A few days ago, I wrote about the importance of getting to know and understand your members. Only by understanding your community will you cater to the needs and wants of your members.
Different people look for, and expect, different things. It is essential that you always cater to the tastes and personality of your community.
Why you need to cater to the tastes of your community
People become members of a community because they feel comfortable interacting in the environment you have provided.
They may enjoy talking about a particular subject, enjoy talking to the type of members your community is attracting, or enjoy the personality of the community.
If you are to retain your members, you need to cater to their tastes. If you know that your members are extremely secular in nature, you should avoid talking about religion. If you know that your members are tree-hugging hippies, then it may not be the best idea to start talking positively about airport expansion in the home counties!
Ignore your members’ tastes and expectations at your own peril
If you appear to be out of touch with your members, they will feel alienated and this can spell disaster for your online community, particularly if it is new and only just starting its journey to getting established.
Remember that your opinions and tastes may not be the same as those of your community members. When I posted a caption contest using women in bikinis as the image, the backlash at my free web hosting site took me completely by surprise.
Remember who is in control of your community
It’s fine to have a sense of ownership of your online community. Never forget who is really in charge, though: your members.
Know and understand your members. Never forget that even though you started the community, your members may have different beliefs, personalities and tastes to your own. Always cater to these before your own.