There’s a lot to consider before starting a community. It may seem as simple as inviting people to a Facebook group but when you plan it out more intricately, it’ll be a lot easier on you, your team, and your audience.
To help you think ahead, the following are some of the most important questions to explore before you move forward with a new community.
For the Community Audience
- Who is this community for?
- Why do they need it?
- Where are they getting this need fulfilled today?
- How are they consuming content today?
- What topics will your community cover?
- How will your community better help your audience?
- What policies, spam guidelines, or codes of conduct will you follow?
Community for Your Company
- What does community mean to you? (h/t to David Spinks on Twitter)
- Why do you want to build a community?
- What do you expect to get out of this community?
- What resources do you have to contribute towards building this community?
- Who and how can your team contribute to the community?
- Have you shared your expectations for their participation?
- What existing owned assets can you use in promotion of the new community?
- What does your community need to do differently to differentiate from competitors?
- Why should people choose your community over someone else’s?
- How will you get people to participate or join?
- Who do you need to work with internally to make this community a reality?
- Do you have any stakeholders’ support for building this community?
- How much of an investment can you make before seeing a return?
Community Platform Questions
- Where will your community live?
- What tools do you need to make this work?
- What features do you need in a platform?
- Do you want a forum platform or a networking platform?
- How can you utilize other features your platform offer?
Content For Your Community
- What types of content can you provide – videos, podcasts, downloads, etc?
- What content topics will be shared in the community?
- Who will create or curate the content?
- What content can you provide further down the road?
- Do you have at least a month’s worth of content planned out?
Partnerships & Business Development
- What partnerships can help this community?
- How will you work to build these partnerships?
- How can these partners participate in the community?
- What can you give them for their participation?
- What partners would the community enjoy?
Retention for Your Community
- How will you stay in touch with your members?
- How often do you want members to visit?
- How will you craft an experience that will keeping them coming back?
- How do you plan on getting members to participate in the first place?
Timeline for Community
- When will you finish choosing your platform?
- When will you finalize your strategy?
- When will you open the community for testing?
- When will the community launch?
- When will promotion begin?
- Who will moderate and manage your community?
- Do you need to hire someone?
- What is the budget and job description for hiring?
- What’s the deadline for hiring this person?
- What experience do you want them to have?
- What will the every day tasks be?
- Do you already have a founding group of members?
- What do your founding members expect to do to help you?
- What do founding members expect to get out of helping you?
- Where will you engage with your founding members – email, slack, private group?
- What metrics will you track?
- What will be your priority KPI?
- What metrics do your stakeholders want to track?
- How will you commercialize the community or generate revenue?
Now, you don’t have to have all the answers before starting your community, but these questions will help you foresee some things you do have to consider.
You can print this list off or share it with your stakeholders or team to give them an idea of what’s coming in your journey for creating a community.