Humankind has embraced communities ever since the dawn of humanity. Back in the caveman era, we realized that our chances of survival are much higher if we collaborate with other people, rather than going at it alone like a lone wolf.
Communities are also quite important in the context of today’s article. Micro communities, to be more specific. By this point, we know that you are already very curious to find out more about these communities, so let us not waste any time.
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What Is a Micro Community?
A micro community is an online community that typically consists of 30 members or fewer, although they can sometimes be up to 100 members, the number is still relatively low.
Quite often these community members are part of an online course, coaching group, or a portion of a larger virtual community. It is usually an exclusive, closed space, where like-minded people, who share the same interests and purposes, can connect.
The big plus of having such a small community is that its members are very motivated and share the same goals. This leads to multiple benefits for your business. Let us take a detailed look at them.
Interesting fact: In 1986, McMillan & Chavis developed the concept of “sense of community”. According to them, the four elements of a sense of community are: membership, influence, integration, and fulfillment of needs, and shared emotional connection.
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What Are the Benefits of Micro Communities?
- Members Are More Deeply Engaged
- Interactions Are More Valuable
- Communities Are Easier to Scale
- Create Stronger Relationships
- Receive Better Feedback
- Enhance Personal Branding
1. Members Are More Deeply Engaged
Since micro communities consist of people who share the same interests, values, and goals, the members of said communities are much more likely to feel safe, and open up.
Therefore, it is much easier for them to engage deeply in meaningful conversations, share personal experiences, tips, and develop personal relationships with each other.
Apart from being mutually supportive and beneficial, these interpersonal relationships will also make users want to keep coming back to the community. So, in essence, you have their full, undivided attention.
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2. Interactions Are More Valuable
While micro communities are smaller, especially compared to large social media groups, what they lack in quantity, they compensate in quality.
After all, we can all agree that it is much better to have the full attention of 10–20 people, compared to an audience of thousands that isn’t really engaged by what you have to say.
Additionally, the smaller size of your community ensures that there are fewer distractions (like cute cat pictures). This way, everyone can focus more on serious topics.
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3. Communities Are Easier to Scale
On top of everything else, micro communities are much easier to scale, and could be especially helpful to businesses or individuals that are just starting their business journey, or have little-to-no experience with running a community.
A micro community is a great place to figure out what you want to offer, how to offer it, and even develop your communication skills.
Furthermore, if you are interested in networking, you can use the connections you make from attending events, and various other contacts, and invite them to your micro community. Especially if you think the people are suitable, and genuinely interested in being members.
Remember that the purpose of a micro community is not to simply stack a bunch of random people together. Thus, it is vital that they all have similar outlooks on life, share common objectives, face similar challenges in life, and so on.
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4. Create Stronger Relationships
Giving your users a sense of safety will encourage them to share their thoughts and concerns. Ultimately, they will feel more comfortable and connected with your brand. You will not be a soulless company that just wants to take their money. You will indeed become their friend.
This is a great advantage for your business, especially in our day and age, where artificial intelligence is becoming more and more prominent.
Customers are more than ever looking for companies that add that personal touch to their experience, and make them feel like they are part of a bigger, human, community.
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5. Receive Better Feedback
If you want to receive real, honest feedback, the key is to make people comfortable. As we mentioned, starting a micro community does just that.
Such a community establishes a much more intimate and informal relationship with your customers. Therefore, it is a super strategy to receive feedback about your products or services.
In fact, a 2019 study suggests that 60% of people under the age of 30, prefer to share their personal opinions in closed, private groups, as opposed to open spaces, like forums.
Ideally, you can get honest opinions about what you can improve in your products/services, how to enhance your communication, craft higher quality messages, provide a better customer experience, and so on.
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6. Enhance Personal Branding
Within a micro community, you need not worry about promoting your business, or trying to force sales pitches. Instead, you have the freedom to research, explore, and experiment.
Use this opportunity to spark discussions, share tips from personal experiences, provide useful tools, and help members whenever they require assistance. All these activities will boost your position as a niche expert, and authority.
What is more, some of your customers might be so passionate about your product/service that they will want to become one of your brand ambassadors.
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How Do You Create a Micro Community?
Now that you have the benefits of a micro community in front of you, you are probably wondering how to go on and create one. Here are some cool tips to get you started:
- Know your audience. The key towards starting a successful micro community is to understand your audience, with their needs, interests, and goals. Also, remember to treat your members with respect, and avoid aggressively promoting your products or services, which could drive them away.
- Choose the platform. It is essential that you select the right platform to form your micro community. Again, you will gain more insights on this, once you research your audience. The point is to pick a platform which your potential customers are already using and used to – Facebook, Instagram, Slack, Discord, Reddit, etc. Alternatively, if you have the time and resources, it is a good idea to build your own platform.
- Invite members. Next, of course, you need to invite members to join your community. Remember, the goal here is to connect like minded people, not just invite every person in your friend list, for example. You will gain nothing by adding people that are not, at all, interested in your business, nor share your values and goals.
- Create a welcoming environment. First impressions matter. Always aim to make people feel welcome, and allow them to express themselves. Given the small size of such groups, you can think about providing a brief introduction when a new member joins. This way, others can get to know them better, and start connecting with them faster and easier.
- Keep it engaging and fun. Let us emphasize on it again – your micro community is not the place for sales and marketing pitches. Sure, you can ask users what they think about your products/services, or what you can improve. However, there are ways to do that, without being annoying. Still, your main focus should be on sharing knowledge, building connections, and bonding with your customers.
- Nurture relationships. Keep in mind that you should be active and accessible to your followers. Engage with members regularly, and to reward them, you can even offer them things like showcase early access to new products or services. Alternatively, you can give them a sneak peek at prototypes. You can also use these opportunities to ask them for early feedback, so it is a win-win situation.
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Micro Community Examples
It is time for us to take a look at some examples of micro communities to inspire you to start your own community.
Glossier Slack Channel
Glossier is a makeup and beauty product brand that has a Slack channel with their top 100 customers. It is a channel where the members exchange up to 1,100 messages per week, staying engaged, all while providing valuable feedback to Glossier for their new products.
Neil Patel, Private Facebook Group
Famous digital marketer Neil Patel has a private Facebook group for everyone that purchases his online course. This provides a great opportunity for his users to share their knowledge and experiences, and exchange feedback with one another. Additionally, this is a great customer onboarding tool for new customers, since they can ask questions which older users will be able to answer.
YouTubers and Reddit
YouTube streamers, like KSI, regularly encourage their followers to use Reddit to post content that would make them laugh. They then create videos with their reactions to the content, and ultimately make user-generated content (UGC) of their own.
This way, they are making their users happy, since they give them a sense of belonging, and, as mentioned, the YouTubers, in practice, have free content to share.
Content Creators and Patreon
Another very popular and effective way to spark life into your micro community is to host it on Patreon. It is a platform that provides exclusive content, and access to otherwise restricted content, to users that subscribe to your profile, and support it through donations.
What is more, paying members can suggest content ideas, vote on polls you create, receive special shout-outs, and so on. It is truly a great way to keep a close-knit community.
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What is a micro community? An online place where you connect like-minded people who share a common interest, and goal. Creating such a community could bring many benefits to your business. These include a higher engagement, stronger relationships, and better feedback, to name a few.
What’s more you are creating much more than a community. You are making connections, connecting friends with friends, and bringing together people who are genuinely interested in the products or services that you offer.
What do you think about micro communities, do you think they are truly beneficial to a brand? Have you tried to create such communities? Do let us know in the comments.