community is a word that means a lot of things to a lot of different people. when it comes to involving your community with your business, many companies simply miss the mark.
i’ve spent over 10 years watching and participating in online communities, which of course are just an extension of people offline.
instead of writing up a big ol' document on how you can “do community right”, which some people try to do, i’ll simply suggest that if you really care about your community, you take time finding the right person to cultivate and champion it at your company.
this means: don’t hire a “social media guru” or intern to do this. community should be represented at the highest level of a company, either as a manager or an executive. if you’re saying “that’s ridiculous!”, you don’t get it. and you probably never will.
this also means: involve your director of community or whatever bullcrap title you end up on in everything that the company is doing. filtering your direction through what users think is a big plus, rather than relying solely on a product/project manager to force rank a bunch of features based on market need or resources.
folks who do community really well are often the unsung heroes and work the most hours, but when done right, great things happen. just ask instagram.
if you think community is a “thing” like you think “SEO” or “social media” is a thing, then just keep moving along at your snail’s pace while someone else eats your lunch. what do you care anyways?