TL;DR: Finding your community-market fit involves a blend of methods including mining social media comments, differentiating between superfans and regular fans, drawing inspiration from similar topics on Reddit, and observing parallel brands or creators. Using these insights to guide live events and other engagement strategies can help refine your community's unique value proposition, keeping it engaged and growing.
Welcome to Part 3 of our in-depth series on finding community-market fit. In the first two parts, we delved into the intricacies of understanding your community's unique needs and aligning them with a value proposition that resonates. Today, we're shifting gears to discuss a broader but equally crucial topic: crafting effective messaging for communities at large. Whether you're a seasoned community manager or just getting started, you'll discover key insights on how to communicate in a way that unifies, engages, and retains members across various community types, especially on Discord, which is the one of the most popular communication platforms for gen-z. Stay tuned as we unravel the art and science of community messaging.
The challenges of community messaging vary depending on whether you're a creator, an established brand, or a startup. For creators, the issue often stems from a lack of focus; without a clear direction, it's tough to pinpoint the type of content that will resonate with their community. Meanwhile, established brands face a different dilemma. They may have a broad product range and a large, diverse community, making it difficult to identify the specific messages that will appeal to their most engaged "superfans."
Startups encounter yet another set of challenges when it comes to community messaging. Having a product isn't the same as having a unique value proposition that captivates a community. For startups, it's crucial to articulate not just what the product does, but also why it matters in a way that's both compelling and distinct. This can be especially complex when the startup is still in its early stages and the community is just beginning to form.
In the early stages of community building, you might find that you don't have enough data points to make informed decisions about your community-market fit. This is especially true for new startups or fledgling creators who haven't yet amassed a sizable following. In these instances, one invaluable resource that's often overlooked is social media comments. These nuggets of direct feedback can offer clues into what your potential audience values and is looking for.
Instead of waiting for your community to grow large enough to provide actionable data, you can start by mining social media comments for insights. Whether these comments are on your own posts or on posts related to your niche, they can help you shape your unique value proposition. People often share their frustrations, needs, and desires more candidly on social platforms, providing you with raw, unfiltered information that can guide your community strategy.
When scouring through comments on platforms like YouTube or Instagram, it's essential to focus on the quality and emotional tone of the feedback, not just the quantity. Look for themes among comments that are detailed, emotionally charged, or come from users who consistently engage with your content. These insights are gold mines because they come from people who are already highly engaged or emotionally invested in what you offer. Remember, asking someone to join your community is a significant step, one that people are unlikely to take unless they've already shown signs of active participation or a strong emotional connection to your content or brand.
Understanding the nuances between your superfans and regular fans is key to developing a high-performing community. Superfans (or monetizable fans) are those who engage with your content consistently, providing regular feedback and likely serving as advocates for your brand or creations. It's important to recognize that these superfans may be attracted to different aspects of your work than your general audience. For instance, we've seen creators who experienced rapid growth focusing on certain topics only to find that their core group of superfans actually developed from entirely different subject matter.
Catering to your superfans doesn't mean ignoring the needs and preferences of your regular fans; rather, it's about striking a balanced approach. A thriving community isn't just about numbers; it's about the quality of engagement. Superfans often serve as the backbone of your community, influencing its overall tone and encouraging broader engagement. By understanding what makes them tick, you're not only retaining your most valuable members but also elevating the entire community experience.
Reddit can be an incredibly valuable resource for community managers looking to understand their audience better, particularly their superfans. Start by searching for keywords or phrases that your superfans frequently use in their interactions within your community. This search will guide you toward subreddits and threads where similar discussions are happening. Within these Reddit communities, you may discover a plethora of topics that you hadn't considered before but are closely aligned with the interests of your superfans.
After identifying these tangent topics, the next step is to experiment by introducing them into your own community. Whether you create a discussion thread, a special event, or content centered around these new themes, observe how your members—especially your superfans—engage with them. The goal here is to continue enhancing your community's value proposition by integrating topics and discussions that could be of high interest, thereby enriching the experience for all members.
Studying the strategies of brands or creators similar to you can offer invaluable insights, especially since you're likely targeting similar audiences. Don't start by mimicking their content; instead, consider launching live events on platforms like Discord to engage with your community in real-time. Live events offer a low-risk, high-reward way to gauge community reaction to new topics or activities. By observing what works for others in your niche and testing these elements in your own community, you're positioning yourself to offer something that is both relevant and uniquely tailored to your audience's needs.
In conclusion, finding your community-market fit is a multifaceted endeavor that requires continuous effort, experimentation, and data-driven insights. From leveraging social media comments and understanding the subtleties between your superfans and regular fans, to seeking inspiration from similar communities on platforms like Reddit, each approach offers its own set of valuable insights. Don't forget to keep an eye on similar brands or creators, as they can serve as a barometer for what might also resonate with your own community. Combining these strategies with live events and iterative improvements will not only help you find your community-market fit but also ensure that your community remains engaged, vibrant, and growing.