Top 7 reasons why people join a user group community

Why do community members join a user group?

Listed below are seven primary reasons why people participate in a user group or online community, following which, are simple steps that any user group leader can take to help meet their member motivations. Understanding the motivations of your members helps you lead your community in a better way.

Benefits and Purpose of User Group Meetings - Communities

Benefits of Joining a Community.

Learning - User Group’s provide a unique opportunity for people to learn from their peers.

Networking – The opportunity to network and make new connections with industry peers, make new friends is endless.

Sharing Experiences – Most human beings love to share and highlight their expertise and knowledge. During most community meetings, members share their challenges and experiences with each other.

Job Opportunities – Many a door has opened up due to new contacts made via the community.

Meeting Experts - Typical user group meetings feature an expert speaker who shares knowledge among the community members.

Solutions to Problems - Community members are very helpful in helping one another. Most user group sites feature an online forum enabling interactions between members.

Free Giveaways – Communities are magnets for various vendors and most meetings often have giveaways for their members.

Do you feel there are other reasons why your members join your user group community? Post a comment if you do.

There are two key takeaways from this:

1. Take steps to finding out your community member motivations.
2. Learn how to fulfill that need.

Finding out your community member needs

Step 1: Create a membership survey. 
A free resource like www.survemonkey.com can help you get started right away. In the survey besides finding out what their motivations are, ask members to suggest ideas to implement, and ask if they would be willing to volunteer, to help the initiative.  

Knowing how to fulfill member needs

Step 2: Create membership councils focused around each of the motivations.
Elect community members to lead these councils. The sole objective of each council would be to come up with at least one activity, which will help meet a member motivation. There will be enthusiasm and interest to list a huge number of activities. However, limit it to only two, which they feel are easy to implement, manage and review. Once those are successful then evaluate possibilities of more activities. The reason for this is due to the time availability of community members. You do not want to come up with 20 things and figure out none have been implemented.  

Step 3: Set a date to for the councils to review progress.

Step 4: Survey your members again, to measure your success.

Are there more things you could do, Yes! However, for now I will let you tell me what you think about the above. I look forward to your comments.

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