Invite stakeholders to participate in the community goalsetting process. Consider inviting representatives from executives, engineers, product managers, sales, marketing, customer success, and customer support.
Learn as much as possible about their core challenges. Engage your stakeholders early to they feel listened to and are more likely to support the community building strategy. Go beyond stakeholder needs to learn when and where those needs arrive, in a way that a community could solve.
Stakeholders will bring different needs for the community, for example:
- Executives: Innovating, transforming the business, becoming customer-centric.
- Engineers and product managers: Identifying and fixing bugs, getting great insights, prioritizing what to focus on.
- Sales: Generating and converting leads, turning members into advocates, collecting case studies, ranking highly on comparison sites.
- Marketing: Testing campaigns, sourcing content ideas, increasing awareness and reach.
- Customer success: Building repository of best practices, improving outcomes, increasing NPS score.
- Customer support: Reducing support costs, increasing response rates, improving satisfaction.
Avoid vague, non-outcome goals for your community. While many communities set engagement as a core community goal, it has no outcome attached that would allow it to make a tangible impact on your organization.
Also capture intangible values your community might add to your business and marketing, for example, an active community of current customers can help to gather testimonials and case studies or act as a content marketing ideation tool, based on the most common topics discussed.
For any potential goals without a tangible outcome or impact, identify that impact as the goal instead.
Common personal goals for communities
- Enhance personal connections: To bring friends and acquaintances together.
- Share hobbies: To enjoy a shared activity with others.
- Create a movement: You might create a community to tackle problems together.
- Gain connections: Meet and connect with top people in your field.
- Engage on behalf of a business: Connecting employees, customers, or others together to achieve business goals.
Common financial goals for communities
- Reducing support costs or scaling support: Support staff can rely on other customers for answers.
- Increasing member success, loyalty, retention, or NPS scores: Members of a strong community are less likely to move to a competitor and more likely to be satisfied with their purchase.
- Gathering insights from members: Organizations can keep the pulse of their audience, tracking data on which topics are popular and what customers are struggling with.
- Attracting new customers: Community members are more likely to advocate for your brand, share content, provide reviews, and take other actions that drive customer acquisition.
- Improving staff collaboration or productivity: This is relevant for internal communities of employees that look to avoid duplication and promote active teamwork.
- Charging membership fees or running dedicated advertising: This can increase revenue and is relevant for highly active communities from which members can gain tangible value.