Want to build a highly engaged online community with your audience? Find out how.
September 21, 2022
Your growing engagement on Arena is easier when you build communities. Without communities, your marketing and content are more likely to fall flat. You can generate leads and maintain high engagement. Without your community, your users and customers may drift to social media platforms. Read on and learn how to break free from social media and build your own community with Arena.
When you have a large and thriving community of users, subscribers, or customers, staying organized can get more complicated, especially when you implement marketing segmentation. For example, you probably want to offer a different community experience to your paying customers vs. potential customers. Creating multiple communities in your Arena account is one of the best ways to support your segmentation objectives.
There’s another reason to set up your social community with Arena. You need detailed customer data to fuel your marketing segmentation. You lose insights if your users leave your website to interact with each other on social media. Traditional social media platforms are also full of distractions - like notifications and ads. As a result, your audience may lose interest in your content. When you lose engagement, gaining conversions, sales, and advertising revenue become far more challenging.
Beyond supporting your marketing efforts, there are other reasons why establishing your community with Arena is worthwhile. A growing body of research shows that traditional social media platforms are harmful to users. For example, the Guardian reported that Instagram was harmful to mental health. Similar criticisms have pointed at other popular services like TikTok and Facebook. Fortunately, there are ways to connect online while minimizing these harmful effects.
The solution starts with building your online community. Your community is likely to be much smaller than TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook, and that is a critical advantage. Maintaining standards becomes very difficult and expensive when an online platform has hundreds of millions of users. On the other hand, cultivating a digital community with a few hundred or thousands of participants who share common goals is a different matter entirely. For example, you can use Arena to engage your top 500 customers in an exclusive community. That means setting community standards and fostering positive engagement is far easier. When your organization becomes known for offering a positive, well-managed community, it will become far easier to grow an engaged audience.
Your first decision is to decide what kind of community experience you want to offer through Arena. You have two options: Separate vs. Unified. Let’s take a look at how these different options work.
Using unified communities is a good choice if your organization focuses on a single target market or segment. In addition, unified communities are well suited to smaller organizations. If you have a single person tasked with engaging your community, focus on unified communities.
In contrast, separate communities are a better fit for larger companies. For example, a publisher or media company might have multiple segments of subscribers - people interested in sports, those interested in business news, and those concerned with politics. When you have multiple segments with little in common, there’s value in creating separate communities.
Now that you know the difference between these ways of using communities, it’s time to set up your community in Arena.
The following over-the-shoulder guide explains exactly how to create your community in Arena.
Adding more communities to your Arena account is simple.
Your next step is to create a new organization. For example, let’s say you will run a virtual conference later this year. You might want to create a new organization to keep that event organized.
If you have been following along from Step 1, you will see the “Sites and Organizations” screen (shown below). Click the purple “New Organization” button on the right-hand side of the page.
Within your organization in Arena, you can set up multiple sites. To explain why this is valuable, let’s continue with the example of running a conference. Let’s say you have a company conference, and several people will attend the event, such as VIP customers, the sales team, and partners. Each of these groups has its own needs, so creating a separate site for each group can be valuable.
Of course, you can also simply create a single site if that is a better fit for you. Adding additional sites to your account may require additional fees. Reach out to your Arena rep if you have any questions.
To create a new site, fill in the required information:
By default, your new site will have placeholder information. We recommend updating your site with a custom profile photo to inspire trust in your audience. You can use your logo or the photo of a well-known person in your organization if you prefer.
Updating your site’s profile photo is simple:
See the following screenshot:
At this point, your community and site are set up. In other words, your blank canvas is in position. It’s now time to plan your engagement strategy. For example, you might decide to plan a virtual conference. In that case, see our guide to grow engagement with virtual communities.
Imagine if you could create your version of Facebook or Instagram but focused on your community’s needs. That’s possible with Arena. Learn more about how you can create a social community for your users.