Whether it’s about internal company communication towards employees and colleagues or building a community around your own editorial content and news, long-term engagement with the target audience as a functioning community is an important issue. Users want to have something in common. Even in the digital realm, we are ultimately social beings. And especially in times of increasing digitization of all professional and private communication, we are looking for like-minded people and common ground.
The same interests and passions, as well as positive or negative experiences that can be shared, strengthen the togetherness in the company, in the club or even in the context of other hobbies or interests. It’s about building a positive environment. For any brand, there is nothing more valuable than an engaged, enthusiastic and committed target group.
Building a functioning community takes time and certainly patience while avoiding certain mistakes. We have written down a few of the most important stumbling blocks:
1. Keeping an eye on your own goals
No community serves an end in itself. In the company, it is about improving internal communication, more motivation or a quick exchange of opinions and information. In the area of private interests, it is again about somewhat different things. In terms of communication, the community is usually part of a larger strategy. It is therefore important to formulate concretely what goal you are pursuing, because based on this, you have to find out what forms of content as well as commitment and what resources you need to achieve this goal.
2. Dynamism does not come by chance
Ultimately, everyone wants an active community. The key is therefore always a certain commitment, a certain passion for the content and topics. To manage this and ensure it over the long term, a community manager who understands the topic and is also passionate about it is critical to success. This is someone who is informed and willing to invest energy and time, who spares no effort in asking and answering questions. Someone who is available as a point of contact for questions, comments and ideas, and who himself repeatedly sets topics and discussion points. But also someone who makes sure that things don’t get out of hand.
3. Actively encourage and demand attention and commitment
New content is a constant source of interest for your own users, especially if it’s also a call to action! Comments, feedback and replies are an easy way to engage with current topics or posts and create an active community. With the appropriate headlines or comments, this engagement can be easily strengthened. With appropriate image motifs, this can be reinforced in the sense of a “thread”. This signals to the users: we are interested in your opinions, ideas and comments. Give them to us!
4. Never stop learning and experimenting
Not every contribution will have a big impact and spark an active discussion. This makes it all the more important to develop a feeling for which topics, questions and formulations do this particularly well. To find this out, you often have to experiment and try out different things. Because every community is different. In the end, you’ll have a solid overview of what works for your own user base and what doesn’t. Developing exciting content “with impact” will make this much easier!
5. Identify and involve multipliers
Not all members of your own community are equally active or willing to get involved. Certain users who are particularly engaged, who comment or chat a lot, quickly become apparent. It is important to keep these users in line and motivate them in a targeted manner. Often it makes sense to involve them even further and to communicate directly with them to show appreciation. Maybe they are interested in further possibilities to contribute content themselves. It is important to find approaches to sustainably activate these “influencers” and to engage them for the community.
6. Quality before quantity
“Quality over quantity” is a principle that plays an important role in building a community. Nobody likes to be overloaded with news and content. There is already too much content. Therefore, the relevance for the respective target group is crucial. It is therefore important to pay attention to the frequency of one’s own posts, news and content on the one hand and to keep an eye on what is well received and how. In this way, you can sharpen your content profile and improve the quality from the community’s point of view.
7. Extending the community into real life
A mobile, digital community is fantastic. But sometimes nothing beats real life. Non-virtual group meetings to reach and connect your community in real life often offer great added value. In a company this is automatically given, but also in other communities it makes sense to think about something like that. Getting to know other members and building an emotional bond creates memories that are closely associated with the brand, and most likely leads to a more loyal audience.
8. Courage to hold different opinions
Every community thrives on interesting discussions. These always come about when positions and perspectives are heterogeneous enough. Therefore, care should be taken to ensure that members also benefit from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. This will not only trigger interesting conversations in the comments or chats, but also create a (learning) environment where users feel safe to share and express themselves.
9. Using the instruments correctly
At its core, tchop offers two main tools for creating a community around your own content and news: Comments and chats. Using both in the right combination is not always easy, but it is an important success factor. Comments always revolve around a specific piece of content; they often have a more concrete, closer connection. Chat groups, on the other hand, can be used flexibly for topics and questions independent of a specific contribution. They have more the character of a direct exchange or conversation, while comments are more comparable to the function of a forum (also because here you can “like” comments or reply to specific comments). The right mix is crucial.
10. Pay attention to netiquette
So-called netiquette in communities not only ensures a pleasant working atmosphere, but also enables successful collaboration. Clear rules for form and content are just as necessary as the above-mentioned community manager. Only the two together ensure that communication in the network is as clear and productive as possible. Common rules of conduct that everyone agrees on are a crucial building block. Experience shows that the more activity there is in a community, the greater the risk that individual users will go “overboard.
Modern digital communication that stands out from the rest relies not only on the dissemination of content, but also promotes a lively exchange of ideas between users. A communication platform comes alive through a community supported by a sense of “we”. Social media offerings demonstrate this. The opportunity: the creation of a unique world of experience that encourages employees and customers to become even better or to experience or want to know even more. A community needs care and commitment. This generates effort and is not always easy. But the commitment is worth it, because successful communities multiply the success of their own communication and content.
If you have any questions about tchop’s community features, feel free to write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.