Why Partner Communities Usually Struggle To Sustain Activity

Try building a community for competitors operating within a relatively small sector.

You’re probably not going to get far. Few people want to share their expertise and advice with competitors (at the extreme, there are even laws preventing close cooperation between competitors).

This is why most partner communities aren’t really communities at all. Few partners proactively share information with one another or participate in discussions. The majority, by far, are information portals filled with announcements, tools, resources and, sometimes, events, where people can learn more from the brand.

Sometimes partners might ask a question about a problem, but they expect an answer from the brand.

The primary source of member-to-member information distribution in these communities are events – often in the form of featured member interviews or webinars.

One solution to this is to try to change the culture and build a more cooperative dynamic between partners in the same ecosystem. To be blunt, that’s a very hard sell. The other is to work with it and accept that discussions probably aren’t going to thrive. But that doesn’t mean you can gather great examples, resources, and host amazing events for partners.

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