Build A Community And Bond With Like-Minded People Online
One of the best ways to enhance audience engagement, build customer trust, and grow your expertise is through online communities.
About 72% of all internet users engaged in forums, blogs, or online communities in 2017. Since 2019, that figure has increased to nearly 76%.
As a content creator, starting your community can have enormous benefits if implemented right.
We'll look at the advantages and the detailed steps you must follow to build an online community and bond with like-minded people.
But before that, let's understand what online communities are.
What Is An Online Community?
An online community is similar to an offline community. It's a group of people who share a common interest come together, gain knowledge, and develop a sense of togetherness.,
You can build in a work community (co-working space), a fitness community (group exercises or a running club), a hobby community (a writers' gathering), or any community that revolves around your interest.
Why Should You Build An Online Community? Check Out These Advantages
So why is it crucial to be a part of a community that shares your views? Here are three advantages of building an online community of like-minded people that can help you in our personal and professional life.
- Helps Establish Your Credibility
Active online communities provide members a sense of belonging and a platform for interaction where they can share their opinions and problems. Giving your participants a place where they can get to know you personally will only strengthen their relationship with you and enhance your credibility.
- Helps Building Niche Groups
Online communities have become more niche in their audience as they have gained in appeal, making it possible for you to build a community around a niche topic.
What makes that so pivotal? As an example, consider the recent changes in marketing.
In the past, the objective was to contact as many individuals as possible and hope that a tiny fraction would interact.
Nowadays, marketing initiatives are highly targeted and personalized. Similar principles apply to online communities.
- Brings People All Over The World Together
Online communities can play a role in fostering deep, meaningful connections, but their capacity to link individuals from all over the world gives them even more strength.
You are exposed to millions of intelligent, talented people who share the same interest as yours.
How To Build A Community And Bond With Like-Minded People?
- Build A Presence For Your Online Community
The two basic categories of online communities are:
- Free Social Networking Site
Excellent examples of free networks on which you can create a community include Facebook, LinkedIn, and Reddit.
- Platforms for Branded Communities
Platforms for branded communities, also known as owned communities, are managed by the hosts of the community from their platform and under their own URL.
Choose which of the two methods above works best for you once you have determined the goal of your online community.
If you choose branded communities, you must create a webpage that makes it easier for people to find you and join your community. A compelling domain name with .bond can urge people to join your online community. Here's how:
Registering your domain name with .bond makes you stand out. Why .bond? Your online community is there to assist people in creating connections with others. A domain name with ".bond" will make that obvious.
For instance, www.writers.bond makes it evident to your audience that they can discover writers and authors in your online community with whom they can exchange ideas and gain knowledge.
- Define The Goals And Objectives Of Your Online Community
Even though a community might have many goals, it's ideal to concentrate on a few representing the value your community members will gain.
It's crucial to comprehend what fosters a sense of community and how its members derive value if you want to learn how to build one.
Here are the four main areas you should concentrate on to encourage a sense of belonging among your members.
- Membership: A feeling of connection, belonging, and alignment with other community members who share similar objectives and passions.
- Influence: Group cohesiveness depends on the group having some influence over its members. Community members should feel empowered to influence what a group accomplishes (otherwise, there is no desire to participate).
- Fulfillment of needs: Beyond just having the status of a member, participants should feel appreciated for their contributions and derive value from belonging to the organization.
- Shared emotional connections: Strong friendships and exchanges lead to shared emotional connections. Receiving praise from within a community can strengthen your sense of belonging while feeling embarrassed in front of the group might weaken it.
- Establish Community Standards And Regulations
It's essential to set the rules and regulations that will allow you to keep bullies, spammers, and abusers out of your community.
Establishing community rules and guidelines make it very clear to your members what code of conduct they need to adhere to.
Your community guidelines should sum up the following areas:
- What exactly constitutes "bullying" in terms of behavior?
- What moderators can and cannot do in terms of behavior
- What issues are relevant to the community in terms of topic focus?
- How can complaints be flagged, and how are they handled in the complaint and resolution process?
- Everyone should feel accepted and not excluded from your community, and there should be zero tolerance for discrimination and harassment.
- Do A Dummy Run
Once you think everything is in place and you're happy with your online community's operation, do a dummy run to test everything out. A dummy run aims to prepare your community to go live without glitches.
You can do a dummy run in three phases:
- Get Ready For A Dummy run
At this point, your community should be ready to launch. Any faults have either been resolved or are planned for repair.
- Ask Your Friends And Colleagues To Test It Out
Before your community becomes publicly accessible, use trustworthy colleagues and friends to identify any issues. Before the final launch, they can offer you insightful input while testing your community and reporting any faults they notice.
- Do A Public Dummy Run
The audience for this launch should be small, and you should urge them to provide feedback on your new community forum.
- Make Some Noise Around It
Once your date has been decided, it is time to inform everyone about the launch. The easiest way is to capitalize on your current web presence. Promote your launch using your website, newsletter, and social media networks like LinkedIn to run campaigns.
Here's how you can get your first few sign-ups:
- Invite Your Connections: The first few members of your community can be your friends and family. Ask them to join your community and share it with their connections to keep the wheel moving.
- Grow Your Network: Develop your networks and interact with people you believe will be interested in joining your community. Once they sign up, give them some exclusive deals.
- Collaborate With Influencers: working with an influencer who caters to a similar and complimentary audience can help promote your new community and welcome new members.
Online communities raise awareness, facilitate new bonds, and increase conversions. Building an online community can help you become a thought leader in your niche if you have a clear goal and use the correct moderation techniques.
Their ability to create strong bonds makes these online communities worthwhile.
We hope the steps mentioned above will be helpful if you're trying to create an online community. Also, don't forget to register a credible, strong, and short domain name with .bond for your online community.