The Dos and Don’ts of a Successful Online Community

The secret sauce of a successful online community isn’t a big mystery waiting to be revealed. For the last four years, we have been digging into the nitty-gritty detail of hundreds of branded communities across multiple industries. Our goal has always been to understand the EXPERIENCE from the MEMBER’S perspective.

If you are planning or already managing an online community, here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind. Remember to put yourself in your members’ shoes and ask some hard questions.



  • Activate your advocate base and treat them as “special”
  • Allow members to engage across multiple channels seamlessly
  • Provide mission-appropriate engagement opportunities
  • Put a spotlight on member participation
  • Offer a mobile app so that members can take the experience with them
  • Experiment with new technologies and tools
  • Measure what works and what doesn’t, then make course corrections



  • Forget that community is a strong post-purchase channel for engagement
  • Provide a cumbersome registration and sign-in experience
  • Leave up stale content, which sends a signal that you don’t care
  • Moderate every single piece of content before it gets posted
  • Over-package and lose the authenticity of your user-generated content
  • Ask for something and not deliver
  • Just rely on Facebook alone


Who does community well?


On April 24th WOMMA and ComBlu will be hosting a webinar that explores some great community tactics employed by brands such as Axe, AT&T and Marriot. Plus, we’ll delve deeper and highlight some hero brands—Whole Foods, Mountain Dew, SAP and ESPN. You will also learn how the Telecomm industry is becoming a game changer with cross-channel integration and why Healthcare is (finally) starting to embrace community building.

To learn more dos and don’ts on successful online branded communities, you can register for the webinar here. The 2012 State of Online Branded Communities report is available for download as well.

See you on April 24th!

Jennifer Voisard

Senior Consultant

Jenny is a digital content strategist, who leads customer-centric engagements that focus on understanding B2B buying behaviors and developing custom roadmaps.

Her expertise is creating buyer personas and mapping digital content journeys to assess the multi-channel user experience. She helps clients operationalize plans across workstreams and identifies processes to create efficiencies in marketing operations. Jenny also has extensive time under her belt developing and managing customer advocacy programs and community building.

She has helped a diverse group of organizations including Cisco, VMware, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, BMO Harris, Capital One and many others become more customer-centric.

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