How to Grow and Manage Your Online Community

A vibrant community gives members the forum to engage with others, discuss new ideas and identify with those who have similar goals and experiences.

Whether the community is geographical, social or professional, its ultimate goal is to foster growth, both for the individual and the group as a whole.

This goal is also at the heart of any online community. An online community is a group of people with common interests or goals who use the internet to communicate and pursue their interests.

Through active participation, the members of an online community have the opportunity to interact and share experiences through forums, blog writing, email groups and social networks.

What Are the Benefits of an Online Community?

To fully appreciate the benefits of an online community, consider the limitations of a physical community. Schedule conflicts, geographical distance and even shyness are all obstacles for effective community participation. Fortunately, by growing a community online, these obstacles are easy to overcome.

  • The community is active around the clock, eliminating schedule conflicts
  • Members connect online, making geographic location unimportant
  • Addressing a group online is much easier than speaking in front of a group of people, allowing even the most reserved members the ability to actively participate

By creating an online community, you can give your audience the opportunity to interact with your brand in a way that is convenient, non-threatening and fun.

How to Grow and Manage Your Online Community

How to Establish an Online Community

Starting an online community from scratch can be a challenge. However, considering a few key factors can help you be sure that you are getting off on the right foot.

1. Decide who your audience is

As Joe Pulizzi states,the first step to building an online community is to identify and understand your audience. Evaluate categories such as:

  • Age
  • Income
  • Lifestyle
  • Education
  • Location

Once you decide who will gain the most from your online community, you can better customize your content marketing efforts, including your blog writing and product or service descriptions.

2. Reach out

Talk to a few potential community members. What are they looking for in an online community? What issues would they like to see addressed? Reaching out to potential community members allows you to establish a stable foundation for your online community.

3. Invite Members

Begin messaging people personally, inviting them to join your online community. While the temptation may be to recruit everyone you’ve ever known, keeping your community tight and focused will promote a high level of engagement.

4. Promote

Once you have a solid group of contributors, it’s time to promote your community. Add more spokes by choosing a forum, such as Facebook or Google+, and open your community up for new members. Encourage long term community growth by:

  • Posting fresh content every day
  • Make your blog writing shareable by utilizing social buttons
  • Interacting with your community members

When it comes to building a vibrant online community, always remember: slow and steady wins the race. Take the time to ensure that you are reaching your target audience and creating a community that will add value to their lives. Your efforts will pay off when you successfully build a community of loyal and engaged participants.


Article by

Katelyn Macdonald is an experienced freelancer with a Bachelors of Science in Business. Her work includes, but is not limited to, blog posts, product reviews and press releases. She also has experience in writing articles pertaining to travel and health-related topics. Katelyn Macdonald works hard to ensure her clients' satisfaction.

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