Some argue that the larger a community becomes, the less it actually feels like a community. To some extent I would agree with this – in many cases a community starts off with a relatively close-knit group of individuals, but as the site gains popularity more and more new members join resulting in the community knowing each member less and less until the overall community feeling is lost.
There are steps you can take to prevent your site’s sense of community being lost, and I will outline them in this article.
Engage with your members
Always engage with your members – not only does this reassure your members that you take an active role within your site, you also make them feel valued and more secure as a part of your community.
Get involved and encourage interaction
Always remain involved in your community – create content and use suspense to promote interaction. Every time a member contributes to your site, they are revealing parts of themselves such as their personality and their opinions. This allows other members to get to know these contributors, further strengthening bonds and the sense of community at your site.
Consider promoting real-life meets or parties
Over at Just Chat, many of our members arrange their own impromptu meetings and get-togethers. Whilst you do have to be careful if you choose to promote such meetings (ensure you have clear safety advice on your community website warning of the potential dangers of meeting people offline), if they include a large group of people meeting in a public place there are unlikely to be any safety concerns.
There have been numerous real life get-togethers amongst Just Chat members which have strengthened the community no end.
Has your site reached the point where its popularity means it is losing that original community feeling that made your members feel special? What have you done to try to combat this? Have you employed any of the tips I mentioned above? Let me know by leaving a comment below.