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How to build a community

Cam Mulvey

May 15, 2023

How to build a content creator community 

Social media is evolving faster than it has since the dawn of the industry. As people reassess their relationship with social media, they are increasingly turning to communities for deeper and more meaningful connections. 76% of internet users have already adopted online communities as a way to engage with others who share their interests and passions.

Content creators are capitalizing on this trend by creating communities, based around their content, that offer more authentic and meaningful interactions than traditional social media platforms. These creator-led communities are centered around a specific creator and their niche interests, providing a space for like-minded individuals to connect and engage with one another. This has given creators a unique opportunity to accelerate their content careers, build more intimate relationships with their existing audience, and continue growing their brand. 

According to a survey conducted by Mighty Networks, 83% of creators are prioritizing community building for 2023. And it's easy to see why. Creator-led communities provide an alternative to the often impersonal and superficial interactions of traditional social media platforms. By offering a more intimate and personalized experience for their audience, creators are able to foster deeper connections and build more meaningful relationships with their followers. Since the creator provides a default mutual interest among the community’s members, there is a sense of camaraderie and support that is hard to find elsewhere. 

Most importantly, fans are demanding these communities. They're craving deeper connections, more trustworthy experiences, and more meaningful conversations. Creator-led communities offer an authentic solution by providing a rewarding experience for their audience and for the creator. 

How to build a community

To build a successful creator-led community, it's important to put the needs and goals of your members at the forefront. A community that is in service of its members is more likely to be successful and foster deeper connections between users.

Start by defining, specifically, who your users are. While you may have a large following on social media, not all of your followers will be interested in joining your community. Instead, focus on your most active, engaged, and loyal fans – your true fans – who will be your community’s eager adopters. 

Once you've identified your true fans, uncover their goals. What are they trying to accomplish? Is it more trustworthy social media experiences? Connecting with those who have similar interests? More meaningful conversations? Build your community in a way that will service these goals. 

Three steps to building community

  1. Ensure trust 

Research shows that 59% of social media users want more trustworthy social experiences, and Gen Z in the U.S. trust community sites (48%) notably more than social media sites (36%). Building a trustworthy community is crucial to its success. 

To build trust, creators should consider the platform they choose for their community. The platform itself can heavily influence the level of trust that members feel. 

Within the community, strong moderation practices con elevate success. This means having clear rules and guidelines, enforcing those rules consistently, and having active moderators who can handle any issues that arise.

  1. Connect similar interests  

Two-thirds of people use online communities to "Connect with people who have similar interests." Creator-led communities are uniquely positioned for success since people know the type of content to expect, as they’re already consuming it on other platforms. Your content provides a mutual interest by default, so your community should ensure user-to-user interaction to create connections through features like discussion boards, chat rooms, and social events. 

  1. Promote interaction 

Creator-led communities are often valued for their ability to facilitate more meaningful conversations. Users report a 36% improvement in meaningful conversations on community platforms over traditional social media. This is because community platforms provide avenues for in-depth conversations, often with the added bonus of voice or video chats, rather than relying on comments or reply threads. 

Facilitating user-to-user interaction also lightens the workload for you, allowing your community to thrive organically. 

By focusing on the needs and goals of your users, you can build a successful and engaging creator-led community that fosters deeper connections and meaningful interactions.

How to create community  

Building a community is only the first step. Once your community is built, it's important to continue nurturing it and creating value for your members. Here are some tips on how to create community once it's built:

  1. Don't be afraid to self-promote

Your community delivers real value, so you should be proud of it. Capitalize on your existing online presence and promote your community and grow its membership. Data suggests that creators who promote their premium channels weekly increase their earnings potential by 33% by self-promoting daily.

  1. Consistency

Both in terms of the type of content and the frequency of content, be consistent. Make sure your content aligns with your beliefs and values, and don't compromise those for the sake of popularity or trendiness. If you value your content, then your followers will too. 

Posting content consistently also serves as a way to build authenticity and demonstrate your commitment to your audience. By making yourself available to them and consistently providing value, you'll be able to cultivate deeper connections with your followers and build a more engaged and loyal community.

  1. Empower and reward members

Empowering and rewarding your community members is a crucial aspect of creating a successful creator-led community. Tangible incentives, such as moderation authority or recognition, for your most active participants can inspire more people to be active and keep your top users engaged. This will create a sense of belonging and encourage members to continue participating in your community. By creating a welcoming environment for engagement, you can foster a sense of community ownership and responsibility.

  1. Ensure you are servicing end user goals

The best way to create community is to ensure everyone is aligned. Be deliberate about what your community does best and focus on that. This will help ensure that your members feel that they're getting value from the community, which will encourage them to continue engaging, participating, and promoting.

Creator-led communities are the future of social, offering a more authentic and personalized experience that resonates with fans and a refreshing alternative that puts trust, connection, and meaning at the forefront. By building communities that are in service of their members, creators can foster deeper connections with their audience and accelerate their own content careers. 

To launch your creator-led community on Sute, apply now!