Pick a community type

Business benefits

Choose your community type and develop a clear, prioritized list of community goals by connecting business goals and audience needs.

Research what your audience want and need in a community.

Conduct stakeholder research to discover what your organization needs from a community.

Prioritize the organizational needs for your community by required or nice to have and order of importance.

Involve other stakeholders in the process by hosting a stakeholder workshop or letting each stakeholder assign a score to each goal and aggregating the results.

Consider a support community like Microsoft Answers that prompts members to help each other.

Pros Cons
Easy to get started and measure. Hard to keep members engaged, with a small number of members asking most of the questions.
Offer direct value. Tricky to keep updated and current.
Scale support to more people at no extra cost.

Consider an exploration community like a Reddit subreddit that allows people to explore a topic together.

Pros Cons
Member engagement easier to accomplish. More difficult to get started.
Create valuable resources, while improving the expertise of the entire group. Quality difficult to sustain with a natural tendency to become self-promotional.

Consider an influence-based community that helps members collaborate to improve something they would be unable to improve alone.

Pros Cons
Largely self-organized. Difficult to control – problems can harm a brand as a result.
Can sustain a large level of member contributions. Difficult to overcome the collective-action problem due to conflicting member interests.

Consider a community of belonging that builds a true sense of inclusion and rapport.

Pros Cons
Provides indispensable and exclusive benefits to members. Prone to fights and conflicts based on differing interests.
Difficult to sustain as the community grows.

Pick a community type that best suits your organizational goals and member needs.

@lsmous As mentioned on Build a community strategy, this needs to be refocused onto picking a community type.

I think this is much improved and focuses now on the specific outcome of choosing a community type.

@lsmous The goal- and behavior-setting steps are important, but we need to move them to the goals playbook.

This one’s tricky, because the course doesn’t give step-by-step guidance for actually picking a community type, so we have to wing it a bit based on what we do have. I think the steps that make sense are:

  1. Research member needs (link to playbook)
  2. Research organization needs and goals (link to playbook)
  3. Consider whether a support community like Microsoft Answers would meet member and organization needs.
    Pros and cons of support communities in the step explanation
  4. [Repeat for other community types and provide examples of well-known communities of each type in the step text]
  5. Pick a community type that best suits your organizational goals and member needs.
    [Venn diagram from lesson slide deck]