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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).

About Duncan Alney

is the leader of the passionate Firebelly Social team. He loves working with people with vision who expect the best of themselves and the people they work with. He also believes that happiness is a critical part of his personal and professional life equation, and works to be happy about whatever he's doing.