September 24th, 2020 by Melissa Dalarossa
These days, the need for meaningful connection is more present and visible than ever before. Brands, marketers, and customers alike are thinking about how they can create and support communities that matter.
A good community is not just a gathering place for shared interests—it’s an incubator for creativity and a catalyst for new ideas. It’s where you go to get support and feel like your authentic self.
At refine+focus, community is one of our core beliefs. From Curiouser & Curiouser to our Empowered Women Series, we’re experienced in creating spaces that foster meaning and encourage connection. Whether it’s online or off, we know how to harness the power of community to uplift and empower people.
We believe the best communities are the ones that flourish—the ones that help people find common ground and reach their potential. The ones where people show up with a desire to contribute and grow, because they know that as a part of something bigger, their actions will make an impact. In these spaces, people feel empowered, motivated, and fulfilled.
Pick the right platform. Make sure your members feel engaged and comfortable by choosing a platform that’s familiar or simple to use. Last year, Patagonia launched its Action Works online platform to bring its community together behind climate change.
Assemble your “party committee.” Find the people who are committed and enthusiastic about the community to help you lead it. More than one host ensures that people are sharing content and generating conversation.
Build rituals and traditions. In The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, Priya Parker discusses the importance of rituals to meaningful gatherings. Whether it’s posting a puppy picture per day or hosting a weekly Zoom happy hour, creating consistency in your community will foster a unique culture and a depth of shared experience.
Show love. Expressing appreciation for your members will uplift and encourage them. Incorporate verbal affirmations into your community, and reward outstanding members with special gestures of appreciation. Check out Forbes’ list of 7 Ways To Love Your Online Community.
Keep it fresh. Like a plant, your community needs to be refreshed; too much of the same and it can quickly go stale. Introduce new topics, tools, and events to keep things lively and engaging.
Ask for feedback. Single out people from time to time for feedback; ask open-ended questions every three to four weeks to assess and account for your blind spots. Continue to look for ways to improve the online experience for your members.
It starts with a desire to bring people together and give them a good experience. When you build a community, you invest into something that pays dividends—soon enough, you’ll find it becomes something that supports and empowers you.
Check out our latest LinkedIn Live, “Build Online Communities”: A Live Event Recorded.