Do Online Communities Change Long-Term Behavior?

(Richard Millington) #1

Originally published at:
Your day to day work might consist of initiating discussions, replying to discussions, and creating content etc… The desired end result is long-term behavior change. That means new customers, current customers staying for longer and buying more, people collaborating more, or reduced costs (let’s exclude hobbyist communities for now). Unfortunately the day to day work is many layers removed from the value. Let’s imagine your daily work consists of initiating and responding to discussions, creating content, replying to discussions, and welcoming newcomers. You probably do that because you believe the following happens: Your actions create activity. The activity creates a…

(Sarah Hawk) #2

I think this post touches on some really interesting things. The primary question that it raises for me is ‘what behaviour change am I trying to influence within my community?’

I’m not sure that I know the answer to that in this context. I would have said that my ultimate goal is to make this community a habit, but I’m not sure what ultimate value that delivers to the company.

What behaviour change are others trying to cause, and to what end?

(Bo McGuffee) #3

Recently, I’ve been crafting an onboarding process for our deal site that intends to (1) transform lurkers into participants incrementally, while (2) telling a story that frames the interaction in a way that makes it more meaningful, and thus more likely.

The process includes a series of tasks, or steps. At each completed step, a member receives a shiny new badge for their profile, and a challenge that is slightly more involved. Once they’ve completed the entire process, I’ll launch a celebratory thread so the community can cheer them on.

In an ideal world, everyone who starts the process will finish it (insert big communal cheer). More than likely, not everyone will. Those who don’t complete the process should help me identify the biggest hurdles for our members.

I expect this process to help us as a business in a couple of ways. First, those who participate should come to identify more strongly with our brand, and in doing so choose to go through us when shopping (acquisition/retention). Second, any helpful information regarding deals or in support of deals should lead to more affiliate sales as people look for the deals.

(Alessio Fattorini) #4

That’s one of my main goals too, if logging in the community becomes a daily habit people are very likely inclined to read, reply and make valuable contribution.

BTW super interesting post @richard_millington , I’m always afraid of waste my time.