During the Coronavirus outbreak, the grime of deterioration is beginning to sit over almost everything, true? Right? Recession, quarantine, loneliness, layoffs, collective panic, bankruptcy, fear, and missing dear ones, among others. You can name countless more. However…
[SPOILER ALERT: If you’re even a bit into communities, I’m going to disagree with the above.]
Our race has seen incomparably darker days and yet survived to this day with the current status quo. What’s the most Armageddon-ish scene you can imagine? Kids clinging to each other while the mother is holding onto them at the corner of the basement and the father encircling the family? Well, god forbid, if that day came, forget about this article and save your family and yourself!
Did you notice how the above example ended? The family is always there. Also, you related to the picture of saving your family. We all know the feeling when there is this circle of trust, community, to which we belong. This is what we have never forgotten as the human race. It has always been in our DNA and our collective wisdom. We could not last if we didn’t belong. To me, the concept of community is ultimately all about belonging. This need is profound and common to humankind, which makes it a very safe bet to invest in.
In this article, you’re going to read ideas on how to harness such potential in your users, customers, and partners. But before that, a few kind words from a philanthropic aspect:
If you understood my message, you also know that there is a critical responsibility lying on you. Why? Because under today’s critical situation of the COVID-19, our community skills are a superpower to our society. It’s dead serious! If you are a manager, member or director of a community, a CEO, or an ordinary citizen, you can participate -whether as part of your job or as a voluntary endeavor.
Now, let’s get catch a glimpse of ideas on how to engage our communities. Although you might get paid to lead your community, remember the higher viewpoint that your community will breed by as much happiness and belonging that you create. It will spread out to its subjected families, people, and the whole society. You’ll be changing lives. You’ve been your entire career.
Call them. Yes, it doesn’t scale but call them -the important ones. Many businesses, especially the community-centric ones, face declines. Somehow it’s similar to your early days when to scale, you should’ve done things that didn’t scale. Call them and ask how they’re doing. Assure your community that you care about them. Surely you can find common grounds to sympathize with them. They see you as a friend, and your organization wins them forever. Remember: Listen! And don’t be afraid to appear vulnerable.
Pro tip: If you can, make it a video call. It’s way more touching.
You must have read Sequoia’s article they recently sent to their community of entrepreneurs. It is a perfect example. Empower your audience to overcome their concerns. How can your company help them? Can you give them some service or product for free? Can you connect them with some required people or assets? Can you give them genuine courage to hang in there? Remember: you must be authentic.
If you have a B2B community, you have an easier job. Both because you have fewer people to consider and that it’s easier to give them what they want. Help them handle their business better. Again, Sequoia made a great example with the above article. Are your partners gonna cut the expenses by dismissing employees? Offer them to cut the total salary of all employees by %15 so the equal could be saved.
You can’t be a family or friend to everybody. But if you outsource the burden to the community, they can do it beautifully.
A friend of mine recently joined the army. For the first two months, they were quarantined and didn’t have access to make phone calls as well—one landline with one phone -incoming only- for the whole dormitory. Even a few cried out of missing their families! Each soldier gave his family the phone number so they could call him. But many were left uncalled and then depressed. The idea they came up with was to ask the caller (who was family of another soldier) to call their family and tell them to call. Families were missing their sons too. So they whole-heartedly embraced each request. After a short while, no soldier was left uncalled. Even the families were connecting and supporting each other. The vibe was just unbelievable! Affection and intimacy had taken over the place despite how rough is the army.
Make your community connect internally. Remember: Highlight the exciting stories to inspire for more stories.
Pro tip: It won’t start organically. You must initiate some interactions, follow up with them, and make sure it’s shared with the community. It will begin to get on rails.
Even if you didn’t have events in your activities so far, add it now. You have to. You have no option but to replace the physical appearances with virtual. Read this perfect guide CMX has put together.
Dig deep. See what old memories you have from your community. If there’s nothing, bring up some info from how they were doing in the community in their early days. If still, you didn’t find anything interesting, you can do this if it doesn’t sound creepy to you or them: find a nostalgic date or time such as when they joined the community. Search emails that you received from them, their social media, or any kind of presence you have from them. Add a personal and touching note and send it to them. You’ll be surprised by how amazed they become. Pro tip: If it’s possible, make a public video of such data and share it with the whole community
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