One of the most rewarding aspects of being a community manager can be knowing that you helped to create a strong and engaged community. However, it can be incredibly difficult to build such a highly engaged community. While a brand, product, or service may have a lot of followers or subscribers, it’s important to build a community with members that are proud to be a part of that membership. Author Dino Dogan addresses this issue in an article he wrote entitled “How To Build a Community of Fanatics,” where he provides step-by-step instructions to build a community with avid users.
By breaking down the process into six steps, building a community instantly becomes more of a progressive process. Intention, knowing your audience, being human, customer service, having fun, and positioning are all things that Dogan considers fundamentals to building a strong community. By providing evidence and examples behind why each of these steps is so critical, Dogan is able to build up credibility and effectively support his claims. However, Dogan concludes his article by telling the reader he’s “left out one enormously important component from this list.” He allows readers to share their opinions and ideas about a potential seventh step.
The lack of comments on the article still leave present readers wondering what that missing ingredient is. It seems as though Dogan did a thorough job of outlining the different steps necessary to build a community, so his missing piece of advice could be hard to determine for some. However, based on our readings and panelist advice throughout a semester of #cmgrclass, it seems that Dogan really forgot to mention the importance of building relationships, which is an essential part of community management.
The Importance of Community Management
The biggest part of community management is making a community. Although Dogan discusses how to get people initially attracted to the information, he doesn’t discuss how to get them to stay nearly enough. Community managers are not only supposed to understand their audience (as mentioned in the article), but they are also supposed to cultivate relationships between them. Community managers should understand the different dynamics of a community and use that to leverage different relationships. A community isn’t a community unless people participate and talk to one another. While the advice Dogan writes in his article is all valuable and valid, it’s important to not lose sight of what a community should actually be.
Do you have any other advice for the best way to build a community? Let us know in the comments below!