How to Grow Your Online Community by Understanding Common Ground

By Deborah Ng

To be an online community manager, you must first have a community. Though your community may be diverse, you can’t target them without finding some sort of common ground for the majority.

  • If 75 percent of your community eats cereal for breakfast, that’s common ground.

  • If 80 percent of your community is over the age of 36, that’s common ground.

  • If most of your community prefers coffee over tea, that’s common ground.

  • If 90 percent of your community is made up of parents of elementary school children, that’s common ground.

  • If 95 percent of your community is male, that’s common ground.

  • If 75 percent of your community enjoys country music, that’s common ground.

Part of your job as community manager is to capture this information and run with it. Your marketing team can’t properly target your community with campaigns without even this basic information. Knowing the predominant gender, marital status, and age of your community members already gives you a starting point.

People notice poor targeting and they take issue when you appear not to know who they are. Take the time to learn who you’re catering to, and once you do it will become much easier to create campaigns bringing results.