You can’t cheat. That’s a bigger benefit than you realize.
You can’t pay people to participate in your community. You can’t spam people until they participate. You can’t offer short-term rewards and expect to have a thriving community in a year’s time.
To have a truly successful community, you have to go through the steps it takes to be successful.
You need to listen to members and respond to their wants. You have to give your members influence and ownership over the community. You need to do interesting things to retain their interest. You have to care about their complaints. You have to have staff committed to satisfying members.
When we talk about the benefits of an online community, we spend too long on advocates, loyalty, feedback, cost-effective marketing and money. The biggest benefit of building an online community is simple.
Building a successful online community will force you to be a better company.