How to Build a Community Around Your App


Be it a real or virtual, it's not easy to create a community! It takes time and a lot of dedication... When it comes to apps in particular, a strong sense of community among users is necessary, but also focusing on the right kind of features to make your app social. But before telling you how to achieve this goal, let's focus on the meaning of community, and why it's so important.

What is a community?

Wikipedia describes a community as: "A group or network of persons who are connected (objectively) to each other by relatively durable social relations that extend beyond immediate genealogical ties, and who mutually define that relationship (subjectively) as important to their social identity and social practice. [...] Since the advent of the Internet, the concept of community has less geographical limitation, as people can now gather virtually in an online community and share common interests regardless of physical location [...]".

This means that what brings the members of a community together is a common interest or passion, something that we ourselves search for and is not imposed on us by anyone. In fact, it is this curiosity to find out more about our interests that makes us search for information, ideas, tips or maybe just an exchange of opinions online.

But that's not enough to make a community. A group of people defines as a community beyond the mere search for information, it also stems from a desire to participate and share their experience with others.

This is why it can be beneficial to build a community around your app. It generates interaction and the creation of a lasting bond with and between your users.

How to build a community?

First, be ready to commit, to invest the patience and effort it takes to build a community. This is really important to consider as it will condition the success of your project. Then, it is very important to clearly define the subject that will bring the members of the community together.

Blogs, website, social media pages with a large and strong community tend to revolve around a specific engaging subject, for example the vegan community, environmental protection, sports apps, etc... You have to choose who you want to reach and find that common value that brings people of similar interests together.

Obviously, a spontaneous group is easier to manage than one requiring incentives but, in the case of a branded app, you can still create a sense of belonging with your audience! Many big international brands have achieved success through this strategy. If adhesion can be spontaneous, nurturing your brand followers is essential, with special offers, a loyalty card or membership levels...  
In any case, here's two aspects you should not overlook:
- Offering brilliant, useful and informative content.
- Offering different tools for everyone to interact, the more options the better.

With an 
app builder, you can easily create a wonderful architecture for your content, but it remains up to you to deliver good quality content. The best design or user experience can never make up for a lack of relevant content. For more tips, check out our Content Creation Tutorial.

Besides, you need to make it possible for users to interact with your content, through comments, and share it, so that your message goes farther than the app, the best form of low-cost communication. On top of that, to make your app more social, consider enabling our Chat Add-On. You can also set up a Submission section and encourage users to submit content from the app (text,  photo and video formats are supported). UGC (User Generated Content), using hashtags wisely, these are all powerful allies to build a community inside and outside of your mobile app.

How to understand what your community wants?

To understand what attracts the interest of your community there are two things you can set out to do. First, keep an eye on your statistics, find out what subjects generate the most discussion among your readers, which posts are the most liked, shared, etc. Second, actually read through the conversations, post replies and manage comments, even the negative ones. By listening on your community you can really learn a lot and, most importantly, get to know your users.

To increase user retention analyzing data is key. So is collecting feedback! Why not enable our Form section to conduct a poll? Last but not least, you could envision blending the digital and the physical by scheduling an IRL event. With Geo Alerts, Beacons and Geofencing, available directly in your GoodBarber back office, you can imagine bringing your community closer together, in real life.

Don't hesitate to push back the boundaries!