Your developer community provides tremendous value to both you and your users. Whether you want to use your community as a developer marketing tool, to create advocates, or to provide “freemium” advanced support to your users, there are several elements that are present in every successful community.
Take a big picture view of your community and make sure these five traits are present:
- A Clear Strategy
There are very few people (if any) in the world who succeed in business without a well-thought-out strategy. The key for a developer community is to match your strategy to your corporate objectives, which will help you prove ROI and gain executive buy-in.
Clearly defining a strategy also helps users understand whether this is the right community for them. You don’t want everyone in the world to be a part of your tribe, only the people who are providing value, growing, and helping you and your organization achieve success.
- Abundant User Generated Content
Our product DZone.com has proved over 20 years that user-generated content is king. When you empower your community members to write articles, post ideas, and help shape the future of the community, they begin to take ownership and quality will rise.
- Increasing Engagement Over Time
Getting people to sign up for your community is the first step in what could be a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Your job as a community manager is to provide a safe place for people to share. Encourage your members to contribute by creating unique rewards, badges, and reputation leaderboards where they can compete based on upvotes or accepted answers.
- Increase Visibility
Your community is essentially a product which is a representation of your brand online. Ensure you are representing your organization well and create some buzz to entice your audience to grow, invite others, and eventually become advocates for you. The more people who have eyes on your community, the more opportunity it is for you to use it as a tool for marketing awareness.
- Active Moderation
Moderation is more than just removing spam posts and disrespectful comments. Effective moderation ensures that your community consists of engaged users and useful content as well. The best moderators are the ones that work mostly behind the scenes and allow their audience to engage with one another to drive discussions.
Build a community that has these five traits and you’ll be well on your way to achieving success.