Creating digital communities


Once you’ve created your social media profiles to help build your online community on the different channels, it’s important to set out what the purpose of the community is. To do this, include the campaign’s mission statement in the different accounts’ bios, along with details about the cause you’re supporting. Also, make sure you regularly publish content for your community where you focus on the mission statement and the issue at hand.

To help ensure your community doesn't lose sight of the purpose and mission, consistently engage with them and actively respond to their comments in a timely manner, always making it clear what the purpose of the community is and what the goals are.

Community guidelines

Make it clear what the community guidelines are. You want your community to be an inclusive place where everyone feels free to share their points of view and feelings, while ensuring everyone feels safe:

  • Keep the commenting function on when you post and actively reply to comments to encourage open dialogue.
  • Use the social platforms’ Q&A features to provide an open opportunity for your community to ask questions with anonymity.
  • Ensure you are actively moderating discussion within your community for any hateful and discriminatory language that could exclude specific viewpoints, groups or individuals.

You also don’t want people to go off-topic and post content that isn’t relevant to the cause. Make it clear what subjects are relevant and what ones aren’t.

Identify key stakeholders and roles

Once the numbers in your community start to grow, quickly make moves to identify who the key players are. These could be members who are posting a lot or are posting insightful information on the subject at hand, or these could be people who reach out to you asking how they can get more involved. It’s important to utilize their enthusiasm, passion and knowledge and give them roles within the community that match their skills and qualities.

For example, someone may be good at creating videos, so task them with making content on behalf of the community. Or someone may be very knowledgeable on the issue at hand, so they could be good at writing more detailed posts or press releases.

How to create value

To keep your community involved and to show that you’re someone who is an authority when it comes to the topic in question, it’s really important to demonstrate value. There are a number of ways to create value:

  • Use voting and poll features to understand your following’s knowledge level about your particular issue of interest and tailor content accordingly.
  • Use Live, Event and Fundraising functions to host live sessions and events that create a sense of virtual or physical community and raise money for your specific cause if applicable.
  • Utilize social platforms’ explore and discover tabs to view content that has been curated for users like you or that is currently the most popular or most viewed content on the platform and share with your community.
  • Identify influencers that have amassed a large following of your target audience; take note of the type of content they post and the hashtags they use.

Promoting your community

One of the best ways to promote your community is to engage with the larger conversation around the issue:

  • Join groups, follow similar accounts and engage with and repost their content to begin building credibility and your own following. Push your community to follow these like-minded accounts and become active participants in ongoing conversations.
  • Peruse online forums and discussion boards to discover trending conversations and engage with them and encourage your community members to do the same.
  • Use hashtags and discover and explore tools to find relevant conversations and engage in a meaningful way through commenting, reposting, etc.
  • Actively participate in live session discussions, in-person meet-ups and polls.