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)
Many-brand owners as well as community leaders, wonder why their online communities do not enjoy active participation. Online community like brands needs a lot of emotional interactions to promote active members’ involvement.
Online community aim must rest on a regular provision, satisfaction of building common interest that endears community member to each other. Not that alone, it must promote community interaction, relationship building. Online community that will thrive must share generously information and experiences that strengthens individual and group cohesiveness. Online community that do something unique will always build a loyal community that help spread word of mouth and encourages strong ties.. Interestingly another writer has said that in today internet savvy world, word of mouth is now world of mouth. Another thought that still appeals to me here is that of chad Levit when he says ‘What is clear is that those who do something different and create compelling content that is easy to distribute, find opportunities where others find closed doors’.
In my understanding and experience, building a strong community takes time, dedication, commitment. When it is a corporate community building one is trying to build, there are features that need to be on the corporate website that can enhance active participation. These features include blogs, chat room, discussion groups etc. For personal website, which is often refers to as blog, there should be plethora engagement tools like comment sections, sharing tools like Digg, del.icio.us, RSS among others. These engagement tools promote contribution, interaction among community members.
The followings are some of the major factors that will promote active participation, contribution as well as connection among brand’s community members.
1. Reliability, Truthfulness: This is also known as dependability and trust of the information n the community. More importantly, this will encourage community to openly share and connect.
2. Dedication: The dedication of the community owner, builder will have to be tested. People do not care how much you know but how much you care still holds water. Sharing and posting once in three month content will not help active participation. Most highly populated, active communities have something everyday or at most thrice a week
3. Value/benefits: What is the value of the community? Does the community promote global interaction? Will it cause a positive change of perspective that can bring personal or communal empowerment? Is the content highly applicable or self serving, ego-promoting?
4. Community Design/Aesthetic: One other factor that draws people to a community aside from content is the brand community aesthetic, design. Many will revisit the community and comment just because the brand community design appeal to them. This may serve as a mean of emotional connection for some. Though the number may seem insignificant but it holds a possibility.
5. Setting right rules: Most active online communities have rules. They do not promote abusive words, exchange of hot words, and hatred among community members.