The term impact means an action forcibly making contact with another. An impact is something that can make a strong effect on another. But what makes it even more special is what happens because of the impact. For instance, imagine a person kicking a ball he/she kicks the ball, they exert an impact on the ball. If the ball hits the goal, then that’s the kind of impact we want, but if the ball goes far outside the post, we can conclude that the impact exerted was not in the right place.
Impacts can be identified by the sound it creates, the change in the placement of things, the movement of an object, but in a community, the change in people’s lives and behavior are the marks that point at an impact. We all have a person in our life who has made us do things that we would have never attempted in a lifetime. Those kinds of people put together make an impactful community. This week’s C3 wanted to create a clear chart sheet of anything and everything around the impact in a community from what is an impactful community to how to drive and measure them.
Impactful communities look like
Different things impact people in ways we can never expect likewise the way different people look at an impactful community is equally diverse. The table threw a ton of perspectives of how an impactful community looks like for them.
Jeph put’s to picture an acronym for how an impactful community should look like
C- concrete (A community has to have defined goals)
A- Allows response (A community that is bi-directional in its communication, everyone gets an equal opportunity to share )
P- Peaceful platform (A community may have different channels, and all those together should be like a well-oiled machine for the community to be peaceful)
I- Interactive ( High UGC creation)
T- Trackable ( When all the results, growth are trackable by any form)
A- Align ( When community members are aligned with the community)
L- levels ( a community that has all its members at the same level)
All these criteria result in the members feeling belonged and loved and when this feeling can be bought out then a community can be impactful. When all these criteria are hit, that’s when a community becomes or is an impactful community, says Jephtah
“ A friend in need is a friend indeed”- when a need is met there is an impact and when there is a higher need and a community is there to cater to it, now that’s what an impactful community looks like, defined Sri Kumar.
In the eyes of Pulkit common passion with no doubt will result in an impact, and a community that has a shared passion as a strong base for the community, the impact is inevitable.
Deepak looks at it this way when people build a relationship they empathize with each other, and value each other’s values when that kind of environment is set in a community. There is no doubt it’s an impactful community.
Community is an extension of your business and impact is what it can do to your business through the community. As a brand, you would want to build a community that is holistic in nature where the members plug into your brand journey and start working towards the brand’s success. And that’s how impact happens says Varu from a brand’s perspective.
The driving factors
Tips from experts
Now that the idea of impact in a community was made clear the secret to pulling it has to be revealed. So here’s where the C3 panelist let the cats out of the bags
To handle a crisis before it becomes a disaster is an impact: There is a process that happens during a crisis and the cycle goes like
To want to reach ‘Recovery’ first is a mirage that will exhaust you. But to start with awareness as to tell people or members what to do in times of need is the smart thing to do. When all this lies right, your community will be equipped to create an impact.
When goals are met impact is created: All communities come with goals along with it. And the community aims to reach those goals. when that pursuit is gained it gives birth to an impact on a whole to the brand and for each member of the community. To do this, putting your goals and your members on the same page is vital if you achieve in making your goals your member’s goals you start to create impact.
Constant engagement within the community and outside the community: When you keep the engagement gas flowing impact sets on fire.
Great level of empathy: A community is able to wear many hats because it is able to hit the right spot when it comes to understanding customer emotions, there are many ways to do other things for a brand but to get right into their customer’s heart, there is nothing else other than the community. When the customer emotion is known by the brand they can easily drive impact for their brand.
In order to make this possible, Understanding and respecting each other’s values even if you don’t accept them is of high priority. Imagine a person comes up and says the world is flat, you might not believe in it for a ton of reasons in your head. But to say upfront that you are wrong will hurt the belief system that will make them decide not to share ideas and perspectives. This shouldn’t be the case. Accepting and empathizing with each other’s ideas will ignite the engine that drives impact for a community.
Activation: Adoption is the impact a brand looks and for that impact to happen activation is the first step. A good activation is something that will create an impact on the future. In order to drive impact from that activated customers, there are two aspects that make an activation effective 1. Enough knowledge base and 2. Mentor-mentee combo. When both aspects are present in a community it makes sure that all members get what they want. The search for knowledge and a place to share knowledge. You as a brand will effectively cut down the efforts from your side to take members to the next level cause the mentors in the community will start to do it for you. And they will create the next set of people and this cycle keeps repeating itself. This will save a fortune in terms of money and time for your brand. And the important perk is that they get to increase the adoption rate.
Magic in the activation process: The activation process can be tricky, people are super excited when they sign up, they have a high expectation with the product and how it’s going to solve their problems. But right after that, they feel a drop in their excitement they feel disappointed. And this is quite inevitable cause people don’t really find how the product is going to solve their solution right away. And this activation curve can differ for each person. This is where the community takes a strong march. The community has the power to make all those curves a same straight line.
Signs that prove that your community is showing positive impacts that lead backs to the growth of your brand.
Together we curated what an impact can be and how to drive it, but how do we know if we have all in place to make an impactful community. Below are the things that can be the measurable indicators that show your community is in the run of being impactful and at the same time is looping back to your brand’s goals.
Measuring Positive Sentiment - The positive value creation about the brand that happens in a community in itself is something that a brand aims for and is also measurable.
Factors involved are: a. Reactions to posts and comments, b. Helpful answers as comments, c. Members helping members
Member progression and recognition - An impact is created when people are proud of that community, and they only feel proud if they find value in it. The value can be sales, acquisition, it can be anything. And here is how you can tie it back to the brand, a person is encouraged and pushed to use the product cause they find value in it. Factors involved are: a. Member transition from new to an expert or by levels b. Frequency of Member contribution, c. Member happiness index d. Member retention rates, e. Member activation rates
Community success = Community goal + Business goal - It is the job of the community manager to ask themselves how to increase engagement and how to use the impact of engagement to make the members like the brand’s product. When they answer this question they tie back the community’s impact on the brand’s needs.
Factors involved are: a. Product feedback shared, b. Solutions received c. Loops closed, d. P2P support: Brand support
Tip: When a community reaches the goals of each member it starts to show a positive impact on the brand.
“When your community members grow you grow”
When you aim to create an impact on your community they start shooting a higher level of impact for your brand, after all, a community is a setup that wants to help each other
This week’s C3 brought together people who have experienced such an impact and wanted to pass on the knowledge that can create an impact in each of our own communities. This collective knowledge is something that can create an impact. And if 11 people in a call could do it so can a community.
To be part of such an insightful conversation save yourself a seat in the upcoming week of community and cold coffee sessions and let’s together talk, learn and experience community.