evolved thinking

Building a PERFECT online community – Part One

Fei Wu

Fei Wu

Fei is Head of Communities at Evolve, and is passionate about building online communities that bring colour and texture to quantitative research.

So…you know what an online community is, and the benefits of having one (if you’re not sure, that’s okay, click here to bring yourself up to speed!), you may be wondering how does one build an online community, let alone a perfect one?

Well, you’ll be glad to have stumbled across this post – the first of an 8-part series about online communities built with the intent of developing a deep understanding of consumers and testing their responses to ideas and initiatives, at scale.

Now, if the saying, ‘if you build it, they will come’ holds true, then surely building an online community involves creating an online presence and people will readily and willingly answer questions addressing the market research objective(s).

Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity building new online communities in a range of industries, and what I’ve learned is that no two communities are the same! Nonetheless, there are similarities when building an online community, and the following 7 elements are worth considering:

1.​

Platform – what type of functionality does the site have, and is it easy to use?

2.

Engagement – what is done to ensure there is always a group of people readily available?

3.

Recruitment – who is being invited to join the online community?

4.

Feedback – what information is given to members about their participation?

5.

Empathy – does the moderator possess this quality?

6.

Communication – how are members receiving information and in what format?

7.

Tenure – how long will the community be open?

Over the next 7 weeks, each of the above elements will be explored and by week 8, you’ll be well-equipped in building a perfect online community. 

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