How to build a successful online community platform?
Did you know that customers spend 19% more after joining a brand’s online community? If you’re a business owner and content creator, now is the time to launch your online community everywhere using the best online community platform.
Online communities allow brands to align their business with their target audience. It's becoming increasingly common for them and other content creators to use these communities to attract a new audience and strengthen their engagement with current ones.
Mike Morrison of “The Membership Guys” said that having a strong sense of community is essential to their membership. If you want people to stick around, you have to make them feel like they're part of something.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What is an online community platform?
- What are the benefits of an online community platform?
- 7 steps to create an online community platform
- And many more…
What is an online community platform?
In an online community platform, people are encouraged to communicate and hold open discussions about their shared interests, goals, and beliefs to foster a sense of community amongst themselves. It also enables content creators to interact with their audience.
There’s a wide variety of online communities, and they can be in any shape and size. The common types include open membership, private with a membership application, invite-only, and many more.
What are the benefits of an online community platform?
If you want to take up space in the creator economy, building a community is a must. Having an online community is like welcoming your potential customers and target audience into your virtual business and returning them every day. An online community that matches your customers' needs will allow you to learn more about them and build a stronger relationship.
Below are some of the advantages you’ll get from your community:
Receive Customer or Audience Feedback Immediately
The greatest way to learn about product and service enhancements is to get feedback from your consumers. They'll be able to tell you everything they like, everything they don't like, and everything they never use. Your online community platform serves as a megaphone for your customers or audience to tell you what you can do to serve them better.
Cut Support Costs in your Budget
Using your online community, you can not only answer customer questions, but you can also see what recurring issues customers are encountering and address them. Customer service will receive fewer calls, resulting in reduced support costs.
There are many ways to increase your engagement in online communities. If you’re an influencer on Instagram, you can ask your followers or community members to tag your account every time they post their stories to share a daily win, how they’re using your product, or any other relevant information about their everyday life.
7 Steps to Create an Online Community Platform
Step #1: Know your audience
To better understand your clients and target demographic, you can use buyer personas. Creating buyer personas will help you better understand why your target audience needs your product or service, how to target and convert them, and how to build long-lasting relationships with them.
Step #2: Determine your community’s values and goals
As the community creator, you should get something out of it. You may ask yourself these questions: will it provide me with new content ideas, elevate my position in my niche and specialty, or improve my earnings in any other indirect or direct manner?
Running, moderating, and advertising the community will become just another thing on your to-do list if there are no clear motivations. Furthermore, you need to guarantee that your community's value proposition is strong enough to attract the correct kind of members.
Are there opportunities to present new ideas and get feedback on them? How much time, money, or productivity will they gain from your content?
Step #3: Choose a perfect community platform service provider
To build an audience, we recommend using a community platform that allows you to be found by new people, such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Other content creators also use messaging apps like Telegram and WhatsApp to build group chats. For paying members, you want to bill them using Stripe, PayPal, CashApp, or Venmo.
Many content creators use Discord to create servers and communities that let them interact with their students, fans, or friends. You may use excel sheets to keep track of payments and ensure everyone is paying, and you want to hire a moderator to make sure that your community functions smoothly.
Doing all these tasks at once may seem overwhelming. Luckily, there’s an option that lets you do this all in one place, like Backspace.
With Backspace's revolutionary features, you can build, monetize, and manage your community all in one place for free, so you can skip all the steps above and not have to use all those platforms.
You may have also come across Whitelabel platforms. Having people download a separate app or website for your community is inconvenient because, most probably, they are also active members in other communities. It also limits the number of people you can bring to your app or site.
When you use a platform like Backspace, users have an easier time finding you and your community tends to keep organically growing.
Step #4: Create your community rules and regulations
To keep your community running well, it's essential to keep some regulations. As soon as someone joins, show them the rules and regulations that they must follow before becoming an official member. Tell them they will be kicked out of the community if they don't comply.
When it comes to the rules of the group, for example, members aren't allowed to criticize each other and promote their items.
Step #5: Assign community stakeholders
It's just as essential to have team members dedicated to specific roles in your online community platform as it is in your business. Your organization's involvement in the community will dictate which team members accomplish which tasks.
It's time for you to hire a community manager if you've grown to spend more time in the community than working on your business. Similar to content creators, you should not spend your entire day overseeing your community. It will prevent you from creating content for your channels.
Tip: If you don't have the funds to hire a moderator, talk to people already involved in the group to see if they'd be willing to help.
Step #6: Put up your community
Once you know what your community stands for, who its members are, and the ground rules everyone must abide by. You can now get this community up and running on the platform of your choice.
Here are a few things to remember:
- Customize the group's name and colors, and verify that all members have the right permissions.
- It's up to you to figure out what channels, rooms, and contents should be available to the members. Will some content be published at a specific time?
- What will they see when a user logs in for the first time? Is there a specific welcome email or checklist for new members? Is there a place for new members to meet each other?
Step #7: Grow your community
Now that the backend of your community is in place, it's time to entice individuals to join. You should promote your online community platform in the same way you market your service and product; by focusing on the problem that the community addresses, you'll be able to persuade others of the benefits of joining.
You may also use Facebook group insights or Backspace analytics and other platforms you're utilizing to monitor your results. An explanation for any unexpected increases or changes in patterns should be within your grasp.
Try Backspace for Community Monetization!
The power of online communities can't be overstated. They can increase your audience's engagement with the information you provide. However, these benefits come at a price, as strong communities necessitate time and effort to cultivate.
For many content creators, the ideal option is to test the water first by building free online communities and opt for the paid ones once thriving. Try Backspace now! Backspace is dedicated to improving and developing communities of all sizes. Our goal is to cover all bases from both the user and the creator. Our online community platform is accessible for a free and paid membership.
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