You are working hard at developing your online community and thanks to your fantastic content you are now converting visitors into loyal members. Everything is going great – your task is complete. Or is it?
Just because your members are happy today it does not mean they will remain happy in the future. You must ensure you are constantly developing and improving your online community to prevent these members you worked so hard to attract from leaving to go elsewhere.
Always plan for the future
It is essential that all your decisions involve consideration of the future – future trends, future features and future tastes. Your community may well be going great guns right now, but how do you plan on developing things further?
What if new forum software is released and becomes the next big thing? What if your members move your community in a whole new direction you had not planned for? You should always be planning the future direction for your community.
I hate to use such a clichĂ©, but failing to plan really is planning to fail.
Listen to your members
As I have written in previous articles, it is essential for you to listen to your members. Without them you have no community. If they begin requesting new features or a new direction, listen to them. Always take their comments on board and show that you actively welcome their feedback at all times.
Your members will often be your best barometer for predicting any changes that you need to make to continue developing and expanding your online community.
Take a long term approach to your online community
When you started your online community you knew that a lot of hard work would be involved in order to attract visitors and convert them to members. You planned for this stage of your community’s development. Don’t stop planning once things are working well – continue to plan, and continue to listen to your members at all times.