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Welcome to Community Hub: your go-to companion & guide

Over the years, we've had the privilege of partnering with hundreds of companies. Leveraging our extensive experience and in-depth research, we've put together this page to equip you with the essential steps and practical tips for building your very own digital community.

Community Framework

The Amity Social Cloud Community Building Framework is a comprehensive and constantly evolving guide for building and maintaining an online community. It covers all aspects, ranging from initial planning to successful launch, ongoing operations, and effective monetization strategies. The framework highlights the importance of understanding your community's goals and purpose while ensuring value is delivered to both users and the business.

1. Planning

Plant the right seeds

Communities that lack a clear goal or mission are set up to fail from the start. To avoid this, we recommend using our WHY, WHO, WHAT, HOW method to clearly define your community mission.

2. Community operations

Use the right nutrients

Not only do you need the right seeds, but you also need to nurture your community with the right team to ensure a strong start to its growth process.  Make sure you understand the stakeholders you need and get them prepared.

3. Launch & adoption

The budding plant

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Planning a successful launch with a seamless user experience is vital for community success. In this section, you'll find metrics and strategies to create awareness, attract members, and drive activation within your community.

4. Creating an engaged space

From budding to blooming

After the initial onboarding of users, it may seem challenging to encourage engagement among community members. But it doesn’t have to be.  By diversifying your engagement strategies, you can improve your chances of success.

5. A thriving community

Flowering plants

To build a self-sustaining and lasting community, you need to recruit, recognize, and give responsibilities to your power users.

6. ROI and monetization

Fruits of labor

Learn how to effectively track the success of your community and its impact on your business. Discover strategies to monetize specific aspects of your community for direct revenue generation.

3. Launch & adoption

The budding plant

Create a smooth onboarding

You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression. That's why it's crucial to create simple, yet meaningful and rewarding experiences for your community members from the very start. By doing so, you can significantly increase the likelihood of them joining, engaging, and returning to your community.

When creating a onboarding journey for members, you should:

• Create an introduction post template for new members
• Add members to pre-selected groups based on topics of interest selected by them
• Pre-seed your community with content that is easy to interact with
• Provide users with a reward for initial interactions
• Help users create initial connections by suggesting popular community members to interact with or members based on topics of interest.

Beta testing

Before taking launching your community, it's a smart move to carry out a beta or test launch with a select group of users. This exciting phase allows you to gather valuable feedback on the initial version of your community and make iterative changes as needed. By embracing this process, you ensure that your community is finely tuned and ready to captivate users from the moment it officially launches.

Data & tracking

Key Points
Data is crucial. One of the major advantages of building an in-app community is the ownership of valuable data that you can leverage. Make sure you begin tracking the necessary data right from the launch of your community. As your community grows, the metrics you track may vary and evolve across different stages.

In Section 1 of the framework, you defined the purpose and value that your community can generate. This may have provided you with some metrics to evaluate for tracking community growth.

Here are some additional metrics that are worth considering for tracking during your initial launch:

Awareness & attraction

After the beta stage, it’s important to have a plan in place for the initial launch. This includes a plan of action for attracting members to your community.

Consider the following questions to aid your messaging:
How easily can you explain the reason for your community’s existence?
Tip: Refer to your community mission statement from Section 1.
How can you collect and share valuable and positive stories or testimonials from various community members?
How can you easily provide easy-to-share assets to your existing users to tell others?
To strategize the attraction methods for new users, ask yourself:
How will people discover your community?
Where do your potential members currently spend their time?
What existing systems in your business can you leverage to introduce your community (customer support, sales teams, website, newsletter, or customer onboarding)?
How can you convince existing members to spread the word and invite others as well?

Activation

As part of both the beta and official launch, it's essential to lead by example for your community members, pave the way, and demonstrate how you would like them to engage in your community. This can be achieved by:

• Posting and asking the right questions to spark discussion
• Asking questions in comments
• Being genuinely interested in getting to know community members
• Sharing ritualized posts for habit formation.

Rituals are important for long-term habit formation in communities. Members will often come back to a community on a particular day because they expect to see a certain type of content. The creation of a content calendar with a regular cadence will aid in the initial adoption by users.

Use the Amity Community Content Cadence Worksheet to brainstorm your initial content ideas and frequency.

To encourage initial engagement from your community members, it's important to motivate and help them get started. The following strategies, derived from Noele Flower's “Lean Launch Framework” can be valuable for sparking those initial interactions.

• Ask a few open ended questions - give members a chance to share their opinions
• Read each comment and reply to the members. Where possible, ask follow-up questions.
• Shortlist the responses that are thought provoking and interesting, where the discussion has room to grow.

Reach out to these members and request them to create their own posts, expanding on the topic being discussed. Ask members who are posting to leave an open ended question at the end of their own posts.

Member feedback

After the initial launch and adoption of your community, it's vital to gather member feedback once again. Regularly collecting member feedback is crucial throughout the entire community life cycle to adapt and evolve as needed. Utilize the Amity Member Persona’s Worksheet to assess the key personas within your active user base.

Key Points
Utilize Amity’s Pre-Launch Checklist to ensure that you have everything prepared for your initial launch, including technical aspects, moderation guidelines, content creation, campaigns, and raising awareness about your community.

Final thoughts

• Having a well thought out onboarding, acquisition and activation strategy is important to get the initial traction in your community started

• Make sure you are collecting data and member feedback, right from the start of your beta launch - tracking metrics helps identify gaps in your community implementation.