Four Steps to Growing Your Community in 2023
Like most things in life, there is no magic solution to growing and scaling the size and scope of your organization’s community. The real answer is customizing your efforts to the unique characteristics of your audience. That being said, take a look at the general tactics below and tailor these into specific strategies that fit your niche.
Never lose sight of your organization’s vision.
The best leaders know that keeping things simple is the key to efficiency. In this vein, we recommend starting with the question of “What does our organization do for our members?” Keep that focus in mind as you develop messaging and ensure that everyone is working towards that goal. If your tactics and strategies revolve directly around your organization's core values, organic growth will follow.
Create special efforts around new members.
When someone joins your organization’s community they are generally at their most receptive. If possible, assign a team member from your organization to serve as the welcoming committee. Reach out to new members via email, chat, social, and even phone to welcome them to the community. It is easy to lose sight of how impactful a personal phone call from a ‘real human’ can be in today’s digital world. We guarantee your new members will not quickly forget that phone call encouraging them to participate in the community.
Encourage collaboration from everyone (and we mean everyone).
As your organization vies for the attention of current and prospective community members, the more action your organization creates within your community the more momentum you build. As humans, we are all attracted to what’s ‘happening’ - we simply cannot help ourselves. If we see others participating around a topic or initiative we are interested in, we are organically drawn in. Given this, we strongly recommend that you, your team and all stakeholders actively post, comment and like content inside of your community on a very regular basis. This can be as simple as a team members liking the posts of members or you uploading a photo from the organization's most recent conference. If you can convince your executive director to participate on the platform in any fashion, that will go a long way in creating buy-in from the organization at-large. The more you (and your team) put into your community, the more you will unequivocally get out of those efforts.
Recruit Ambassadors and Volunteers.
Supporting the growth of your community should not be viewed as a solo or even two-person effort. The most successful community management programs are a group effort composed of a leader (or two) along with a team of community advocates who find the efforts rewarding. Every community we have worked with has at least a handful of members who embrace being named as a community ambassador or volunteer. Call upon these individuals to assist with community management efforts. Ask volunteers to post on the social feed a few times a week - you will be surprised at how much those posts will encourage others to participate. Assign ambassadors to serve as your ‘welcoming committee’ for new members. Ambassadors can pick up the phone and reach out to new community members or even sending a simple instant message inside of the community will create connections with those newcomers.
Interested in learning more about online communities? Reach out to one of UpSquad 's engagement specialists today!