Since the beginning, humans have always sought out “packs”, similar groups of people who add value to their wellbeing, just being around people similar to you can improve your mood and give you more to live for. If you are able to build a community that provides this value to your community members, you essential have a thriving and growing “pack” which will “grow” by itself, your loyal members will be your strength, protecting you with vigour and talking you up and adding more members to your community.
Do not start a community based on just wanting to reach more people, you need to have a passion for what you're starting a community for. You also need to have strong leadership skills for them to thrive.
Community culture is what makes a community whole, makes it thrive, and stirs loyalty in the members’ hearts. It is the culmination of values, goals, rewards, awards, beliefs and rituals. It is the unique identity which separates it from others in your niche and makes it easily recognizable.
Make sure to moderate and monitor your community conversations and steer them in directions such that they make everyone feel included. If your conversations are always one dimensional, then your community members will start to lose interest in them, and people who do not relate to that conversation may feel excluded and will distance themselves from the community as they feel they have nothing to gain or contribute to the community.
Once your community starts growing, it is hard to manage it in one channel only, all the data will be thrown into a pile, and finding a piece of information will be equal to finding a needle in a haystack. Create various channels for various topics, such as, “welcome”, “How to”, “AMAs”, “FAQs”, “Fun Facts”, “Lounge” etc. Be sure to include channels where your members can just relax and talk or listen to music or play games, it is in these sessions that the strongest bonds are forged!
Humans have always worked better on a rewards based system, you need to implement this in your community. Notice and recognize the members who are contributing the most to your community, even if it’s just a short word of encouragement, it feels good to be acknowledged! Develop a rewards program or give them free swag if it’s feasible for you, it’s these people who will help take your community to the next level.
You need to know your short term and long term goals, while the destination may be much more rewarding than the destination, we cannot keep travelling forever! Be it short term goals or long term goals, you need to have goals, just so you know what you are working towards. You do not need to follow some rigid plan to achieve these, neither do you have to force these goals on your community, and if they are interfering with the well being of the community then you need to scrape them. Nothing come above the community and people.
Make and follow a diverse calendar of events for your community. Instead of boring regular meetings, try to add something fun or unexpected to every meeting, it will elevate your community over others and even excite your members to attend the meetings.