Here's wishing you a happy new year. It's a new week and we’re back with a new story :)
Let’s start fresh. Think of your community as a living organism. It could be improving. It could be on the decline. But it couldn’t be in a steady state. Never. There’s no steady-state in a community.
That being said, how do you exactly know if your growing community is sticking together or it’s crumbling?
By tracking the metrics that matter.
Think of it this way. After putting in your life and blood into attracting new folks within your community, gauging the community’s pulse is no easy task. There’s a lot of effort that goes behind the scenes. Collecting the right information, persistently asking more questions, capturing member retention, and what not!
And it’s quite possible that you might have a worthless formulation at the end of it all. So it’s a high-risk job that only a few community leaders can dabble in.
What should you do exactly then?
Adopt a different strategy. Don’t invest in tracking too much. Instead, focus only on one.
Start by paying attention to who keeps showing up.
Collect your participants’ data.
Gather information about regular participants.
Get to know the people who keep showing up. Build notes that include where these members are from and their contact info. Seek insights on why they participate and what they want more of. Maintaining a spreadsheet for this is a good start.
Listen, listen, and listen!
While numbers are great at explaining how many, you should continuously indulge yourselves in conversations to understand why. Tracking community’s retention is not enough. You need to discover the root cause of people’s motivations. Dig into who keeps showing up and why.
An open line of communication is needed to unlock new forms of value and retain members for the long term. And the only way to carve out this niche is by listening more and crafting activities like calling your community members, asking them questions, setting up surveys and interviews. It is a fine start to understand the true reason for members’ participation.
Find your most passionate community members.
Do you remember how we talked about putting the limelight on role-models is essential to keep your community alive and vibrant? It’s time to use your listening process to pay attention to these “role-models” because they always show up. They are the members who share their stories, consistently tell their friends about it.
And the thing is - they involve in things that truly matter in taking your community to the next level. So, if you keep tracking and developing more role models in your community, they will become homegrown leaders of the community.
Most importantly, these members will invest their time and energy to create a transformative experience for members, their friends and acquaintances will naturally take notice and want to join. At this point, you will get to choose if you’re going to leverage this demand to grow or to become more exclusive.
Glynk’s tip 💡
Building a community is like tending a garden. You can control what’s in and what’s out but you can never predict how things will grow. Your job as a community leader is to curate the community and nurture the different voices within it.
You should create space for healthy debates, compassionate support, and constructive criticism. That’s how you’ll grow along with your members and collectively make an impact.
What does this mean in a brands’ context?
Look, people are loyal to those who make meaning in their lives. Airbnb, Tinder, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Product Hunt - some of the hottest startup success stories in the last decade, all about helping people discover others who are looking to be discovered. All about creating a sense of belonging and connection among people who were once-upon-a-time strangers.
And the thing is - even a pandemic couldn’t push the community on the back foot. When everything was closing down, communities were still chugging around. So, sure, businesses like you will be in the work of connecting humans in the next decade. If you take a harder look, you’d see that you already are.
What are you doing to keep your community’s game up? Add your thoughts in the comment section. Or reply to this email. We’d love to hear from you.