In this day and age, you no longer have to go outside to interact and connect with people you share interests with. In fact, thanks to various social networking platforms, managing an online community has become easier than ever as well.
If you’ve ever wanted to create an online community, be it for a hobby or for your business, you’ll still need the necessary know-how to effectively manage the group. Without proper knowledge in handling an online community, you might unintentionally create a breeding ground for toxicity.
The good news is that learning about online community management isn’t complex. If you’re hoping to manage your own tiny community soon, then here are a few tips to help it grow as healthily as possible.
Pick A Niche That You Are Passionate About
To be able to build a good community, you must first start with the basics. In this case, it’s about picking a niche or the topic of the community that you want to create. Is it about a group for those that love finding good restaurants? A community for gaming? The possibilities are near endless.
What’s important is that you pick a niche that you are passionate about. You can’t lead a small online community if you don’t love what it’s about. You can focus on a very specific niche to target a specific audience, but this can greatly limit the number of people you can reach out to.
Set Rules, Be Fair
Communities need to be managed as properly as possible. The best way to do that is by setting the rules and being very thorough about it. There should be a dedicated page for security rules and guidelines on your platform. It should be in an area that’s easily visible as well.
When it comes to the rules themselves, you need to lay down some standard community practices. No hate speeches, no toxicity, only topics related to the community are allowed – the works. The goal isn’t to just prevent toxicity in the group, it’s also to make sure that the members are in a productive environment as well.
It’s very important that you stay fair and just when it comes to your rules. If there are punishments to be given, then be clear about what those are. All members should be penalized by the same system and there should be no form of favoritism as well.
Paid Or Free Membership?
This is often a choice to be made by people that are hoping to monetize their online community in exchange for special perks for paying members. There are many benefits to running a community paid membership structure, and one of those is you can find more loyal and devoted members of the community through this.
Of course, you’ll need a proper platform to be able to manage paid memberships effectively. According to the team at Learning Revolution, a membership platform will serve as a means for you to safely and properly manage subscription fees in your community. Investing in such a platform is crucial, especially for communities that continue to grow.
Once your community begins to grow to thousands, it will be very important to begin using a system that can manage subscription members easily. This isn’t just to make things easier on your end, it’s also to ensure that your subscribers are getting the best treatment possible.
It would be best to give your community members a choice between paid and free memberships. Of course, perks are in store for those that give a little extra.
Keep Topics Going With Content
An online community will die out once people engage less on the platform. One of the toughest jobs of running an online community is making sure that people always have something to talk about. One way to keep engagement going is by continuously posting content on the community’s platform.
This content can be a video, an article, or an image. Anything that can strike up a healthy discussion within the community is bound to help it grow. It can be a bit difficult to do this at first, but with practice, you’ll be able to provide your community with what it needs to keep engagement high.
No Man Is An Island
Don’t think for one second that managing an online community is easy. It can be tough, especially without any prior experience. You should make the job easier by hiring community managers. They should be people who’ve had experience in managing online communities already.
The more that your online community grows, the more important it is to expand your team with experienced people. It will help lessen the problems that you face in the group, and it will make the overall job of managing the community even easier. What some people do is hire from their members after a while, and this isn’t a bad idea.
Making an online community is easy, but creating one that’s toxicity-free and continuously growing can be quite the challenge. May these tips help you become a better community manager. It will be great to have more people join your community in hopes of meeting like-minded people.