Consider the processes that individuals follow when moving from a non-member to an actively participating member in your online community.
Visitors who have found your community, either by word of mouth or via a search engine will investigate whether this is a suitable community for them to join in.
They will base their decision on several factors.
- Do they feel that other members in the community can be trusted?
Mikode facilitates the use of member’s profiles – use them to engender trust.
- Do they feel that they can benefit from the information and help from the members within this community?
Create useful informative content within your community sites, to keep your audience interested. Point your visitors to the strongest contributions via the most “Like” votes.
- Do they feel that they could provide helpful information to contribute to this community?
Acknowledge their helpful comments and encourage them to take part in the activity wall postings. Then make sure to comment on their postings.
The hardest part of creating an engaging community is right at the start. This is due to the lack of activity because of too few members at the outset. Therefore in the beginning you need to let people know about your new community and invite them to join in. You can do this by word of mouth within your local community and via the “Share this article” buttons on the Mikode site.
Once you have a few active members within your community, you will find the snowball effect sets in – the more activity – the more new members will want to join in. Some of these members will form their own groups within your community and invite their friends, who in turn will do the same. Soon your community will be buzzing with activity.