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Crafting a digital community formation strategy: I

· Community

The above picture depicts how Vienna grow over time as it also started with a plan. Now you decided to grow a community. Great! You start by

 

Clarifying your community purpose and goals

 

What do you want to achieve with this community? Below are the commonly used purposes for creating a community.

  • Customer Self Service
  • Reduction in call deflection
  • Brand Loyalty
  • Customer research
  • Hitting the buzz metrics
  • Identifying potential clients

By writing down the purpose statement, you can review the progress of the community over time. You also need to set measurable goals to determine traction.

The next thing you need to do is to

 

 

Define users and their expectations

 

You can understand the users by asking the following questions:

  • How much do the users want to interact with your company?
  • What is the best mode to collect data?
  • What do they want to get from the community?

Assessing the competition also help:

  • what type of people participates in your competitors' online communities?
  • what is the popular content out there?
  • How deep does the discussion go?

 Determine the possible features you want to build

Below are some commonly used features:

  • Reward point system: This encourages constructive participation. Studies have shown that digital communities with reward point system are 70% more likely to succeed.
  • Question and Answer workflow: This tracks the status of questions and escalates unanswered questions to experts. This is commonly used in developing support community, developers community or internal community. [For more details, please read The different types of digital communities on Earth.]
  • Themes: Color, logo, and fonts give the identity of the community. This is most commonly used in customer support community or gaming community.
  • Integrated Instant messaging: This enables users to show when they are online so others can engage in a live threaded discussion. This is commonly used in internal or developer community.
  • Group chat: This feature enables users to assimilate a group chat room with a specific topic.

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