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Does Size Of Community Matter?

"I think we should start putting money and time into building our online community."

"How much?"

"Well, we need a dedicated community operations person, a budget for goodies and giveaways, and some new tools to host events and get more people excited about what we do."

Is it soon that we start to see results?How big can we make our online group?

We should keep it small.And don't expect to see any progress for a while.

(An empty stare)

A lot of people who work for a company have talked about how businesses work and wondered if their community person knows how they work.

A lot of people might think they're just trying to get away from being held accountable.

But the truth is that they're right. They have a point.You might not like this at all.

As we said in the previous chapters, don't think of community as just another marketing campaign.As with any other important part of your business, you should try to set up a separate team and budget for your community.

First, your community isn't going to make any sense in the way we usually think of a business return on investment.It's not easy being a community manager.Their efforts are meant to go unnoticed, and they usually don't get any credit for building a small group of people.

To be a community builder, don't try to grow too quickly.

Now, you might think, "Why are these people telling us to think small when they've just told us how big they got in the first few chapters?"

Many people use the word "community" when they mean users or the public.The first step to building a community is to make sure it has a better definition.True engagement and passive use are two different types of use.

The first thing you should ask yourself is: "Will these people buy my product, or help me make it better?"

And if they aren't, then it isn't a community.

This article will discuss whether does size of community matter.

Off The Ledger (OTL)

Off the Ledger is a no-sale zone for CFOs and controllers where they can ask questions, get advice, network, and stay up to date on finance and accounting news. Airbase is a spend management platform.They made it more difficult for people to join their community in order to make sure they were good members.They want to keep their community small and exclusive, so they do not have many people in it.

OTL screenshot example
OTL screenshot example

They have a simple application process to make sure that only people who know about money and accounting are brought into the group.There are only about 3000 people who are members of Airbase, even though they are the market leader and have raised about 91 million.It's still thought to be the best place for accountants, even though there are only a few of them.

This Isn’t A Mistake

A community builder also wants to focus on depth rather than breadth, and that's what you want to do as well.You want as many people in your community to fit into your picture of what your ideal customer looks like (ICP).

The farther away from this ICP you go, the less likely you are to benefit from them.Your active members are going to be turned off by the low quality. This is not going to help you build a strong community.

As a community member, you want to be able to trust the people they share their information with before they do the same.This is true whether you run a group like Alcoholics Anonymous, a group for people with cancer, or a group for doctors.

Fundamental Attribution Error

In professional groups, you're always worried about what other people think of you.If you see someone do something that makes you think they aren't capable or have a certain personality, you might think that way. This is called the "fundamental attribution error."

Representation of cognitive bias through a man
Representation of cognitive bias through a man

But if you did the same thing, you would hide it under the rug or say that you "understand."

People make the fundamental attribution error because of how they see the world.The things that make you who you are are things you know about yourself, but you don't know everything that other people are going through.Members of a group of people who are all the same think they know a lot about each other's personalities and motivations because they can relate to each other.

Conclusion

To sum up, you need to resist the temptation to grow too quickly, fight back against the pressure of your stakeholders, and keep your cool to keep your community close-knit.

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