There's no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to scaling your online community.
The important thing is to be intentional about your community’s growth and to have a solid plan for how you'll handle that growth.
Here are five strategies you can use to intentionally scale your community:
- Define your goals for growth by keeping your community’s mission at the forefront.
As your community grows, it's important to keep its original purpose and mission top-of-mind. This will help you attract new members who share your values, all while keeping existing members engaged.
- Create a system of support for your members by developing a community onboarding program. Scaling your community can't be done alone. You'll need to recruit and train volunteers, create clear community guidelines and policies, and establish communication channels between different parts of the community (and within your own organization).
- Create an inclusive and welcoming culture. From new members to long-time members, everyone has something valuable to contribute to the community. By creating opportunities for all voices to be heard, you'll foster a sense of belonging that will keep people coming back.
Newcomers especially can be shy about posting in the community. Try implementing a buddy system, pairing newcomers with more mature members who can show them round the community and answer their questions! Creating a group for newcomers to ask beginner questions is a great way of encouraging connections with others in a similar situation while getting to grips with the community!
[Webinar Replay] Listen in as Dagmar Mekking, CEO at Shell Alumni Network, and Eva-Maria Lynders, Community Manager at MGG, discuss how their onboarding processes integrate and excite new members and inspire them to take an active role in the community!
- Promote active participation and engagement. As community professionals, we need to walk the walk and talk the talk by demonstrating the engagement we want to see and encouraging participation from all levels of our community. Be prepared to adjust your strategy as you learn what works best for your community members. In the beginning, this will look like you being more hands-on with ensuring every post gets a reply, orchestrating members behind the scenes to post content, and tagging members in posts that you think will bring them value.
- Use data to drive decisions. As your community grows, so will the amount of data you have available. Use this data to better understand your members and guide your decisions about how to best support them and scale your operations efficiently.
As your community grows, you'll need to be intentional about how you scale it. By defining your goals for growth, creating a system for onboarding new members, fostering a culture of welcoming and inclusion, promoting active participation and engagement, and using data to drive decisions, you can create a community that's able to sustain growth.
Hivebrite is an all-in-one community engagement platform. It empowers organizations of all sizes and sectors to launch, manage, and grow fully branded private communities. Schedule a demo today!