September 10, 2011 Duncan Alney

12 Questions To Ask Before You Build An Online Community

“I don’t know if I should build an online community”.

I hear this very often when I’m working with clients that are launching a community – or building the foundation of what might become a community – to be more accurate.

A couple of over arching considerations:
  • What are the marketing goals and how will building a community support them?
  • Can your organization sustain an ongoing investment of time and money to build a community?
Here are some more specific questions*:
  • Are people genuinely interested in your organization?
  • Do you have buy in from the top to go down this road?
  • Can you develop content and sustain conversations?
  • How will you keep people engaged?
  • How will you add value to people’s lives?
  • Will you mine the activity for actionable data?
  • Who will manage the community?
  • How will you monetize your community?
  • How will you measure the activity and the results?

*this is a partial list of questions.

There aren’t any plug and play answers. There are lots of thriving communities in various spaces. And there’s also a lot of under performing and unnecessary communities (if you can even call them that), and lastly there’s a lot of dead spaces that were trying to be communities.

I can answer the questions hypothetically but every organization has to answer these question for themselves (or with someone’s help).

Duncan Alney

Duncan Alney

CEO at Firebelly
Fun Fact: Duncan co-authored the book "Facebook Marketing Secrets." He founded Firebelly in 2001.
Duncan Alney

About the Author

Duncan Alney Fun Fact: Duncan co-authored the book "Facebook Marketing Secrets." He founded Firebelly in 2001.

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