Last week, we talked about how to use a framework to define the purpose of your community and tie it to tangible goals. Now it’s time to collect more information to turn your strategy into an actionable plan. The digital world provides a lot of useful intelligence if you know where to look, but it can be hard to cut through the noise. Nonetheless, you know that Audience, Brand, and Category are the three significant aspects of the community.
In this edition of the newsletter, we’ll dive deeper into understanding your audience and how to act on that knowledge. By the end of this edition, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to build an effective audience strategy and why it’s important to care for your members while you’re building a community from the scratch.
When it comes to community relationships, there’s one rule you should never forget: It’s all about the members.
Build an audience strategy
The goal of audience strategy is to help you identify the experiences that drive a connection with the community. Understanding the audience can help you tap into their needs and desires, which is an essential component of brand success. This will be the meat of this newsletter because as a community manager, the audience is at the heart of everything you do.
When you are building and leading a community, you must have an answer to these six questions:
Who are the members of our community?
Where are they from?
What do they like?
What kind of content do they engage online?
What kind of content and values are they expecting from you?
Who would you like the members of your community to be?
Without a clear idea of who your audience is, scaling your community and engaging your members can be very challenging. To get answers to all the above questions, you can define your audience and their needs by creating persona profiles.
Creating a persona is a bit like writing a (very useful) short story. Basically, you use the traits listed in your audience profile to describe your “ideal” member.
To create a persona profile, start by interviewing, conducting polls, or observing a group of your community members. Research about other communities, your members may belong to. Once you’ve done all the brainstorming and research, try to find patterns from your research or mutual interest among your community members. Divide it into segments and create interesting visual representations of your target audience.
And for the businesses alongside…
It’s equally important to keep in mind the ratio of customers who avail your services to your community members, the desired benefit to the business from the community. In fact, the need of the hour is to understand the journey of the members, and how they are looped to the different roles:
From a potential customer → Valuable Customer → Community Member
From a potential community member → Community member → Potential Customer → Customer
Therefore, it becomes crucial to understand your potential members and understand their needs. And how can you do that? Let’s look at Glynk’s tip below!
Glynk’s tip 💡
The keyword here is “observe”. Observation should be focused only on what your members do naturally, without any inputs from you. You might want to jump in and show someone the “right” way to use a product. Resist that temptation. Instead, take note of the mistakes they are making. If there is a pattern, that is actually a clue that the product or customer experience can be improved in some way.
Well, when we think of the audience, we think about fans who attend big sporting events or people who attend a performance. This isn’t so different from the digital space, though it can feel very different. Your audience is the people who are standing by, hanging on, and responding to your community content.
It’s not rocket science. It’s just the way the online world is shaping itself!
See you next week! Until then, let the bold and beautiful purpose drive your community to higher heights. I promise it’ll be fun.