We never said building a community would be a walk in the park. But identifying potential drawbacks beforehand can help you prepare for and overcome any challenges that may come your way—whether that’s a lack of budget or an inactive community.
Like with any new initiative, it's usually a good idea to start off with a pilot or small test group to measure the initial interest and engagement before rolling it out to a bigger audience. When you have a proof-of-concept, it will be easier to remove any concerns around the success of your community.
Have you downloaded your Community Readiness Canvas yet?
Like with any ambitious, long-term project, there are many challenges when starting a community. But with all challenges, there are smart solutions. You might experience some friction within your organization at first, that's why it's really important to acknowledge and resolve these issues as soon as possible.
For example, many organizations face limited resources, whether that's in budget or actual people to run the community. There can also be a lack of external support, no existing community members, or simply a lack of expertise when it comes to building a community.
What concerns have been made by stakeholders?
- We have no budget
- Our resources are limited
- There's no bottom-up movement
- We don't have anyone to run the community
As a community platform, your competitors will come in all shapes and sizes. Besides your direct business competitors, you'll also be competing with Facebook groups, Reddit forums, and even in-person meetups and events.
Starting as a Facebook group, Young Creators moved to a community of ambitious teenagers and students who are developing their own products and businesses
Where does your target audience spend their time?
- Facebook groups
- Reddit forums
- Local meetups
- Magazines and blog sites
Think about your value proposition to members for a moment. Or, in other words, what's in it for them when they join your community? If you're not delivering on your promise, chances are your members are probably going to leave.
Designer News is an online community where design and technology professionals share interesting links and timely events. To prevent members becoming disengaged, the content shared by the community always needs to be relevant, inspiring and non-promotional. That's why Designer News allows members to up vote their favorite links in order to make sure the most relevant content is seen.
What could cause churn (members leaving)?
- Their support questions were not being answered
- They did not have regular contact with members
- Their ideas were not being recognized