Richard Millington, CEO of Feverbee Community Consulting talked to us today about creating addictive communities. Building active, engaged communities is no walk in the park. Richard cited a statistic that only 0.4% reach 100+ active members.

So how can we build addictive communities?

5 Elements of Addictive Communities

  1. Get the concept right.
  2. Give and get initial feedback.
  3. Ensure members feel unique.
  4. Build real relationships.
  5. Bring in existing habits.

Get the Concept Right

The concept of the community needs to be aligned to an existing motivation that human beings have. Even if people like your brand, they still may not want to spend time talking about you.

Hey, guess what? We don’t want to connect and share just for the sake of connecting and sharing. There are many,many other motivations. These include desire for power, pleasure, pain hope, social acceptance.

Richard pointed out that exclusive communities that have very specific concepts (i.e. a community for HR professionals to share their pain points and struggles).

The overall success rates of communities by the 6 motivating factors that drive people to join communities.
The overall success rates of communities by the 6 motivating factors that drive people to join communities.

Initial Feedback

A staggering 40-90% of people who participate once in a community never return again.

The way to increase retention is to take the three following actions:

  1. Speed in response to first contribution. Getting a response with an hour is optimal.
  2. Ask a good question in your first response. Ask why someone feels a certain way. Reveal a personal story. Ask a follow-up question to get them talking. Introduce them to someone else to continue the conversation.
  3. Impact. Personally welcoming people after joining does little, but doing it after their first contribution has a HUGE impact. Tell them how they helped. As Robin Dreeke asserts, you’ve got to activate their ego and suspend your own.

Ensure Members Feel Unique

Everyone wants to feel that they are contributing something. Activate people’s egos with a personal response or by asking them what they can contribute or add to certain conversations.

Build Real Relationships

Studies show that people want to connect with others in their geographical area or around the same age. You can build real relationships by:

  1. Initiate online or offline activities for people to interact.
  2. Foster small groups of people.
  3. Introduce one member to another one at a time.

Bring in Existing Habits

Put in place an intensive journey that will build engagement over time. It’s nearly impossible to convert lurkers into regulars, so you’re better off building up an obvious roadmap of action in the community. Richard suggests building a 3-week intensive habit-forming roadmap.

Richard suggests reading Nir Eyal’s book, Hooked and Seth Godin’s Tribes.

You can now watch the entire talk from CMX Summit:

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Carrie Melissa Jones