All communities should exist on the other side of a threshold. Those who are curious but not engaged should be able to see some of the activity between members, so they can understand if this is the right place for them.
Do you always have to push lurkers to engage? Not at all. Sometimes lurking is exactly where these members should be, until they see the right kind of engagement and activity for them.
New members are learning the ropes, and should get extra care and support from the community builders and the leaders in your community. You may need to nurture these members before they'll start to fall into one of the 5 community member profiles we dive into in this post.
Once a member feels comfortable, they'll start engaging. This beginning engagement might look like RSVPing to events, reacting and/or commenting on forum posts.
This member is starting to feel comfortable with the group, and looking for signals that they belong. If these members are inspired, motivated, and feel accepted, they'll start to contribute to the community mission or purpose.
The members who start conversations, share resources, collaborate with other members, and help out new members are called contributors. They'll keep the heart of your community beating! Be sure to continually recognize and reward these members and, on occasion, ask show them the path to leadership.
Once an engaged member steps up to help other members in a structured way, we'll call them leaders. Communities cannot scale in size, or more importantly impact, without members stepping into leadership roles. Sometimes a leader will show up as a moderator, an ambassador, or a council member.
Now that you know the stages of a community, you can start to split your community members into types. Read our latest post on community member types.
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