Issue #142: 3 keys to creating engaging communities

A healthy community is one of the best ways to create sustainable, long-lasting word of mouth you can build on. Here are a few tips to help make yours better:

1> Create focused communities
2> Offer training and certifications
3> Reward participation

1> Create focused communities

People tend to organize themselves around specific ideas or topics they’re passionate about — not big picture, vague causes. Ensure your communities stay active by creating them based on central themes or popular products that allow the really passionate people to get together without all the outside distractions. If you keep your members focused on niche things they can’t get elsewhere, you’ll have much more than a generic fan club.

2> Offer training and certifications

Make your communities more than a static message board by using them as educational resources that members can use to gain status and certifications. Offer courses, bring in outside experts, and create certifications that members can put on resumes and show to their bosses. A few simple training sessions can be a simple way to offer something beyond a one-time experience that keeps everyone coming back.

3> Reward participation

If you want to see consistent engagement and fresh community content, make a habit of recognizing and rewarding your biggest contributors. While it’s common for the vast majority of members to be “consumers,” it’s your steady contributors that keep things interesting. Give these big talkers credentials, special perks, and leadership roles to keep them going.

email

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What the community expects from vendors looking to participate | Welcome to GasPedal! Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy, Training and Best Practices - July 30, 2009

    […] As we often say, engaging with the talkers in your industry is one of the essentials of building relationships that lead to sustainable, long-lasting word of mouth. This study of IT professionals provides some fundamental findings that can be extrapolated to any industry, most notably of which is that vendors are more than welcome – with 76% of respondents saying it’s important that vendors participate in online communities (which echoes a 2008 cone study that showed 93% of social media users believe brands should be involved in social media). […]

Featured Downloads

Download: “The Difference Map” by Bernadette Jiwa

We’re big fans of author of The Fortune Cookie Principle and TEDx speaker Bernadette Jiwa, who says that good marketing…

Read More

The first chapter of “The Social Media Side Door” by Ian Greenleigh

Ian reveals the best ways to earn the attention of influential people using social media channels.

Read More

9 Things to Share That Start Conversations

Use the examples in this guide to help inspire ways to make your message more portable and shareable.

Read More

3 Must-Use Word of Mouth Marketing Tools

These tools will help you kick off any word of mouth campaign no matter what topic, industry, or budget.

Read More

The Top Four Tips for Multiplying Your Word of Mouth

These tips can help you get your marketing to do more work without a lot of extra effort.

Read More

10 Ways to Turn Around Negative Word of Mouth

The most effective ways to stop negative WOM with examples from Zappos, FedEx, Dell, and more.

Read More
Get our free weekly newsletter

Join 35,000 brilliant word of mouth marketers by signing up for our free weekly email newsletter filled with actionable word of mouth ideas.

You’ll be blown away by just how good you can be at this.

Never display this again