Introduction to community and Member types

Even though each community is unique, there are certain elements that you can expect to remain the same.  

There's nothing wrong with identifying the categories into which your community fits. It won't make yours any less unique – it'll just help you navigate the tricky waters of community management. 

Types of communities

Think about the type of community you’re trying to grow. There are a few different types – check them out below to work out which category your community belongs to.

Type name

Type description

Brand community Helps foster relationships with current and prospective clients
Learning community For sharing knowledge and resources
Insights community Using qualitative and quantitative data to inform business decisions
Interest community Bringing people together who share the same passions, geographic location etc. 
Monetisation community Creating a level of financial return

 

Types of Members within communities

There are a few types of individuals you’ll come across within your community and each will have different levels of contribution.

Not everyone in your community will contribute at the same level. Perhaps some members don’t have the time to contribute a lot, while others might be a bit shy and prefer to absorb your content rather than post their own. 

There’s nothing wrong with this. And as your community grows you’ll see your spectrum of members expand with it. 

We’ve distilled member types into these 5 categories:

Type name

Type description

Community Managers Platform managers and moderators – looking after the space
Positive Dominators Brand ambassadors, good samaritans and brand cheerleaders
Negative Dominators Trolls, hawkers, general negative behaviour
Lurkers Consuming information but making no interactions or impressions
Newbies Generally inquisitive and interested but quiet characters

 

Nurturing your positive dominators, newbies and lurkers is all about your content. That's what they joined your community for. 

Managing negative behaviour from your Members is one of the not-so-fun parts of leading a community. You can find out more about moderating your Members in our guide.

Level of contribution from community Members

We work with communities all the time that have a member contribution structure like this:

contribution_level

A healthy community is a melting pot of members with different personalities and approaches to content. For example, if you think you have a lot of Lurkers in your community, don’t worry – they just enjoy your content without feeling the pressure to contribute. If you’re keen to boost your proportion of Heavy Contributors, then maybe you can start thinking about adding subscriptions to some content or your whole community.