Decide whether your community will be relevant to a large number of people for a short time, or a small number of people for a long time.
Communities only succeed when the audience finds them to be the most relevant way to satisfy their needs and desires at a given moment. The two basic types of relevance are:
- Large number of people for a short period of time, in which members visit the community to ask a question or satisfy a particular need. Customer support communities fall into this type.
- Small number of people for a long period of time, in which members visit the community because they feel a sense of belonging and want to learn what others are doing. Peer groups and practice communities fall into this type.
Survey your audience, asking about demographics, behavioral characteristics, and psychographics such as needs, desires, and pain points, which can be used to segment responses.
Use a survey template to design the questions and flow of your survey.
To conduct your survey, use a simple tool like SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, or TypeForm or a more advanced tool like Qualtrics or Alchemer, depending on your expertise and organizational competencies.
Analyze survey responses to identify unique audience segments.
Focus on demographics and behavioral questions to see if any unique clusters emerge.
Use a statistical significance tool, integrated in platforms like SurveyMonkey, if a completely valid measure is necessary. Outline what makes each segment unique based on the survey responses.
Interview 3-5 people per audience segment to learn about the content they read, the people they want to connect with, and the roles they take on.
Dig deep into the specifics of what these members want and need. Focus on the identifying trait you have identified in your survey analysis, as well as information like the types of content they read, the types of people they want to connect with, and the kind of roles they take on. Use Feverbee’s Member Interview Questions Template for inspiration and sample questions.
Build member personas that outline audience needs, technologies used, and motivators from information gained in your surveys and interviews.
Create personas that develop an accurate picture of who your audience is, what their needs are, and how you might reach them. Use a member persona template such as Feverbee’s to structure and develop your personas.