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Conquering the Community Life Cycle

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This presentation covers various life cycle stages in an online community and how you can identify the stages. Plan different action items for each stage of the life cycle. If you can successfully execute the activities, you'll be able to amplify the potential of the community as well as the value it delivers to your business.

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Conquering the Community Life Cycle

  1. 1. Community Life Cycle Plan Activities and Grow with the Stages
  2. 2. Online communities have existed in different forms since the beginning of the internet.
  3. 3. At Tribe, we have launched several large and small communities by closely partnering with our clients.
  4. 4. With the experience of launching and growing communities, we have identified common stages in the community life cycle.�
  5. 5. This presentation is based on five life cycle stages Development 2-12 weeks Inception 0-6 weeks Expansion 7-18 months Maturity 1.5-3 years Autonomy 2+ years
  6. 6. Development This is the precursor stage of any online community. You would first get the internal buy-in from the organization and finalize a blueprint that can be followed to launch the online community.
  7. 7. Action items for development stage Objective Focus on one primary objective -- it could be anything from brand building to customer success and product ideation. Internal team Create a document and add the team members required to support the community initiative. Technology You need to finalize the technology stack and create a brief for the community software requirement. Community Management This includes creating a process for member acquisition, establishing community guidelines, moderation rules, onboarding strategy, content generation plan, engagement plan (e.g., gamification techniques).
  8. 8. Inception This is the precursor stage of any online community. It is generally marked by the time when you start interacting with the members.
  9. 9. Action items for the inception stage Engagement Your goal is to acquire a small set of highly focused members who would be most active in the community. Hence, identify, recruit, and nurture a group of members to support various discussions as well as networking events. User acquisition Tap into an existing audience base, forge partnerships with influencers, invite relevant members from generic social media sites, promote on channels such as Quora, and Product Hunt, create a referral program, etc. Content Create a content calendar and start generating ideas around your key topics. You need to aim for authority in the domain, focus on SEO, and maximize the content reach by distributing via different channels. Validation Validate that you are heading in the right direction in terms of execution by collecting feedback and closing the loop. Vision It is critical to convey the vision of the community from the very beginning and align the members with long-term goals.
  10. 10. Expansion This stage is identified by growth in engagement and surge in new members. The community would have garnered higher visibility and the need for you to generate engagement would decrease.
  11. 11. Action items for the expansion stage Setting up processes Your key focus would be around establishing a scalable blueprint to further increase new member acquisition, improve onboarding, and engagement. User acquisition Focus on promoting your community and increasing awareness using techniques such as AMA sessions, showcasing the social proof extracted from the community in your site, tapping into the referral networks of the superusers. Engagement Create engagement activities (e.g., exclusive online events) that appeal to the sense of belonging. Another key element is the development of certain community cultures and rituals to strengthen the bond between members. KPIs Track how your community has been performing based on the metrics for the business goal and the value generated by the community for your company.
  12. 12. Maturity This stage can be identified by an established and strong sense of belonging. The members would be organically engaged and the majority of the activities would be driven by the members.
  13. 13. Action items for maturity stage Engagement Take the relationship with the members to the next level by partnering with them for idea generation. Work n high-level ideas related to content generation, events, infrastructure to ensure that the sense of community is stronger. Positioning You would work on establishing your community as a leader by showcasing case studies, participating in events, telling your success story at events, and getting media mentions. Content Since the majority of the content in this stage would be created by the members, your focus would be on properly organizing the content. The activities inside the community would be at the peak. Internal support Prepare the internal supporting materials (e.g., success stories and impact on business) as well as documentation on existing shortcomings to secure resources and prepare the community for the next stage. Sense of community At this stage, the sense of community and internal culture would be well- established. The members in your MVP (Most Valuable Person) program are ready to step up their role so they can act as mentors.
  14. 14. Autonomy This is the final stage and once the community reaches this stage, it goes into a self- sustenance mode. The size of the community outgrows the shared identity, passion, and connectedness of the members.
  15. 15. Action items for autonomy stage Sub-communities The sub-communities inside your community would grow and you should empower the creators of those spaces inside your community to invite new members. Engagement Focus would be on creating robust engagement plans via the sub-groups or independently managed channels. You will repetitively work with the owners of those subgroups to engage the members. Content It is time to scour through the content and update or archive outdated content. Also, ensure that the way you are organizing content still makes sense for the members. That way you can present the most relevant content to the members. Retention If your community reaches this stage, you would already have a strong retention rate. The members would be coming back to the community automatically and traffic via search engines would be high as well. KPIs You would want to create custom metrics to measure the success of your community. For example, you might want to introduce a score on the sense of connectedness of the members.
  16. 16. Conquer the community life cycle Amplify the potential of the community as well as the value it delivers to your business by carefully planning key activities based on the life cycle stage.
  17. 17. Reach Us For questions and more information WEBSITE EMAIL ADDRESS