When starting an online community, the first step is to search to see who is posting about your company, competitor or about a topic that is relevant to your company.
You can use that to follow people, start a conversation and engage with them. This way you can start to build a relevant following from the ground up. Startups are usually in a rush to build a community as big as possible, as quickly as possible. The trick is to slow down.
Get to know all of your users one at a time. This will give you the foundation you need to eventually scale and grow your community. Leverage any and all connections at your disposal. Take advantage of your own friends and connections to start the community.
Ask them to be a part of your community and to help you grow it.Make your topic social. If you want people to share, make it really easy on them. When they sign up, give them a checkbox to sign up for your newsletter. Ask them to follow you on Twitter and like you on Facebook as part of your welcoming process. Suggest opportunities for them to tweet or share with their friends. You’ll be amazed how many people will take the step to follow or share just because you took the time to ask.
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