Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Building an Online Community Plan



Bill Faeth published a blog article talking about how to develop an online community plan. In the article, Online Community Plan, Bill Faeth found that most of community development plans are either “impractical, irrelevant, or do not exist.” In order to help company to get a better social start, he offers a list of 10 ways to develop an online community plan.

Using some of his suggestions can help you to set clearly community goal and built strong community engagement.

Following are some tips that you need to consider before running a community.




1.   Who runs the community? A team needs a leader. Figure out who is the leader of a community is the first the step to building a community. A community leader should responsible for community daily management along with a clear job description of what they can and can not do and their deliverables.

2.    Build community persona.  You need to build the community personas with your community manager so everyone on the team has a clear understanding of who you are targeting to join.  You will want to include as much information as possible like demographics, habits and attitudes, vehicle types they drive, education levels, average annual income, marital status, number of kids, etc. This will help everyone developing the community clearly understand the community personas and narrow the target audience.

3.   Early targets.   Now that you have community personas you can start to target them.  This is very simple as you want to target 20-50 people that fall into your persona descriptions to join immediately.  Try and target the people with the most online or social influence first.

4.   Knowing why should they join.  Just like any other sales process, you need to be prepared to explain why these people should join your new online community. Do you have a value proposition to offer them?  Is joining your community going to increase their stature in the off-line community?  Give them increased visibility or fame?  Your value proposition needs to be written as you develop your community personas so you are prepared to answer these questions.


Yan Sun is a graduate student in Integrated Marketing Communication program at Northwestern University with concentration of  marketing analytics and digital marketing. If you interested in Yan's posts and have any question, please reach him at yansun2012@u.northwestern.edu 

2 comments:

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