Everyone wants the top experts, senior decision makers, CEOs and influencers to join and participate in their community.
It’s not going to happen. These people are too busy, too self-important, or simply unwilling to spend much time interacting with people below their level (outside of their own organization).
The peers they’re most trying to impress are those at their level. That’s the group they might wish to engage with (socialmedia.org, among others, tackles this by only allowing senior people to join and keeping all discussions strictly private).
So you can’t get the audience you want, you have to make do with the audience you have.
And the audience you have are typically those with time and passion. Your challenge is to figure out who you want them to become.
- Are you nurturing experts or building strong relationships?
- Are you creating competition to answer questions or encouraging them to build and grow their own sub-groups?
- Are you training them to think a certain way or push each other further?
All of these are important, strategic, decisions that take place at the highest levels.
What are you going to do with that time and passion your audience has?
Don’t try to do everything, you’ve got to pick one (possibly two).
Any of them will take persistence. Just be very clear from the very top who you want your members to become. It influences every other decision you make.