As a marketing manager for PRO membership, I work hard to create a sense of community among MarketingProfs PRO members. With them in mind, I thought I'd share some traits about what differentiates an online community from a run-of-the-mill website.
1. An online community makes users feel like they belong.
Speaking from experience, I know that, as a user, I've got to love the community's site, both aesthetically and in terms of content, as soon as I get there. If the visuals grab me, I'll stick around and keep reading.
So, I try to make the PRO content on our site engaging and easy to digest. I also do everything I can to provide members with an open line of communication. PRO members need to know that we welcome their feedback and value their opinion!
2. An online community lets you know that folks care about you.
On a membership site, I want to know that the folks on the other side of the screen care about me. I don't want to just be a number! Now, that is exactly the experience I'm working to build for PRO members.
I want our members to know that not only do we appreciate their business, but we also care about them and what they do. We care about what they think of their membership and how they're using it, and we want them to help them be successful, smart marketers.
Plus, I want members to know that there's a real, live person over here! I'm licking envelopes, packing coffee mugs, writing emails. I want to get to know our members and let them know that I value them!
3. An online community has active, involved members.
I like to create a sense of community among our PRO members. I want them to be active and engaged. I want them to be aware of each other and to have an outlet (currently, our PRO member LinkedIn group) where they can interact, pick each other's brains, share thoughts, crowdsource ideas, etc. I want this to be an active, engaged community that marketers simply can't (and don't want to) live without.
A worthwhile, engaged community provides value … and that's what we're all about at MarketingProfs!
Want to learn more about PRO membership? You can do so here!