Building an online community for software companies – Step 1

Want to build an online community in your organization? Great….do you have a plan?

Many companies jump into building an online community but have no idea what they hope to accomplish with it. Some companies are so product focused that they feel that building a community centered around talking about their products will draw tens of thousands of people to it. Others want to build a community on the assumption that its what the customer wants. Others want to build a community cause its the “in” or “latest buzzword” and they must have one.

Step 1 – Define what you want with clear cut goals and expectations. Organizations need to answer some tough questions when building out a community

1. How will an online community further our companies mission?

2. Will there be an evangelist for this community? In other words, will there be one person or a team of people with the same goal in mind and that is to be nothing more than figure head for this thing?

3. How do you envision the community growing over a 10-18 month period? How will you keep the community vibrat and full of energy?

4. How will you empower the users of the community to feel they are the owners and not you the organization?

5. Are you wanting to start big and have a promotional strategy around it or are you wanting to start small and gradually build your base?

Once some of these questions are answered, companies then need to move into Step 2. (Step 2 tomorrow)

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