To create, animate and engage a community in the long term, one element is essential: the culture of "care". This concept consists in "taking care" of customers, employees, partners...
Regardless of the community typology, taking care of members is a priority.
In this article, MeltingSpot explains how to create a culture of care in your community, through 5 key actions 👇
What is care? Definition
Care" is a concept that means "taking care of". It is above all a form of ethics, in our relationship to the world and to others.
Conceptualized in the United States in the 1980s by the feminist psychologist Carol Gilligan, care was then widely developed during the Covid-19 health crisis. All individuals sought to take care of themselves and others. The idea of a "care" reserved for the nursing staff was then extended. Today, the desire to protect and "take care of others" is asserting itself in front of our family, our friends, our colleagues... and all the members of the communities to which we belong.
In recent years, companies have also become actors of care. By creating communities of customers, employees or partners, the main challenge is to bring together members, and to encourage "better living" together. Today, digital or physical communities boost mutual aid, exchange, sharing... And care is developing in two ways:
✅ The company takes care of the different members of its community.
✅ The community members take care of each other, horizontally.
These two levers ensure the sustainability, stability and growth of successful communities. But do you know what actions to initiate, to make care a priority in your communities?
5 actions to create a care culture of care in your
Make members accountable to the values and rules of the community
Each community brings together a group of people around a common goal and shared values. But it's important that all members share the same vision. In an interview with MeltingSpot, Christina Garnett (Hubspot's Senior Marketing Manager) insists on the "importance of care and love" at the heart of a community. These are attainable if (and only if) community members commit to following specific rules, such as:
💡Avoid promotional topics and sales pitches, especially in BtoB communities.
💡To be respectful, caring and collective intelligence at all times.
💡Be allowed to participate, co-create and take part in decisions or discussions.
For Christina Garnett, a community is like a dinner party: "you hope everyone will be there to have fun... But not too much anyway!". You have to find the right balance. Too many rules can drive community members away. Not enough rules can turn the community experience into chaos. It's up to you to find the balance, to create a culture of care.
Take care of the onboarding of the community members
The arrival of members in the community is an excellent opportunity to show care. You know the saying: you never get a second chance to make a good first impression...
So, as soon as members arrive, show them that they are in the right place. Prove to them that your corporate community is a "safe space", where they will feel comfortable. And above all, implement onboarding actions, like:
👋 Welcoming each member in a personalized way.
👋 Offer to fill out a form, to know the expectations, personalities, needs... And re-humanize the link with its community, with personalized actions.
👋 Organize a welcome event every month, to welcome newcomers.
Each "care" action upon arrival of members facilitates the desire to discover, integrate and stay in the community.
Giving importance to every interaction
In a community, the culture of care is also about attention to detail. Every comment in discussion channels and every public interaction matters. Since words fly, but writings remain... Pay attention to all exchanges, visible to all community members.
Indeed, taking care of the members also means making sure that the community gets along well. This is notably one of the missions of the Community Builder: his role is essential, to create, animate and engage a community efficiently.
👁 The Community Builder embodies the voice, but also the eyes of the company. The sharing of "care" in the company goes above all through his vigilance and his actions!
Define a strategy of small attentions
Your community members are important. But are you thinking about how to show them appreciation? Are you successfully showing them how important they are to the community and to your company?
To do this, MeltingSpot recommends that you develop a small attentions strategy. Throughout the community experience, this method consists of planning various small gestures for members. Small attentions can be material, servicing, experiential, immaterial... For example:
👉 Frequently thanking members for their involvement in the online community, both publicly and privately.
👉 Wishing members' birthdays with a personalized note, from the company (via the Community Builder).
👉 Send gifts to Ambassador members, as the seasons change.
Create moments of celebration
Whether it's a community of customers, partners, employees... It is essential to spread positive energy within the BtoB or BtoC community. To achieve this, why not create moments of celebration, throughout the year? For example:
🚀 If the community reaches a membership milestone (100, 1,000, 5,000...)
🚀 If a member has started a good initiative, worth celebrating.
🚀 If several members have promoted the community to their network.
These are different opportunities to celebrate, to express your gratitude to the members... And develop a culture of care.
To conclude, here is a short video clip featuring Neela Kaushik at the CLG Summit 2023, discussing the importance of including members in the community and implementing the 5 actions mentioned in this article. The replay is now available exclusively on The Community Lab!
As a reminder, this culture of care is essential, to grow the community. Without taking care of the members over time, it is impossible to develop a Community-Led Growth strategy.
So, for the members to guide the growth of the community, and for everyone to be satisfied with their community experience... You know what you have to do: create a culture of care!