(The following extract is from Buzzing Communities: How to grow Bigger, Better, And More Active Communities)
The best way to grow a community is to target segments (or clusters) that share a demographic, habitual, or psychographic attribute.
I suggest launching your community with a focus on just one of these segments. Once you’ve reached critical mass, you can begin expanding by identifying and approaching new segments to join. You can cater the community activities specifically to this audience.
For example, let’s say you run a community for comic book fans. After an analysis of your target audience, you identify several different segments. There is a rather large cluster that lives in Boston, another cluster that lives in London, and another in Idaho.
You also notice that there are people who prefer niche anime comics, others who like adult comics, and still another group that is deeply interested in historical comics like Superman, Spiderman, or even Radioactive man!
You notice that there isn’t already an established community for comic book fans in Boston, so you expand your community in this direction. You identify a group in Boston and conduct psychographic interviews. This reveals that they aspire to be comic book collectors, feel relatively isolated in their love of comic books among their friends, and are big fans of three well-known Boston comic book authors.
Now here is where it finally gets interesting!
Using this data, you can craft an outreach message inviting them to join a community and find other comic book lovers.
You can tell them you’re creating a unique group just for Bostonites in the community; a place where they can share their collections, arrange meet-ups, and find others just like them. You can focus discussions upon sharing and expanding their collections (use similar discussions to existing collector communities).
Do you think there is a single member of this target audience that wouldn't respond to such a clear, direct, message?
But getting them to join the community isn’t enough. You can schedule interviews with comic book VIPs (authors) and invite those in Boston to submit their questions. This gets them not only to visit the community but to actually participate as well.
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You can buy Buzzing Communities: How To Build Bigger, Better, And More Active Online Communities through the links below