Begin your community efforts by identifying the people you want to reach. Then research what they really want. Is it fame, money, power or affiliation?
Draw up 4 boxes and identify how your community is going to offer a member these things. It’s what they really want.
|– Leader boards
– Highlight the top members and great contributions on the main newsletter/blog
– VIP badges
– External promotion of top members and their stories
– Hall of fame/ Annual awards
|– Advice to get a better job
– Advice to save money
– Networking opportunities
– Sell products/services
– Increase their reputation within the industry
– Connect seekers/recruiters
|– Invite top people to give advice to your staff
– Host special groups just for them
– Customer council
– Delegate moderation duties
– Company e-mail addresses
– Show support for their ideas
– Inclusion in internal comms
|– Ratings from members
– Discussion boards
– Members can start their own groups and invite people they like
– Have special categories for people with common similarities
You don’t need to fill every box. You might need just need one benefit, in one box. As long as it’s strong benefit. Frequently the prospect of great advice leading to increased job prospects (money) lures people in, but it’s the fame/power/affiliation that keeps members coming back.
Base your community objectives and specs upon this framework. If your company can’t create objectives that fit into this framework, you need to change the objectives.
Now you need to configure your company’s resources in a way that competitor’s can’t match? What is the unique environment and conditions that you can create?