When building a community, I start with people who are big fans of the company/product, this could be partners, successful customers, team members, etc. These people become the Founding Members Group.
Initially, Founding Members help start discussions, seed discussions with comments, post to social media, and participate in the early events and programs. These are the members you keep going back to for help, starting new initiatives, running surveys, and more.
Tips for your Founding Members group:
- Always be recruiting members for this group – find someone enthusiastic and really active – invite them.
- They tend to become the first advocates (for the company & community).
- Start with 10-50 people.
- Be sure to give them perks for being active (swag, exclusive access & content, insider updates).
- This group is CRUCIAL to the success of the community.
- They should be invited to your community platform at least 2 weeks before any launch.
- You should schedule content they want to post through Google Calendar.
- Get to know the members so you know who to tag/mention for commenting.
- When asking your founding members to do something, be sure to ask them specifically or 1:1, general posts tend to get the same members doing activities over and over.
- Give them opportunities to share their expertise in the community.
- Give them ‘jobs’ as needs are discovered – moderators, group owners, user group hosts, welcome committee, etc.