At SuperForum last week, Jackie Huba explained how Lady Gaga built her Little Monsters community by focusing on the most passionate 1% of her audience.
Several community managers at associations later told me they liked the talk but it didn’t apply to them.
They couldn’t nurture passionate fans the way Lady Gaga can. Their association is “boring”, they couldn’t create and amplify new values, they couldn’t create the same kind of passionate following.
I worry they’ve missed the point.
You might not be able to influence the values of your business and your audience’s passion for your products, but you can influence the values of the community and your audience’s passion for it.
The people who advocate, answer thousands of questions, and publish fresh content every month, aren’t usually doing it because of how they feel about the product, they’re doing it because of how the community makes them feel about themselves.
This is why even some of the dullest products can still nurture a legion of super active members willing to go to war for the community. Because the community gives them a unique opportunity to feel important, useful, and part of a group they enjoy being associated with.
This is why every opportunity to give people chances to prove their expertise, every thank you note, and every opportunity or role you create for people to feel respected really matters.
It all pays off in the long-game. Perhaps you can’t make people more passionate about the product, but you can make them feel exactly the emotions you need about the community.