We are all human beings, and one thing is for sure: We celebrate communities everywhere.
We have communities with our families and friends as with our colleagues at work or with strangers on the internet when discussing a shared topic or hobby.
Community is not only a forum.
Community is not only a platform.
Community is a shared vision, a common denominator, passion, interest, and empathy as much as a respectful dispute and the desire for improvements.
Whenever people interact, there is a community. Don't underestimate the fact that learning from each other is not trivial. It is indispensable for everyone.
Think about that: You don't have to repeat the mistakes I made ... when you know about them.
Especially not if they turned out to be really bad.
The same applies to solutions I found: Why should you bother going the same long path I did just to get the same outcome?
When I share my story, my finding, and my experiences, I allow you to learn from it to save time and effort. And you do the same for me.
This setup seems to be the fundament of our culture - sharing knowledge and experiences and collaboratively supporting each other for better, faster, and more efficient outcomes.
Communities allow us to be where we are now as human beings, society, and individuals.
Build your Community!
For sure - a community can be present on many different platforms simultaneously, online and offline.
When people have something in common, you can be certain that a community will most likely evolve naturally. Especially when questions arise or the desire to get in contact with people who share the same ideas, interests, or problems.
From all we know by now, there will always be at least one person starting a discussion or question somewhere, and people gather. That's so beautiful - think about all the amazing hobbies people are building their communities around.
But what when it comes to your business? Should a company be the initiator of a community proactively?
Personally, I'd always say yes.
And for the sake of argument, let's assume it actually is the better idea (which it is 😉).
So, whatever your company is about: Make sure to offer a place where a community can evolve fruitfully and where you can assist it by sharing your knowledge and become a true member of this community.
Don't forget: As the company, you know more about your product than others. Especially when it comes to its "future". And in a community, you can share such information with those who want to hear about it. And the benefit is clear, too: You can create excitement about it or gather insights and make sure your community is healthy.
And when you have a healthy community, chances are good your company is healthy too.
Things to keep in mind:
Communities are as old as human being - they are based on our social desire and behaviour.
Communities are naturally evolving - companies should build them proactively
Communities can be beneficial for every member, incl. the topic, product, service or institution it is about.
You can't prevent communities from appearing and you shouldn't try to.
When you are a company, your community members are your customers: Adore them!