what is our purpose?
If you too are a leader in your community, or want to gather people to work around a common cause, following are the important considerations you need to be aware of.
Best Practices for Building a Community
1. Be Purpose-driven
People have always required a strong sense of direction and purpose for their endeavors. This is the vital factor of a community that keeps it from turning into an exclusive club.
2. Keep Your Focus on Your Purpose and Your Members
What is the difference between creating a brand community and a community brand? This tends to happen when a community works only to realize the needs of a couple of people. A community should be driven by a shared purpose while focusing on the needs of all its members.
3. Find The Right Tools and Strategies that Support Communities
This is the part where a community gets the word out and shares with their networks that they have built something or are working on something important and exciting. The only right way of doing this is by making sure your community has a Unified Sense of Purpose. This is because there are millions of people trying to get their word out every single day. If your purpose is unique and driven enough, it will organically radiate on social media platforms.
4. Involve Your Members
This one is pretty obvious, but that doesn’t mean communities don’t make this mistake. This problem can be seen in the case of the Gap logo change. The most loyal customers of this brand were left surprised — and not in a good way — when the traditional logo of Gap had changed. This points to the fact that if the community members need to have a strong sense of ownership to the change that will affect them or they may reject the change.
5. Empower Your Members
In the modern world, leaders are no longer required to be the smartest people in the room. An effective trick is to build towards thought processes and behaviors that lead members of the community to bring forth the best possible answers to problems. It is now the job of the leader to invite as many smart people in to room that will be able to create the best channel contributions and best opportunities for the community.
The Bottom Line
There can be no guarantee that a community will thrive to be the best and sustainable one there is. With the above elements, however, a leader can work towards creating a successful community.