You’re in a bubble.
When you go to work (or log in to work), you’re interacting with people who are highly engaged with your brand.
When you talk to members, they feel highly engaged with what you’re saying.
When you see your organization featured in the news, it reinforces how important your organisation is within your field.
If you solicit the thoughts and ideas of prospective members about the community, they will probably tell you it’s a great idea. They’re picking up on your cues and telling you what you want to hear (and there’s no downside).
Almost everything you see, hear, or do within your work is likely to further confirm that people are far more engaged with your brand than they actually are.
This often leads to two common problems.
The first is believing a community will be easier to get started than it actually is. Instead of spending weeks, even months, developing and refining a magnetic community concept, we instead spend our time on the technology and assume people will naturally join.
The second is believing the community should have more engagement than necessary. Why aren’t people who clearly love your brand more engaged in your community? What’s wrong?
You need to pop this bubble quicker.
Think about it this way. How many communities do you participate in? 2 to 3? Maybe?
Particularly, how many brand communities do you participate in? I’m going to guess it’s not many (if any!). There’s a good chance you don’t participate in any communities for the topics (or brands) you’re most passionate about. And if you don’t participate in these communities, why would you assume your audience does?)
The reality is there is a ferocious battle for the time and attention of your audience. Your community is coming up against everything else your members can be doing at that moment. If members don’t seem to care that you launched a community, it’s probably because you’re not particularly interested in the community launch of a brand you like.
This is a long way of saying that it’s far harder and takes a much bigger emotional pull to persuade people to stop watching Netflix and spend that time in your community instead.