One of the biggest struggles for every Community Manager is the necessity of growing the Community by letting new people in. Every Community needs new members, be it at the earliest stages or in the advanced ones. So here’s a few useful points that help to grow membership and retain the new members to your community.
(But keep in mind that also minimizing the churn rate is very important!)
How to grow membership community rule one: research who’s the typical member
How can you do that?
If you’re starting a community from scratch you’ll have to suppose who’s going to be willingly part of it and who’s not. You can draw some hypothesis and test it with your first group of members. Or you can start from a group of people that’s basically acting like a community even if they don’t call themselves “a community”.
Once having a small but solid base of members the next step is to research who is the typical member.
What does that mean?
Check out your members by profiling them. Active members of your community are always a good tool in your box. Analyzing members lets you understand if you’re making the right steps toward your goal: are they the members you were expecting to have? Will they provide value to you? Are they happy? Should you change strategy to attract someone else?
Without analyzing your members it’s impossible to answer and to know how to grow membership!
If you understand who’s the active member you can more precisely invite people that correspond to that profile! You’ll know that statistically they’ll be active (probably because your community suits them). So it gets easier to have active people.
What if, after a few months of managing the community, you do not have any active members?
That is a clear sign that your community’s goal needs to be worked on and think about what kind of members you want to invite. You need to have a helicopter view and put yourself in the position of the people that you will invite.
Would you join your community?
Rule two: have a list of people to invite
Building lists is one of the hacks that you need to use in a lot of cases, especially when it comes to the invitation of new people. Keeping track of data it’s basic to understand how to grow membership!
Building a list of the people who you will invite can both work as a reminder and as a research tool. The main objective is to get answers about the success of the invite campaigns! So keep track of as much data as you can. But this does not mean adding hundreds of columns in a spreadsheet.
Keep track of who joined, how much time it took to join and the way you made them join (phone call, mail, talk, button on a website etc…). The data you need on this list can differ by community and by memberships (you can have more than one) so go ahead, be brave and add the columns that are more fitting to your case. Analyzing this database will give you a picture on how the invitation is working and if not, where would it be necessary to make changes.
Need a template? We have one ready for that! Click here to access it.
More rules on “How to grow membership” will follow so stay tuned!