How to Build an Online Community: 21 Experts Shared Their Opinion
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Alexandra Tachalova
Founder of Digital Olympus

How to Build an Online Community: 21 Experts Shared Their Opinion

How to build an online community? Every marketer at least once thought about it. Communities mask a lot of learning opportunities offered by the best industry experts who are keener to share knowledge and expertise with like-minded professionals. In the current digital marketing landscape, communities are struggling to bring new users onboard and keep them engaged.

To give you some proof, take a look at a graph below that demonstrates monthly traffic (April 2015 till December 2015) to Inbound.org from, once a very popular community platform.

How to build an online community - Inbound stats

Inbound.org era has come to an end. It was a long and strenuous process. It’s hard to believe that such a powerful community that nurtured so many talented experts no longer exists. I remember the days when being featured in Inbound’s newsletter meant getting anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 online visitors. So for those of you who are still looking for a new source of the traffic to replace Inbound, then give Zeist and Growthhackers a shot, both of these platforms are great.

Some time ago, Alexandra had a great conversation on LinkedIn with 21 acclaimed experts that shared their thoughts on this topic. If you don’t want to end up like Inbound, then this post has some very interesting insights. You’ll find out about the nuances of a well-structured community and how to improve engagement. Many experts were actively using Inbound and contributing to the community. So we asked them about the steps you need to avoid in order to make your community an outstanding one.

In this article:

Concentrate on engagement

Alex Tachalova

Alex Tachalova

It's all about the movement, hustle and bustle. Movement equals life. Active community members who leave meaningful comments is the key metric here. All marketing processes should focus on improving this number. G2Crowd works on this metric, too. Every week G2Crowd sends me emails trying to convince me to contribute to their community. They are even willing to give away a $ 10 Starbucks gift card, which I’m certain helps them score some good reviews. So always think about the value you can bring to your community and reward the most active users.

Mary Green

Mary Green

Mary Green that had been previously an Inboud.org community manager stresses that what you need to is to keep people engaged.

David Iwanow

David Iwanow

First off, don’t spam your users with stupid emails begging for engagement on threads. As for me, I had been aggressively marketed to via social media and email, and this is something I hate the most. So forced engagement can play a big role in driving users off the platform. Also, don’t underestimate the amount of resources that it takes to run a good platform.

Ana Wolsztajn

Ana Wolsztajn

Constantly encourage the people to pitch in and participate in valuable discussions.

Derek Gleason

Derek Gleason

We have built a strong community (6,200+ members) on Facebook related to conversion optimization. A big key to success has been explicitly banning «link drops» in the community. Peep and a number of other CRO experts are also regular participants. In short, if you have a question, you can go there and get an answer from someone who really knows their stuff. Since we use the Facebook Group as a way to build brand awareness, we don’t have to make any sacrifices regarding the content (i.e. turn the group into a sales pitch).
Kalo Yankulov

Kalo Yankulov

If you’re building a new online community from scratch, you’d need to get the initial flywheel going by yourself. This means:

  • Personally reaching out to potential members and inviting them.
  • Writing a lot of unique content by yourself.

Engaging new members with personalized welcome messages, and pretty much everything else that could create some initial engagement in your group or message board.
Be prepared to do a lot of upfront work before you get people involved and active in your community. Think about the value you can provide to the people that you invite, before asking them to do something like, for example, sharing or commenting. In other words, be ready to give before you get.

Florentina Schinteie

Florentina Schinteie

Knowing your client persona and then actively engaging with your community while staying true to your brand values is one important key to building an active community.
Prateek Tiwari

Prateek Tiwari

Use all the possible channels to stay on touch with you community and react fast. How can you engage on every level? Use chat bots and push notification, turn to app development companies to design a mobile application your audience will love! Don’t ignore social media — it’ll help you getting to know your audience a lot better. The whole point is to be present everywhere to leave to other choice but to turn to your company.
Sugandha Bansal

Sugandha Bansal

Active Online Communities Always Thrive. In order to plan, build and maintain an online community, you should be consistent and add value to the users throughout. To achieve this goal, you can follow tips such as:

  • Add a layer of exclusivity to keep quality high;
  • Welcome new community members and brief them about the community goal;
  • Lead with relevant information, researches, and interesting topics like can create polls and share its result for quality conversations;
  • Encourage engagement and can instill an ethos of helping each other;
  • Invite Influencers and ask your members to refer the niche related contacts- quality brings quality always!
Ashley Sava

Ashley Sava

Setting your business apart from the pack often comes down to sending the right message at the right time. Capturing your audience, intelligently marketing to them across web, mobile and email and growing your revenue is no small undertaking. Pushing your offers to the right subscribers at the right time, no matter where they are or what device they’re using can make the difference between landing a competitor and a competitor landing somewhere else entirely. If you’re not already using web push to secure your e-commerce, news and media or affiliate clients, you’re be shocked by just how effective it can be.
Nishita Goyal

Nishita Goyal

Digital customer experience includes all the digital interactions your customers have with your brand and organization. Every single digital touchpoint that you have with your customers is a component of your digital customer experience. And you should strive to make sure that your entire digital customer experience is as smooth as possible. Make the most out of chatbots and live chat to deliver customer experiences that your customers will love.
Himanshu Rauthan

Himanshu Rauthan

Engagement is indispensable for communities. Regular brainstorming activities and contribution campaigns go a long way in encouraging people to take part in healthy discussions. Deciding and allotting user badges with different privileges according to their level of engagement is another way to boost member participation. Members can ask their friends and family to spread the word and join the community.
Eyal Katz

Eyal Katz

Consistency. To build an online community you need to be consistently engaging. It’s both about quantity and quality with a long-term goal in mind. Therefore, to build a successful online community you need to, first, identify your target audience. This is a crucial part to success that often gets overlooked. Second, identify the right platform where your target audience is most engaged. For example, if it’s a b2b audience then TikTok might not be the right place. Think Linkedin instead. Third, shadow your audience on the platform. Don’t engage until you have a good understanding of what works and what is aligned with your brand. Fourth, once you’ve done all that starter posting and engaging with others frequently, deliberately, and often.
Jake Rheude

Jake Rheude

If you want to set your business apart, providing customer support even beyond e-commerce fulfillment is integral. It can be as simple as being active on social media or setting up chat support on your website. What’s important is that your customers can reach out to you using various channels. It would also be best if you can provide a sense of 24/7 availability. It’s part of delighting your customers
Daniel Waas

Daniel Waas

What I’ve learned about building a community closely relates to the tips I have for my webinar clients: prompt interaction.
Communities live and die by the engagement of their members. And all it takes to get someone engaged is a friendly human hello to pull them in.

Show you’re interested in them and get to know the people in your community. Ask them questions. Poll them on a thought you have. Share something truly unique to them based on what you’ve learned about them.
In short, prompt interaction by taking the first step.

Tap into emotions through meaningful communication

Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré

Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré

Emotions drive everything — they always have. Successful communities (and marketing strategies) aren’t built out of Spock-like logic. They evolve and grow out of human needs to be accepted, appreciated, and feel part of something larger than ourselves. Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré shared her View of Inbound’s Sinking Ship. Continue reading here.
Alex Birkett

Alex Birkett

Curation is everything. Even the best communities can degrade rapidly if you let in all attention seekers, link droppers, and shallow commenters. When we had worked on the initial CXL Facebook community, we were ruthless in banning spam comments and we invited in the highest caliber people in conversion rate optimization we knew. It’s still the best community I know for good, nitty gritty CRO questions.
Erman Ergun

Erman Ergun

Do not be robotic and try to create your network by sending template emails or immediately asking for a favor. Try to genuinely get to know the person, if he/she is worth networking with, they worthy for the research. Check their social media presence, their previous works, websites, values etc. Reaching out to a person by knowing some key points about them will create long lasting and fruitful relationships. Go for quality, not quantity.

Value your network’s opinions, use a survey maker and ask about a question that have been burning your mind for months, you’ll be surprised how hearing opinions from experts could unclog that drain in a flash!
Matt Antonino

Matt Antonino

A community isn’t only about karma/posting. It’s about bringing people together in a meaningful way. Ultimately, I still value the time I spent at Inbound with Elvis, Mary, Ed, Nicole, Keri, and others but it has been a while since I really contributed regularly, like everyone else.
Chris Makara

Chris Makara

Building a community can be a difficult thing to do, but I feel that there is something every community must have in order to be successful. And that is that the community needs to be built around a cause. At the core of a community is the cause or interest the members share. Whether it is about eco-friendly products or Ford Mustangs, there should be a shared interest where there is a passion. When you get a group of evangelists together around a specific interest, it’s a lot easier for good things to happen with the community.
Molly Stovold

Molly Stovold

The power of community has been prevalent throughout history, from the French Revolution to the Black Lives Matter movement. It is through community that ideas, trends, and discoveries are spread. To build a strong community you need to take the time to get to know each of its members. How do you do this? By tapping into their emotions, kindly communicating, having patience, and embracing a genuine desire to connect.
Olga Galik

Olga Galik

To build an online community you need to be fully involved and provide only relevant content. First of all, you need to start discovering your target audience. You should know its needs, pains, how to communicate, what content TA will prefer. Try to build a conversation with your community, don’t spam.
Kamelia Stone

Kamelia Stone

Understanding human psychology, as well as the ability to find an approach to everyone, is a success in building an active society. Thanks to my skills in this, I can easily start a conversation with a new person and create strong cooperation later on.
Krishna Rajaganesan<span class=" width="150" height="150" />

Krishna Rajaganesan

The benefit of being part of a community is to share ideas, network, and build relationships with like-minded people. The impact of the community is realized only when it brings a positive impact on your mindset. Finding the right set of people who can share their expertise is a good start to building a community.

And some of these people are influencers in various fields and are easy enough to find.
Jonas Sickler

Jonas Sickler

Freedom of speech is critical if you want to build an engaged community. But you must be mindful of trolls that spew hateful, useless comments. These individuals will drive away users and turn your platform into a ghost town. To find a balance, build in a reporting system to moderate and ban users that provide no value. The same goes for spammy links and irrelevant promotional content.
Angelina Harper

Angelina Harper

When you define your audience, you have to work on creating a sense of belonging to the community. With social media management tools, you can automate the hard work, but you have to check everything and encourage communication with questions, information and topics that are interesting for discussion in your niche.
Kurt Philip

Kurt Philip

Provide the necessary resources for the community to freely answer questions and help each other as well as setting the ground rules that the group has to abide by.
Vlad Shvets

Vlad Shvets

If your community format allows that, look into hosting regular AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions. AMAs allow you to both engage your community members and build relationships with the thought-leaders in your industry (which get invited to answer the questions).
Matt Diggity

Matt Diggity

Leverage existing social media platforms. 10 years ago, people would hang out on community forums. Now, it is all about Facebook groups. Start a Facebook group centered around the rallying cry of your industry’s niche. Invite mods who are trusted influencers in the space. Post frequently, alternating with dropping value and encouraging community participation.
Greg Digneo

Greg Digneo

One of the most critical aspects for keeping a community valuable is to have it highly moderated, especially when it reaches scale. When the community is small, the people who first join are genuinely there for connection. They want to help each other, make friends, and grow.

However, once a community reaches a certain scale, marketers tend to find it. They dump links, become promotional, and do not contribute in a meaningful way. This ruins the experience for all of those who care about what the community was built around in the first place.

William Oleksiienko

William Oleksiienko

Our users are our top priority and the best community we could ever build. So we’re really invested in creating quality content to benefit our audience.

Be it educational product courses, walk-through videos, or blog posts with our first-hand learnings — we are focused on building the most relevant, hands-on content that will help sales teams not just make the most out of our product but also level up their sales strategy in general.

However, the best way to create value within your community is by having a two-way conversation with the audience. That is why we contribute to platforms like Quora and SalesHacker as well as relevant communities on LinkedIn.

Shealyn Rager

Shealyn Rager

Social media is a great place to nurture and build a community, and to also engage existing users. But ultimately, as your community grows, your needs and content may change. Remember to consistently reassess your content as your community grows, and don’t be afraid to be innovative. Most importantly, aim to create quality content over quantity to maximize engagement.
David Coen

David Coen

It is always important to establish a human connection. Both the customers and businesses you reach out to will value a face or story behind the marketing. Telling a great story also helps to develop a brand and build trust among your community.
Anurag Singh

Anurag Singh

Communities are formed to share knowledge and a helping hand in times of need. Online communities should be built on the foundation of sharing valuable insights with one another. To start with, choose a niche and start adding people working in that niche, you don’t want to add any random people. Next start sharing insightful data, stats, stories, and usable resources. Let the members discuss openly their thoughts but make sure someone is moderating the community to make sure discussion does not go off track. No one likes spam so make it a rule for everyone to not spam. A community is there to help answer questions and doubts and not for self-promotion and link building. Ask team members to connect personally in case they want to discuss business. And last but not the least be consistent in discussing new topics, replying to queries, and adding/deleting members.
Maeva Cifuentes

Maeva Cifuentes

Build a community around personal relationships. Slide into DMs, engage with their content, and you’ll see the community start to form around you.
Ivan Escott

Ivan Escott

Build an online community by maximizing touch points! Everyone will tell you that «outreach is about building relationships». Yes, this is true, but start with more than just a cold email. Allow the people you want to build connections with to put a human face to an email and connect through multiple channels.

This means to send a LinkedIn connection request, follow them on Twitter, comment on their blog posts, send a friend request on Facebook, or engage in mutual online communities. Use touchpoints that you think are the most appropriate for the type of outreach you are doing. Warm up the people you want to connect with so that your initial email doesn’t have to be so cold.

Sam Carr

Sam Carr

Getting users involved in the creation of your content is crucial in getting them to share your articles. Readers are much more likely to share articles with their followers and friends if they’ve been featured or had input into the creation of the article. There are many ways to get users involved in your articles, such as publishing user’s quotes, guest posts, or asking them to participate in research surveys.
Jana Rumberger

Jana Rumberger

A big part of building community is active listening. After that, it’s about creating content that reflects the insights that come from big and small interactions. I’m also a big fan of using automations to check in at milestone moments. Timing is a big part of people feeling like their needs are being recognized and creating a sense of belonging.
Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller

Building an online community is a key tool that anyone in the digital marketing space should try to leverage. I believe creating or sharing truly valuable content, be it on your blog or even social media, is a great place to start. Put effort into meaningful engagement by replying to comments, responding to questions and making your community feel seen and heard. Engage with like-minded marketers/readers via various avenues beyond your blog like LinkedIn, Facebook groups, Reddit, Quora and bookmarking sites (like SaaS Invaders, Digg, and more).
Alessandro Bogliari

Alessandro Bogliari

First of all, do a competitive analysis to see which other similar online communities exist before putting a lot of effort and money in something that is already out there and might just be a copycat. Read their users
Ken Ott

Ken Ott

Emotion drives action. There’s a reason behind why you created your product, so tell your story! Whatever you do, make it relatable and authentic if you want to establish a genuine connection. Once you have your brand story dialed in, you can tell it in many ways. Create written content, interesting videos, take action in the community, be a great place to work, and more. Weave it throughout the entire experience.
Mike Davies

Mike Davies

Building a community is no easy task. Finding initial users can be the easiest part in my opinion as you can use methods such as cold emailing or connecting with potential community members on social media.
Getting these members to stick around is a different thing entirely, and one of the best ways to do this is to create a product that people need. When you have a product that people can’t live without it’s easier to build up a following.

Don’t stop innovating

Alex Tachalova

Alex Tachalova

You have to bend over backwards to make things happen. That means you need to constantly search for new strategies. Even though there’s nothing with following best practices from established experts, you need to focus on innovation. Don’t reject the opportunity offered by new changes. While there’s nothing wrong with taking expert opinions into consideration, you need to keep searching for new approaches.
Matt Shealy

Matt Shealy

Innovation for your community can come in many forms but it should always be centered around providing value in new ways. This could be anything from new features and functionality they can use to providing new forms of content they can use to engage. Brands and publishers alike should approach every visitor, new user or customer as part of their community. The goal is to provide enough value that they continue to engage. One recent example we came across is a cybersecurity publisher who provided all users a COVID-19 scam website checker in response to thousands of hacker generated sites aimed at stealing data. This is a perfect example of providing value to a community that enhances brand loyalty.
Tomasz Mortimer

Tomasz Mortimer

Innovation on the face of it always seems like a daunting task. It requires a lot of thought, a lot of research and a lot of creativity. But in a world that’s become so small and so connected, it’s more important than ever to always be one step ahead, be that through your messaging, your product, or your marketing, you have to stand out, you have to different and you have to be creative. Being grey in this increasingly vibrant and colourful world just won’t cut it any longer.
Dmitry Uchakin

Dmitry Uchakin

Communication in the community is extremely important for its further future development. It is especially important to share your own research and new achievements. This motivates other members of the community to do similar things and expand their own network.
<span style=Nathan Rand" width="150" height="150" />

Nathan Rand

There are several general steps that one should follow if you are building an online marketplace.

—  Validate your idea for your business

—  Identify your business niche/industry

—  Focus on design aspects for your marketplace platform

—  Decide on the aspects of the development phase

—  Plan for the long-term

Shrushti Shah

Shrushti Shah

The secret to building an engaging online community is to connect emotionally with your target audience and give them enough incentives to keep coming back. One way to do that is by trying out different social media networks like Facebook and LinkedIn to stay connected with your target audience. This includes sending regular churn-of-the-mill information about your industry.
I would also recommend you to connect through email and enable live chat functionality on your website so that you stay connected with them on a regular basis. Once you have gained their attention, the next step is to push ahead with the promotion of your products and services. Apart from this, I would also recommend you connect with your target audience through Quora, Reddit, and other online forums. Remember, people love engaging and quality-driven content. Once you try these mediums it will help you to build an engaging online community for your business. Always keep this in mind: Slow and steady wins the race. Be patient and you will reap rich dividends in the end.
Burkhard Berger

Burkhard Berger

When it comes to building an engaged community it comes to 3 important steps: (1) Be different (this is probably the most important) You need to ask yourself this question — Why should they follow ME? (2) Set up a system that continuously brings in new leads and new community members on a daily basis. This could be a YouTube channel or a blog. It could even be paid ads if you have not built an audience for yourself yet.(3) Grab their email address by providing real value (a challenge works great for this). Then they will be more than willing to buy your courses, coaching, software, and more.
Gal Dubinski

Gal Dubinski

Building an online community isn’t just about putting all users on one platform. It’s uniting them into one purpose, one branch, and one family. Yet in our case, we also utilize the power of our famous Parrot as a trademark to unite the users. Now, it’s surprisingly funny how every member of the community associates Poptin with that parrot. Awesome, isn’t it?
Jeremy Moser

Jeremy Moser

Find new ways to keep the community engaged. You can try posting question-based posts to see how the members respond. Keep experimenting with different strategies.
Daniel Ndukwu

Daniel Ndukwu

People stick around in communities when they’re able to share opinions and get feedback on issues as they arise. To this end, it’s important to get engagement going right from the beginning. With platforms like Reddit and Quora, the founders seeded engagement with multiple accounts and were constantly active. Ask questions, answer questions, launch discussions, and invite everyone in your network when your community is young. If done right, you’ll start seeing a snowball effect.
Romualdas Juskevicius

Romualdas Juskevicius

Following best practices is not enough to build a thriving online community. Just because everyone is saying that Facebook groups are the way to go, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re your best shot. Maybe email is? The key to success is to base your decisions on real data and insights. One way to start is to look at where your buyers are coming, pick the best channel for your niche, and work on establishing your online presence there.
Sharon Koifman

Sharon Koifman

Seeing companies with supposedly amazing culture uprooting people and their families from their community to join them at company headquarters just because they couldn’t tolerate the concept of remote work made me a bit angry. That anger gave me a lot more motivation to introduce a healthy alternative. Your company culture can’t come at the expense of the communities your people thrive in.
Garrett Sussman

Garrett Sussman

When people think of social media, they tend to forget about online reviews. In the buyer’s journey, online reviews are incredibly important and can be leveraged across social media. Having positive reviews across G2, Capterra, and Trust Radius is an important strategy for growth. Those sites also provide lead opportunities for follow-up from your sales team and drive bottom-of-the-funnel traffic.
Rithesh Raghavan

Rithesh Raghavan

Building a community is actually far easier nowadays if you have a clear direction. All you have to do is to leverage some of the existing social media platforms. You can create a Facebook group and build your audience by offering some top quality contents. Creating a Youtube channel would also help you in further engaging with your niche audience. We, being a WordPress and WooCommerce related product company, use FB and Youtube to engage with two different audience types — so in FB group we go with more technical stuff as our target audience are WordPress/WooCommerce developers, and in Youtube, we mainly go with non-technical stuff as our audience there are mostly non-techy customers (business/website owners).
Freya Kuka

Freya Kuka

The most successful communities, more often than not, have more than one person who acts as a conversation starter or promoter. There is no point in having a Facebook group, a Slack chat, or an email list that is not engaged, and there comes a stage when you cannot keep it engaged alone. I would suggest focusing on finding the most active members in your community and then reaching out to them. Ask them if they would be interested in partnering up. You could become more active in any online communities they have and they would do the same.

Bringing in help whether that is in the form of someone else in the industry, an active virtual assistant, or simply a community member that has been around for a while is a great way to grow your reach and make sure the conversation is always flowing. You want to get people to look at your community as a place where they can ask any question they have, share their achievements, and form connections.
Ricky Wang

Ricky Wang

No matter where you are or what state your business is in, just go out of your way to make customers and members feel like they are in the right place. Whether it is «for real» or «fake it til you make it,» it will work.

What do I mean «it will work?» You will get happier customers which means more leads and a market that knows you as a trustworthy brand. Whether your company is trying to find new ways to add more functionality to your product or get your sales pitch across, creating a blueprint for the future is essential. To get your market engaged, promote your business through «personalized» email marketing or engaging webinars.

Who knows? Maybe in a quick meeting, your potential customers will give you valuable insight on how you could improve your product or service. Are not they the ones that are going to buy from you? At the end of the day, you have just gotta keep growing and improving, but make sure that growth is geared toward prospective leads.

Ieva Dauderyte

Ieva Dauderyte

Content shared within an online community must be really useful and unique for users to take away benefits. Any insights and tips shared should be based on real-life, original data. We’re part of the Shopify community and we try to provide insights based on our own research, for example, on omnichannel retargeting, that enables users to take positive action in their ecommerce businesses.
Agnieszka Kasperek

Agnieszka Kasperek

Your community shouldn’t be a place to drop «useful links» but a place where your community members are encouraged to speak up. Find out what makes your members talk, and start picking up these topics. Remember — it’s easier to press a like button than to spend time writing a comment to the thread. That’s why you should focus on starting discussions that are emotionally engaging, scroll-stopping and thought-provoking. This isn’t an easy task, but before you post anything, ask yourself: is it really worth a comment? Or just a like?

Invest in your community’s brand advocates

Alex Tachalova

Alex Tachalova

Brand advocates are like a fertilizer to soil: they help your community grow and prosper.
Irene Lewis

Irene Lewis

It’s very important to have great community managers who are really involved in what they’re doing and passionate about they job. On the other hand, as soon as one member of the team is leaving, the whole team starts falling apart. This doesn’t benefit the community.
Sam Hurley

Sam Hurley

I believe a platform like Inbound needs prominent leadership from a number of community members / advocates, to continually lead the change and bring fresh ideas to the table. Also, actively involving members in experiments and empowering THEM to develop the whole concept.

A thriving community is likely the result of two core actions: Awesome marketing and members' inclination to spread the word. The latter is particularly powerful — Achieve this across influential users right through to first-time testers, and growth is a given… Empowerment is the key!

Josh Garofalo

Josh Garofalo

For the most part, community is about a team and people who work with it. For example, Once Mary Green and Ed Fry left Inbound, I stopped using it. Not in protest… but something important was missing. Mary made it feel like a community. Ed did an amazing job of pulling me and other people I respect into conversations where we all had something to contribute.
Jimmy Rodriguez

Jimmy Rodriguez

Communities do not want to simply follow brands or companies, they want to hear from actual people they can relate to and get advice based on their experience. But make sure your business doesn’t depend on just one brand advocate or you could risk hurting your business if this person were no longer able to promote your brand.
Polina Haryacha

Polina Haryacha

Building a thriving community requires an outside-the-box approach to humanize your brand and connect with customers. We are now entering a new phase in video game marketing, with video games becoming more social and offering one of the most accessible communication channels for individuals staying at home. This presents an appealing opportunity for brands to penetrate a wide-ranging community of gamers by collaborating with gaming Influencers.
Jeremy Galante

Jeremy Galante

Search for people that are truly passionate about your brand — collaborate on content, cross-promote, and listen closely to feedback. That’s why one of ClickUp’s core values is: progress over perfection. We improve based on the input we receive, and in turn, reward our advocates. This allows our tribe to grow exponentially.
Anwesha Das

Anwesha Das

Communication is the key to your business success. You need to communicate with your users in the right way and at the right time. Don’t ever miss a call or a chat. If you take care of your users, they’ll become the most loyal brand advocates you could ever have.
Evelin Rácz

Evelin Rácz

The need to invest in your advocates is unquestionable. Every marketer dreams of a magic method that will keep them. However, we must remain committed to creating value and maintaining long-term communication. With that, you will never go wrong.

Users want to control community’s content on their end

Ed Leake

Ed Leake

Keep accepting original content and don’t hold a spot for a post that died a few years ago.
Benji Hyam

Benji Hyam

А community should decide which content is best, not their managers. It’s an opportunity to see which content is really engaging and which isn’t.
Jessica Edgson

Jessica Edgson

82% of manufacturers today use content marketing. That means that there’s a lot of great content to compete with. If you want your online community to succeed, you must provide outstanding content written to professional standards.
Lee Savery

Lee Savery

It is important that your content remains fresh for your community. Let them decide whether something is meaningful or relevant at this point in time. This means you should also involve the community when any new content is created for it. Engage with them and ask members directly — think about their needs and pain points!
David Roberts

David Roberts

It is the highest time to build user-generated communities. Humans are social. An exchange of information is a vital need. And that’s why communities managed by users gain popularity. Business pages and groups in social networks give users a valuable possibility to spark conversations around your brand, thus, feeling they’re a part of something bigger. Here, open and honest communication between a company and customers occurs. User-generated content is the most impactful evidence of social proof of your product or services.
Varun Goyal

Varun Goyal

Do not put hard restrictions. If your content is 100% related to your end-user intent, then you will get an awesome feedback. If not, listen to your audience and follow their advice. Let them manage the content they would like to see in the end if the day. Be open-minded.
Ryan Carruthers

Ryan Carruthers

The members of a community have no interest in completing tasks to be in the group. Instead, if you’re running an ambassador program or online community associated with a product — then focus on learning. Paint a picture of the outcomes of being in the community and ask what else they want to add to it. You’ll get ideas for keeping them engaged and empowering them to create content about the outcomes they want because they came up with it.
Danielle Strouther

Danielle Strouther

Think clearly about what your users want. Online communities don’t just form by wanting to have a community. They gather together for a reason, whether it’s a place for people to get advice they trust, to find deals on leading software or to pick up potential clients. Whatever the reason is, focus on building that. The community will come afterwards.

Community isn’t about link repository

Elvis Malkic

Elvis Malkic

  • Make your posts motivating
  • Don’t just create a link repository for mundane articles.

A community provides opportunities for people to meet and communicate with one another and with the industry experts; to connect with professionals outside the community. Besides, being a part of a community allows you to improve your skills and learn new things.

Robert McGuire

Robert McGuire

I think community just comes down to the ability to share links. If you can, marketers will ruin it. I’m in the design phases of a new community space now, and one idea I’m considering is an absolutely no links policy so that provocative and engaging threads like this one are really the only reason to go to it. It’s sort of like a «everyone leaves their cell phone in a basket at the front door» dinner party. It cuts against what we think we want to get to what we really want -- an actual conversation.
Matt Antonino

Matt Antonino

Building a community from the ground up can sometimes be hard, but it can also be fun. The best part is that it’s always an interesting process but learning how marketing works is rarely about who shares links first.
Tadeusz Szewczyk

Tadeusz Szewczyk

Take care of your community — don’t let self-promotional content and links take over your timeline.

Don’t torment your users with bad design

Tadeusz Szewczyk

Tadeusz Szewczyk

Keep your design clean. Don’t clutter the layout with redundant details. Also, don’t mislead users by randomly adding and removing features over and over again.
Kathleen Slattery Booth

Kathleen Slattery Booth

Think about community’s UI, allow people to communicate with one another.
Sam Hurley

Sam Hurley

Let your users decide if they like your recent interface changes or not, just like GrowthHackers once updated their interface. Don’t force them to use the new interface by completely removing an old version.
Rodrigo Alexandre

Rodrigo Alexandre

Invest some effort and time to create a brand design that highlights your company over your competitors. This will only come with a brand guideline documentation and by collecting and using the feedback of your audience about your design style.
Diana Minter

Diana Minter

You have to invest in design: test banners, CTA’s, blog article layouts, landing pages. In this battle for users, you need to make sure your design can win their loyalty and trust. Don’t choose what you personally like. Value opinion of your users. It’s them you need to impress.
Benji Hyam

Benji Hyam

Users poorly respond to every new feature because they already have a habit of how it works and what it looks like, especially when a community platform gathered a broad audience.
David Campbell

David Campbell

Be sure when your rolling out a new feature or design that you communicate this with users in the right way at the right time.
Alexey Chalimov

Alexey Chalimov

Providing the best user experience of your online community should be your priority. The quality of UX design will determine whether your users return to the community or simply forget about it. Therefore you need to constantly keep track of how users behave, measure KPIs and react to them promptly.
Mikkel Andreassen

Mikkel Andreassen

Ease of use and an intuitive UX is critical when you are navigating through piles of data. The design should be modern and load quickly, as both millennials and Gen Z’ers are big on response time.

Decide how your community will benefit its users

Yam Regev

Yam Regev

Communities of amateurs are circling mainly around an agenda. Communities of professionals are circling around an agenda + a lot of added value.

I mean, each community member, whether it is a community of professionals, gets an added value from being an active part of the community itself. Otherwise, they won’t stay there.

It seems that no professional communities can thrive by solely discussing the agenda and actionizing it, while communities of professionals need to feel more self-empowered as they contribute to the community.

The bigger the added value is for a professional member, the more they will give from themselves for the community to thrive. Yam wrote an article about this, read it in its entirety here.

Kathleen Slattery Booth

Kathleen Slattery Booth

If you encourage folks to create original content for the platform, you should give these posts some visibility. So unless you gamed it and got your connections to upvote what you posted, nobody saw it. For instance, writing original content for Inbound.org was like the tree that fell in the forest with no one there to hear it. Also, if you’re building a community, it should be all about forming connections.
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Tytus Golas

Our Tidio Live Chat community is bound together by our SaaS product. The Facebook group we created is inhabited by nearly 2.5k users who exchange their comments about our app, chip in their own ideas on product improvements, and advise each other on matters related to running an online business. Moreover, the engagement is further fueled by our Customer Support Team that swiftly addresses our community members
Jon Torres

Jon Torres

The main reason a community works is because it is a symbiotic relationship for all contributors. By constantly evolving and innovating you are testing ways to best serve your online community. Offering members new features and perks help keep your platform from getting stale. Use new features to provide value whether that be in the form of new tools, new chat functionality or new ways to contribute.
David Cacik

David Cacik

Consistency is key for online communities. My experience as a member of various groups and nice slack channels is that the initial enthusiasm almost always dies off after a couple of weeks or months. What I lack in most communities is consistency of providing value to its users. Whether is content or simple post, comment or update. I usually look for communities with a specific purpose, e.g. looking for an answer to a question or broadening my network. A community’s purpose should be to deliver that initial purpose and overdeliver on something else that makes its users stay and not look for alternatives.
Robb Fahrion

Robb Fahrion

Building a community starts with caring about the others in the community. Once you start putting others at the forefront of your thoughts and intentions, your community will prosper. Stop asking what others can do for you and what you can do for others and you will be rewarded handsomely over time.
Katheriin Liibert

Katheriin Liibert

Be very mindful when choosing your niche. What will be unique about your community? And why are you the best person to build it? If you cannot answer these questions, your starting foundation will be too weak.
Geoff Walters

Geoff Walters

In 2020, internet users have no shortage of communities where they can learn helpful information. To be frank, they are swamped with them! That means that if you’re starting a new community, you really have to go the extra mile. What users value is subjective and will be based on the niche you are pursuing, so you should first make sure that you have as deep an understanding of that as possible. This often necessitates one-on-one, in-depth conversations with your target demographic. Once you’ve understood that (and you probably don’t, even if you think otherwise), create content that your audience will value. That content needs to be as specific, unique and non-generic as possible. Benji Hyam from Grow and Convert has published some really great articles on making content unique, which I try and live by each day.
Tomer Aharon

Tomer Aharon

Establishing an online community is great. But connecting with every member is a totally different story. In Prospero, we ensure that we nurture relationships by sharing our real-life experiences, from defeats to victories, so they can learn and get valuable business tips from us. After all, authenticity strengthens relationships.
Bojana Vojnović

Bojana Vojnović

When you go to create your community, delete all sales vocabulary from your mind. Instead of focusing on what you want from members, focus on what you have to offer them. What can you give? How can you make their lives better? Why should they care about what you have to say? With these objectives in mind, start delivering content that adds value—and keep it up. Regular, useful content is what will keep engagement alive in your group. But don’t monologue; focus on meaningful conversations with members—authentic, engaging dialogue. And don’t forget to listen. If you get feedback from members on what they need or are interested in, pay attention, and adjust accordingly.
Martin Lünendonk

Martin Lünendonk

When building engagement for your community focus on designing and managing a mutually beneficial information exchange between the different user segments which your community comprises; because only if most community members see value in contributing and consuming information through your community, you’ll have a lively community which might help you make money online.
Yustyna Grynyk

Yustyna Grynyk

For every piece of content that we create, we, as content makers need to remember that we are creating it not only for our clients but also for their audience as well. Not to annoy, distress, or even irritate, but to educate, develop, and improve.
Danylo Fedirko

Danylo Fedirko

It is always about finding your unique value proposition. Think about how your community is different from a bunch of others. What does it mean to be a part of your community? How am I getting better with the community? Plus, focus on great content.
Whitney Erickson

Whitney Erickson

Keeping your audience in mind is key. Where is your customer? Which social platforms are they using? Do everything with your audience in mind. Don’t be pressured into using social media platforms that you know for sure your audience isn’t using. Evaluate your customer’s needs and then create compelling content to push out on their preferred channels.
Jessica Volbrecht

Jessica Volbrecht

Genuinely care about the people in your community and treat them how you would like to be treated. Make the community valuable for them by going out of your way to make sure they are being connected with the right people and getting the help that they need to prosper in what ever area they are struggling in.

Social Media is the Place to Start

Ayesha Ambreen

Ayesha Ambreen

Building a community and keeping a community engaged (alive) are two different things. Often it takes more to sustain. That is why social media platforms, with all their grandeur and numbers, still struggle so much with innovation and user experience. Good content and numerous views can get buried under optimized promotions and monotonous content.
Martin Hojman

Martin Hojman

Engaging with potential clients on LinkedIn is a great way to generate leads for your B2B company. Of course, your company’s LinkedIn profile should share interesting content. But the targets you reach on this platform over inMails should be contacted through your team’s real LinkedIn profiles. Do your homework before writing your messages, learn needs and successes of your leads. Be personal and show your knowledge about your leads and their companies.
Tereza Litsa

Tereza Litsa

I think that social media (e.g. Facebook Groups or Twitter chats) have replaced the idea of communities created for like-minded people. And if I want to check interesting content, I can personalise my interests, rely on Twitter lists for my favorite people (influencers or connections) or even check the useful zest. is for new posts.
Adam Hempenstall

Adam Hempenstall

If you want to build a community, listen to what your customers are saying. Some of the best discussions we’ve started in our Facebook group were based on the questions we got from our customer support emails, live chat and social media messages. Listen to what your customers talk and worry about and the community you create will be authentic and based on their needs, rather than your needs to promote yourself and your product or service.
Waqar Azeem

Waqar Azeem

Focus on building a good reputation in the community. Get your impression better day by day and avoid self-promotional content. To the other marketers, attract them with worthy information -this will keep you out of their spam bin.
Lastly, signup for professional social media management tools to grow your business in the market.
Vikas Kalwani

Vikas Kalwani

To start building your online community, engage with your target audience on the various social media platforms. A community isn’t about followers — it’s much more than that. Engage with your target audience in a way they feel special about being a part of the community. Providing value to your target audience and helping them using social media is the best way to create an online community.
Ron Stefanski

Ron Stefanski

While I am not a huge fan of social media with my online businesses, the one thing that I can’t deny is that Facebook groups are currently one of the best ways to build a community. For every new website I start, I create a Facebook community to help connect people that have an interest in the niche that I’m focused on. From there, I encourage people on the website to join the Facebook group. I’ve found that as time goes on, my website feeds new members to the group, and the group feeds new visitors to my website. This can be an incredibly effective strategy if used correctly.

Define Your Goals First

Caroline Gormley

Caroline Gormley

Be able to show value to your boss and prove out the ROI of participating in engaging dialogues is very hard for marketers. It’s not right (like at all) but it’s the reality so many of us face. If you’re creating a community, you should manage your goals first.
Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

Before you start building a community, you must understand why you want to build the community. Do you want to take feedback on your product? Do you want to acquire users? Do you want to expand influences? Once you have a clear-cut goal in mind, community building becomes easy and interesting.
David Spinks

David Spinks

The need for community to drive real value for the business. Otherwise, eventually, it will get cut.
Jason Quey

Jason Quey

I’ve never built a successful community, but I’d imagine engaged users, quality interactions between users, and reasons to keep coming back.
George Mathew

George Mathew

Building an online community is all about building an audience first. This requires investing in content. Not just any content would do. Ask around, take inspiration from blogs, forums, comments and community posts to find out what’s keeping your readers up at night. ANd then go about writing about those problems and showing them a guiding light on how they can solve these problems. A community germinates when people find the content around the brand to be useful to their daily lives. This is what you need to be aware of first and foremost.
Chris Wagner

Chris Wagner

It is always worth looking into the less common types of social media. Facebook Groups are good, but have you tried Reddit? Quora? Heck, have you ever seen the discussion section of a popular website or even news outlet? People crave discussion and thought-provoking material. In online forums, your ability to contribute to or foster a community is put to the test like nowhere else.
Ahmad Benguesmia

Ahmad Benguesmia

I would start with defining your group USP. What’s the thing that sets your group apart from other groups out there? The core value proposition of the group will inform every aspect of it — from the level of engagement you need to your approach to acquiring new members. I’d say start with the end in mind and work your way back, breaking down aspects of your project into smaller projects and bite-sized tasks.
Judit Pál

Judit Pál

Before you create an online community, think about your purpose: Why would people join your group? What can you do for them? What will be unique about it? Another key aspect of building a successful online community is to have a Community Manager who starts conversations, engages with group members actively, provides value, and moderates the group.

To Wrap Up:

There’s a lot to think about. Yet, we need to draw a conclusion to this subject and see what should have been done differently. Here are some tips that will help you improve your own community:

  • Show value of being part of your community
  • Encourage your active users
  • Create an atmosphere for people to connect with others
  • Build meaningful conversations with community members

It’s extremely important to create such community platforms that give participants value, teach them new skills and help them grow professionally. I hope these tips will provide some clarity on why brands need to take their users' voice seriously encourage you to create a perfect community of your own.

Did we forget something? Most likely, there’s a lot more to providing the best user experience for your community. What would you add to our list?

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