Community Myth #1: My social media presence is my community strategy.
Truth: Your social media is not your community. You might be fostering direct relationships with your customers on social media, but creating a community means that you are strategically connecting those customers to each other and creating a network of loyalty based on common values, goals, or vision.
Community Myth #2: Better community members have more followers.
Truth: Even if part of your objective for your community is to create more awareness and generate new customer acquisition, influencers or micro-influencers are not your target for your community. Your community should target top customers with high levels of trust and loyalty already established, not a random influencer with little to no established trust (with you or their audience).
Community Myth # 3: Creating a loyal community means giving people lots of free product to entice them.
Truth: Giving away free product to members or customers without a clear connection to an action or outcome trains your community to only act after they have received a reward first. Thoughtful community design integrates rewards as a response to action or outcome.
Community Myth #4: My community should be on Facebook or a platform where people are already lurking.
Truth: Just as quickly as a member will be distracted into your community content, their attention will be ripped away to something else. Community platforms like Circle, Heartbeat, and Geneva create a safe and simple space for members to interact and grow together online.
Community Myth #5: Our community should just organically share about the brand and we shouldn’t have to show them how to do this.
Truth: Very rarely does a community spontaneously combust with the outcomes you want to see, even if they admire you endlessly. Good community design will consider how to equip your community with the tools they need to feel confident and excited to share about you with their friends.
Community Myth #6: Giving an affiliate link to my community members makes it a pyramid scheme or an MLM.
Truth: When crafting your affiliate program, you can choose to have each affiliate connected “direct to HQ.” Meaning no affiliate can recruit other affiliates, which means there is no level-based commission (MLM), and no rewards for recruiting (pyramid scheme).
Community Myth #7 I’ll launch my community overnight
Truth: Communities are grown, not launched. Even the best community design takes time, experimentation, and patience to see the lasting outcomes you want to see.
Like building a fire, there is no short cut to building a community, but with just a few Embers in place, it will burn long and bright.
Photo Credit: Kevin Erdvig on Unsplash
About the Author
Bri Leever is Chief Community Architect at Ember, a splasher of water, and lover of books doing life in an ever-changing migration pattern ✈️
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