practicesA digital community isn’t a “create and forget” endeavor. It’s something that takes dedication, effort and focus to launch, grow and maintain. It’s something that should be at the center of every decision that is made by a brand or association, something that brings life and connection to everyday activities. This means that it must become part of your routine to see true results.

It can be hard to add new steps to an already established routine – I get it. However, it must be a priority if a thriving digital community is your desired result. I’ve tried to simplify it a little bit: check out these 5 actions to incorporate into your daily digital community routine. Spend 5 – 30 minutes on each activity and in just 1 hour a day, you will start to see results.

1.       Respond

To start your day, why not clear up any old business from yesterday? This is no different from any other area of business. Open up your messages inside of your social network or digital community. Take the time to read through any personal messages you may have received. Respond immediately. If a little research is needed, let the sender know that you’ve received the message and will get back to them.

By taking the time to respond in a timely manner, you’re communicating the importance that you place on your digital community to its members. You’re proving that you’re available for communication and that your members matter to you. Respond!

2.       Create

Digital communities need regular content to grow. There must be a reason for members to check back in, and opportunities to connect. To make this happen, put a little time each day into creating content that’s actionable. This can come in many forms:

  • Photos,
  • Infographics,
  • Memes,
  • Text-based content,
  • Discussions,
  • Questions of the Day, and more.

The options are limitless, just be sure that new content is placed inside of your community and made available to members on a daily – or more frequent – basis.

3.       Reach Out

Your responsibility to engage community members doesn’t stop when your “new” inbox messages are all “marked as read” or responded to. No, it goes further than that if true engagement is a focus.

Take the time to reach out to community members. Send public “welcomes” to those who have just joined. Thank a customer who came into your store. Share the achievements of a member and invite others to congratulate them. Ask questions and tag specific members for responses. By reaching out, individually yet publicly, you’re sending a statement that says you care about your community and you’re paying attention to your members. This can go a long way. Each day, set aside a few minutes to reach out, this small step can lead to big results.

4.       Research

Be on the lookout for new information that relates to your association, your industry or a product you offer. When you prove your ability to provide information first, you’re demonstrating value.

There’s a secret that can make this a lot easier. Take the time to set up a few Google news alerts. These alerts can let you know when news is happening, and where the story is. When something comes up, take the time to share the link inside of your digital community. Your members will be grateful.

Research doesn’t have to mean hours in front of the computer screen, at the library or with an open reference book. It just takes a little creativity and a willingness to share.

5.       Monitor

This is a critical step that doesn’t always need to involve direct actions on your part. However, a community that isn’t monitored closely is bound to fail. Set aside 3-5 times a day to check in on your community (it only has to take 5 minutes). Make sure there’s nothing offensive, nothing obscene and nothing that could threaten the health and happiness of your members.

This doesn’t mean to eliminate complaints. It does, however, mean that certain comments should be responded to quickly and positively. By communicating clearly and taking action when needed, you’ll keep your community moving in the right direction.

One hour a day. That’s all it takes to make a mediocre community into a thriving life source for a given organization or brand. Are you ready to jump in? Take these 5 actions starting today and incorporate them into your daily routine.

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