Updated: Aug 21, 2020
We hear the pitch of why research communities are important for a company and what a large healthy community can do for your ROI. However, there are a lot of communities that struggle to sustain the minimum levels of activity. For many companies they spend a lot of energy to do a big recruitment campaign but then very little energy is spent to maintain engagement. What is lacking is a long term plan of sustained focus to recruit new members and maintain those who have already joined. Put simply most companies lack a clear plan of action.
The reason why people participate in any kind of community is simple – to satisfy their informational and social needs. The problem most companies make is that they focus too much on the informational aspect and miss out on the social. Developing a strategy to increase activity by applying proven community building techniques that touches on: (1) content, (2) moderation, (3) relationship development, and (4) events/activities are all something the top communities are able to do well and on a regular basis.
A base level of activities need to be planned for the month and the year. If new research needs arise, they can swap out or add to the already planned activities. Have a clear idea of what kind of activity will take place when and with who to ensure you reach everyone in your MROC community. Use qual activities to get members to interact with each other through sharing their thoughts, insights, and experiences with one another. This sharing helps establish a deep sense of community amongst members and builds a strong group identity by breaking the community into smaller sub-groups. This will help sustain these connections and eventually, this will lead to higher satisfaction levels and an increase in community members recommending their friends to join.
In summary create a plan, work the plan, and your community will thrive. If you are looking for help starting a community, and coming up with a community plan contact us.