How can you do stuff together? How can you make more of sharing knowledge and passion? That is one of the questions I tried to answer in my book Handbook Communities (Dutch only). Let me share some of the insights from the book. I think you all should try to start to facilitate your communities, but only do it if you have the next conditions in order ...
If you want your audience (clients, fans, members, team, etcetera) to be involved with what you do, you must be willing to be transparent. You must be willing to give insights, you must be willing to join the conversation. Answer questions, explain choices, be open about what you do and why.
Be willing to share
It is a cliche, but cliches are true. You have to give to get. You have to put a lot of energy in your community, to get it going, to keep it going. A community needs love!
Of course, it is fine to have a community manager spending time in a community, but ... you make clear how important you find your community by being there as a company, as an organisation. Yeah, you as a CxO too!
Never think for your community. Always listen to your community. Don't think you know what they want. Listen to them and act on that knowledge.
Communities are no short term thing. You build a community 1 by 1. It takes time. And love (there it is again!). So take that time. A loyal audience is a great good.
Not everyone wants to be active. Only a small percentage of people wants to give feedback, share ideas, etcetera. But that's ok. There's the 1 percent that's really active, the 9 percent that's reactive (comments, votes) and the other 90 percent reads and follows.
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