Building an online community is one thing and building an engaging online community is another.
The community members are always the first to embrace your product/service. If you are an individual content creator, there could be nothing better than a community looking for instant updates about your life and the industry.
What is an engaging online community?
An engaging community houses many like-minded individuals who regularly share industry insights and provide constructive feedback to other creators. If you offer something of value, community members share it like their own and help distribute content. If you want to know about online communities in detail, read our blog, Everything You Need To Know About Online Communities.
Why do you need an online community?
It works like an automated marketing program, which keeps on running through organic channels and user-generated content. Online communities help in marketing the content without putting much effort into the exercise. Online communities effectively leverage Word of Mouth Marketing to a large extent. Creators never have to go out and look for engagement, but people do it out of love and the reputation you build over the years.
11 Ways To Build An Engaging Online Community
1. Create Content
This is the most crucial aspect of building an engaging online community. Without content, creators cannot expect to gain momentum when the world is facing an information overload. More than quantity, your content should add value to lives so that they follow you without a second thought.
Irrespective of the platform, content creation is the first step to get the community building exercise going. The moment you publish your content, you start getting the attention that keeps on growing with unique and relevant content. Once you put up a substantial amount of content, you can interact with the audience and make efforts to get them on board. Content creation could be a tweet, an Instagram reel, Youtube Video, an online workshop or anything else where you put in efforts to derive value.
2. Build a Personal Brand
Your personal brand speaks for itself. People fall in love with the humans who build in public and share every instance with the audience. For creating a personal brand, you should start with identifying the knowledge you can share and several aspects like:
- Your objective of building a personal brand
- Who is your target audience?
- Which channel would you choose?
- What type of content can you share?
- Who else has a personal brand in the same industry?
Once you answer all the questions, you can go ahead with building a personal brand. After establishing, creators also need to leverage their brand and establish an engaging online community. Engaging online communities provide insights into market trends, likes, dislikes, and a lot more if you are known for your work.
3. Establish a presence on Social Media
Social Media platforms have a tremendous amount of audience willing to consume content if they find it relevant. You need to get in touch with that audience by sharing useful insights about the targeted industry. Along with sharing information, you should also interact with people in the comments and personal message section. Regular interaction helps you gain the recognition and reputation required to build an engaging community.
Having an account on every social media network is a good idea. To get the most out of social media, it’s more productive to master one channel rather than many at the same time.
4. Host Online Workshops
Online Workshops follow a practical approach to learning through live sessions conducted over a while. The purpose of an online workshop is to encourage interaction so that people could learn from the experts. Along with learning, workshops create a path of turning participants into a member of an online community.
Members who become a part of a community after a workshop are more involved as everyone goes through the same learning process. As a creator, you should always facilitate the members through exciting insights and valuable learning material. A discussion forum would be a good addition if you can nurture a healthy conversation from time to time.
5. Create Online Courses
Online courses not only guarantee you a constant stream of income but also make way for building a community. A person attending the online course becomes a part if you give him/her a chance to interact with you after the end of the course.
Individual creators usually rely on Facebook/Whatsapp group to stay in touch with the students who took part in the course. This exercise contributes to the relationship between the creator and content consumer. Constant interaction is crucial for any community to stay connected and benefit every member, even if they are not creating content.
6. Publish Ebooks
Every individual creator is not comfortable facing cameras and speaking in front of a large audience. If you are one of those, you can write and publish Ebooks to reach a large audience. Ebooks serve as a reliable source of information if supported with actionable knowledge to benefit the industry.
After launching the Ebook, creators can get in touch with the readers and interact with them to get the essence of a community. You need to provide people with a platform to communicate and work towards a common goal related to the subject.
7. Start Providing Professional Assistance
A community of experts is known to help individuals who are looking to master a skill or grow in their professional lives. Many individuals/businesses seek advice from experts to build their brand or do well in their careers. Consultation helps you earn reputation, but the same could turn out to be a community-building exercise.
Eventually, an expert can help many individuals and encourage engagement in the community The consulting part gives you a chance to interact and solve problems. In turn, the audience connects with you and start becoming a part of your community. To engage a community, you need to make people feel valued and consultation helps you establish that with ease.
8. Leverage Community Building Platforms
With the boom of the passion economy, many platforms have started embracing the creators and providing opportunities to build a community online. These platforms are the one-stop destination for creating content, distributing, marketing and also interacting with the community as a whole.
You can build a community using our community-building platform, GoSocial as well. GoSocial is one such community platform providing creators with the tools for efficient communication. You can create online courses, conduct workshops, go for live sessions, do private/group chat, implement discussion forums and a lot more using a single platform.
9. Go for Collaborations
The world is booming with individual creators of every industry. This growth comes with a chance to collaborate and complement each other’s work to build a community of like-minded individuals. Collaborations are effective as they offer a collective boost, which is not possible if you go solo every time.
The addition of a creator in your community helps in 2-way communication, where there are many experts with a following of their own. The audience also loves to be a part of a channel where useful information has several perspectives coming from multiple experts.
10. Increase Event Participation
Communities and brands host several talks where they call experts to share the industry insights. These events have an audience that is not a part of your existing community. Sharing your knowledge through these platforms can help you get a new audience interested to learn from you.
Participations like these get more eyeballs that contribute to your popularity and help build a reputation of a knowledgeable content creator. The world is looking to embrace such creators; you need to start being more visible to use this opportunity. Once you get people to understand your capabilities, you can work on interacting and helping them grow with time.
11. Start a Newsletter
Newsletters work wonders if you get hold of an authentic email list. To build a list, start asking for email addresses from the people you interact with on platforms like social media. If you host workshops or offer online courses, you can collect this data through the registration process.
Some readers look for relevant information and love to interact with the experts in their field. If you can deliver that information in the mailboxes, the communication would become prosperous with time. In addition, you will be free from being dependent on any social media algorithm that might change or manipulate your reach at any time.