Tag Archives: benchmarking

Community Manager Tip: Don't Copy

This is the first post in an attempt to resurrect my Community Manager Tips series, a collection of short posts to share quick tips for community managers, to get me back into the blogging habit.

People often ask me for a list of the “best” communities that they can use as a model when building their own community, but this is fundamentally the wrong question. Each community has a different audience, different goals, and a different purpose. Building your community based on what works for another successful community can fail very quickly if that community doesn’t have the same needs as your community.

A better question is, “what type of communities are my competitors building and what does or doesn’t work for them?” Your top competitors are likely to be more similar to you than other companies, and this gives you a place to start. Spend some time lurking in your competitors communities to see how they work and try to get a feel for what works and doesn’t work for them. Look for common complaints, and come up with interesting ways to solve them in your community. Pay attention to what people enjoy or get excited about, and think about how you might get people excited about your community. You shouldn’t model your community on a competitor’s community, but this analysis along with some basic best practices will probably give you a start for how you want to build your community or improve an existing one.

Don’t copy other companies. Build something unique that will work well for your audience while also meeting your goals.

Additional Reading

Part of a series of community manager tips blog posts.

Photo by Juliancolton2 used under a Creative Commons license.