Carrie Melissa Jones: Building Successful Communities

Why so many brand communities (and even social cause communities) fail is because they are not truly communities. They are simply a collection of people. For a community to thrive for the long term, you need mutual concern, ongoing stewardship – and yes, empathy. If you build it without that – I promise you, they won’t come. My guest today, Carrie Melissa Jones shares how to build a successful community – and also how to avoid costly failure. Today we talk about why most brands fail at community building – please don’t repeat these mistakes! Why empathy is the key to community design, and how we can cultivate empathy for those we interact with online. She even outlines the first step you need to take if you are building a community from scratch. So many great gems in this episode, and you can check out her book for even more.

Key Takeaways:

  • Social networks or social media are not the same as community. The key to community is mutual concern with trust as the cornerstone.
  • Research is important to understanding what your desired community needs. Connect individually or in small groups with those key people who can help you understand what is important.
  • Building a community does require design thinking with empathy, because you’re building a community of humans.
  • If the community is not helping people make progress and connection, they will stop participating.

“What makes community really unique is that unlike watching a webinar where you could learn something and solve a problem on your own, some problems can only be solved by collective organizing and collective action.” —  Carrie Melissa Jones

About Carrie Melissa Jones:

Community Builder & Researcher, Author, Founder and Chief Strategist, Carrie Melissa Jones Consulting

Carrie Melissa Jones is an author, community builder, and researcher of online communities. Her work has influenced the world’s leading online brand communities including the American Medical Association, Patreon, Google, and two U.S. presidential campaigns. She is the author of the award-winning book Building Brand Communities: How Organizations Succeed by Creating Belonging with Charles Vogl and a student, teacher, and researcher of virtual communities at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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