The Secret Ingredient

May 5, 2015Comments Off on The Secret Ingredient

You can't build a community concept from research alone. 

Research only tells you what the audience does, thinks, or wants now.

The next step is to develop a testable hypotheses. 

For example, if you know many amateur photographers are using Instagram, and selecting the right filter is a big challenge, will a community about filters for amateur photographers succeed?  

You might create a simple guess-the-filter site or #whatfilter hashtag to accompany several images and see what response you get. You could bring together a few experts in filters on a Facebook group and have a FilterHeroes group on Facebook for people to get advice. If this didn't take off, how about a 15 minute course on filters?

Your challenge is to find cost and time effective ways to test your hypotheses. 

A scientist will burn through a dozen or more negative results before finding a positive. That's part of the process. It takes them years, we can do it in months. 

Developing an expensive community platform, undertaking a big promotional push, and telling your top members to join is neither cost or time efficient. Introducing a topic in an existing community, trying out a hashtag, creating a simple Facebook group is much better.

You need to get meaningful results as quickly as possible. Don't go further down the path of developing a community until you've found something the audience loves. Be prepared for the negatives until you reach the positives. 

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