How to Crowdsource in Your Online Community - dummies

How to Crowdsource in Your Online Community

By Deborah Ng

Online community managers have access to a great resource in their communities. Have you ever gotten on Twitter to ask for answers to a question or used a forum to help brainstorm ideas? If so, you were crowdsourcing — taking advantage of collaborative brainstorming.

There are different types of crowdsourcing. For example, sometimes businesses will ask a community for design ideas or help creating a catchphrase. Sometimes it’s actually for a high-profile job, and the crowdsourcing is more like an audition. In this case, you’re likely going to be crowdsourcing for feedback, ideas, and content.

Crowdsourcing can be another way to solicit feedback for your brand, but it can also be a way to gather some creative ideas that your team can run with:

  • Get your community’s opinion on logo designs and have them vote on their favorites.

  • Invite members to taste test new ideas and vote on which ones will launch.

  • Have a tagline contest.

  • Ask your community what new products and services they’d most like to see.

  • Find out issues facing your community regarding your specific topic or niche.

  • Ask for productivity tips, synonyms or other types of advice.

  • Ask what your community most wants to learn from your content.

  • Ask what sort of discussion topics they enjoy least and what you’ve done to death.

  • Use your community to help choose new designs for product packaging and websites.

You can also encourage crowdsourcing among community members so they can brainstorm ideas and collaborate on projects. Harness the power of your community and you may be very pleasantly surprised.