Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communication specialist, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa)
This is the second and concluding part of the earlier post on this topic. Enjoy it.
1. Absence of too much technicalities: Most active communities do not make it mandatory for members to learn new software before they can participate in discussion, before expressing their opinions. I have come across few communities which I really liked but which require that I sign unnecessary forms, I normally move away.
2. Make sharing an easy process: in today’s 24/7 online word, sharing is power as opposed to knowledge is power. So any community that does not make sharing easy may be chasing community members away without knowing. Ensure the community has features like RSS, Digg. Facebook compatibility.
3. Speak the tribe’s language: Is the online community speaking the tribe’s language? No matter how good a public speaker is if he/she does not speak the language his/her audience understands, the efforts put in are exercise in futility. Community member needs to be at home with proverbs, jargons that the tribe speaks. An exception though is that the use of general language that everyone understands is necessary in some cases. So find what works for your community.
4. Send customized messages; sending direct, personalized messages is also helpful in building connection among community members. This gives a sense of belonging and appreciation especially when the group is large. It shows that the owner is not looking at every member as part of the crowd but as a significant individual who make up the community.
5. Response time: active community that will enjoy members’ participations is not an easy task. Though the dividends outweigh the inputs at long last; such communities carry huge responsibilities. That is why such always have dedicated hands or whereby it is a personal site, the owners always encourage contributions from known members of the community or accredited hands that he/she can trust. So when community members require clarifications and further information it does not take unnecessary long delay to reply.
Aside from the above, disposition of community owner, builder to negative comments may also affect active participation as some may view the community as intolerant to opposing views.
6. Investment in Brand credibility: To also promote brand’s contribution, the owner may need to consider investment in the online community credulity. Promote, the community, seek relevant accreditation of respect authorities around. There is also the need to create greater report with mainstream media so that the community can be covered whenever issues that relate to the brand’s niche is being discussion. Everyone loves to be associated with success. Strong mainstream endorsement for the community by reputable mainstream media can also promote connection and contributions.
In all, active community is not a product of overnight success; they are products of unwavering, relentless commitment to a passionate cause it believes in. Do you need to build an online community that will aid your brand visibility, loyalty, word of mouth and you do not know how, ask for help, we may offer you that service. You can download, print a colorful PDF version of the two parts here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/19530704/How-to-Promote-Contribution-Connection-PDF