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Three simple community building strategies

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If you're reading this blog, then it's likely you already have a community and have been running it for some time. I'm going to go further and say that you've done all the right things; you've set it up correctly and themed it, so it matches your site. Once you have built your community and watched it spring into life, it's easy to think that you have done all you need to do. However, there are three simple things that you're probably not doing that is curbing your potential growth. Promote your community No matter how well you have set up your community, if you're not regularly promoting it, then you are limiting your potential audience. Look for ways to promote your community to a new audience. If you regularly write blog posts or a newsletter for your existing customers, then make sure you write about your community and encourage people to join. If you have a presence on social media, then share links regularly. Even adding a link to your community in your existing email signature will catch a few more clicks. Get creative! One community owner I know went through Apple's rigorous verification process to post quality articles from their site to Apple's News app. Why not sign up to HARO (Help A Reporter Out). This is a free email sent daily that contains requests from reporters looking for sources to quote in articles. The email is broken up into sections so that you can find relevant stories for your niche. It's a very simple way to get quoted in other publications with a link back to your site. Think about how you can promote your community to a wider audience. Post great content Do you take the time to create great content and post it to your community regularly? By great content, I mean a piece that encourages in-depth discussion, shows that you are a leader in your niche and sets the tone for the rest of your community. With the rise of social media, we're often fed a diet of disposable content such as "Motivation Monday" which may generate likes, but it does nothing to connect with your audience. You could use the Blog app, the Pages app or post in the relevant forums within your community. Try and encourage discussion and ask them to share their thoughts and experiences too. People love to share what they do and talk about their experiences, so it shouldn't be hard to get people active on your topic. Reward contributors Way back in the dark ages, a high post count was the only badge you needed to show others that you were to be feared and respected. I still remember joining some communities in the early 2000s and was in awe of members with 10,000+ posts. In today's more sophisticated times, we need a little more to keep us involved. There are a lot of tools you can use to reward your members. The simplest is the group promotion tool which automatically moves members based on specific thresholds. You can give your members elevated permissions or special badges to show to others that they are more experienced. If you have a more active community, you could consider rewarding your most engaged users with a prize. This prize could be a free subscription, a discount code for your products or even a small Amazon gift voucher. These are just a few things that you can incorporate into your workflow to help further build your community. I'd love to hear your tips too, please share them below!

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