Start your online patient community on the right foot

There’s little incentive for your patients to join a ghost-town community. That’s why it’s critical to develop a vibrant community before you promote it. 

Your first goal at the launch of an online patient community is to achieve a critical mass of activity. You’ll know you’ve reached critical mass when the community becomes self-sustaining.

We define self-sustaining as the point at which more than 50% of activity within the community is generated by the community, as opposed to being generated by the community manager. This high level of activity is reached by attracting members who become very active within the group.

But how do you develop this initial group of very active members?

A challenge with new communities is that there is less incentive to participate. There are few conversations, no archived information, and usually a limited amount of educational materials. The benefits a community provides are much smaller when the community is in its early stages. 

That’s why it’s so important to develop a strong group who are interested in being founders or mentors to start the community.

Depending on the type of community you are starting, a list of potential members could come from different sources. For instance, if you are starting a bariatric community, you could find enough patients preparing for or recovering from surgery to interview. The same could apply for a cancer patient community.

How to create your list of potential founding members

If you’re organizing a community for parents of children with serious illnesses, look for those who are already attending support groups, or who are involved in special events or projects.

If you’re organizing a community for caregivers for family members with dementia, put invitations to participate in internal medicine clinics, or ask doctors to refer, or put the word out on an open Facebook group.

Once you’ve identified 20-30 potential community members, take the time to interview them. This blogpost gives you a list of questions to start with. You’ll want to develop more of your own. 

Give your founding members something to do

Your goal is to identify a core group to start the community, but for this approach to work, you can’t just provide lip service. The founders must have genuine opportunities to shape and influence the community. They need to participate in activities that benefit both the community and themselves and allow them to feel a sense of influence and ownership.

Some of the things your community founders can do include:

  • Promoting the site with peers.
  • Developing content for the community.
  • Helping to develop community rules and guidelines.
  • Participating in special events such as live chats, interviews, and offline events.
  • Starting and contributing to conversations on the platform.
  • Welcoming newcomers.

When you invite potential members to be founders in the community, tell them the specific ways you expect them to contribute. Emphasize how critical their role will be to the success of the community. Thank them for their contributions.

Here are some tactical steps to start your community.

  • A doctor or program manager invites potential community members to be interviewed.
  • The interviewer asks enough questions to identify if the patient is willing to be a founding member of the community.
  • When contacts agree to be founders, the community manager provides a specific list of responsibilities for the founder to perform in the community.
  • New members sign up for the community and complete the online personal profile that includes a photograph, biography, and other important information.
  • Community manager initiates conversations and encourages founders to participate.
  • Community manager works with founders to develop a content calendar for the community.
  • Community manager encourages founders to develop content.

It is essential that all of this happen BEFORE you announce the community to the public or do any kind of promotion for the community. The worst possible scenario is for people to visit a community that’s a ghost town. They’ll likely never come back.

What is the benchmark for moving forward?

When you have 50 or more members who are participating in community conversations 1-5 days a week, it’s time to move to the next step — promoting your community.

3 replies
  1. ブレゲチーム三年間かけて設計、開発と完全にこの復雑な腕時計、この時計の最も代表的な試みはその瞬間ジャンプのタイムゾーンの表示システムで、このシステムは同期日付表示、昼/夜
    ブレゲチーム三年間かけて設計、開発と完全にこの復雑な腕時計、この時計の最も代表的な試みはその瞬間ジャンプのタイムゾーンの表示システムで、このシステムは同期日付表示、昼/夜 says:

    ブレゲチーム三年間かけて設計、開発と完全にこの復雑な腕時計、この時計の最も代表的な試みはその瞬間ジャンプのタイムゾーンの表示システムで、このシステムは同期日付表示、昼/夜と都市の指示に機械表にとっては、世界で初めて。この機能を簡単に2つの予选旅人読み取りタイムゾーンの時間、ボタンを押すだけでできる時、邪魔のない場合は瞬間からタイムゾーンへの切り替えを別のタイムゾーン。秒を確保することができてシステムを設定する過程の中に正確に変更時、タイムゾーンに影響しない時間を通じて、しかも「追跡システム日付カレンダー実現」と同期日/夜指示。最新アルバムのClassique 5717 Hora Mundi経典シリーズのタイムゾーンの腕時計人気ウブロ偽物コピー「北京時」記念モデルを通じて、ベゼル24タイムゾーン代表都市に入れやハイライト表示「BEIJING」(北京)、広大な中国時計ファン、常に中国への旅行者にもっと便利にサプライズと。

  2. ウブロスーパーコピー それを愛するか、それを憎み、エマニュエル・ブーシェの合併症の1つのとてもエキゾチックで提供するすべての会話のポイント時計狂愛を議論する。また、エマニュ
    ウブロスーパーコピー それを愛するか、それを憎み、エマニュエル・ブーシェの合併症の1つのとてもエキゾチックで提供するすべての会話のポイント時計狂愛を議論する。また、エマニュ says:

    ウブロスーパーコピー それを愛するか、それを憎み、エマニュエル・ブーシェの合併症の1つのとてもエキゾチックで提供するすべての会話のポイント時計狂愛を議論する。また、エマニュエル・ブーシェの合併症についてのノートへの非常に重要なことであるのを見て、それの中でまだ絵の全てではないが同じ人にそれを見ることにした。でも理解する方法の説明の時間を言うビットなしで挑戦することができます。

  3. は素晴らしい万「FUN」の型の表をシンクロ以外にも、Swatch香港区開設の首の間の旗艦店を開店し、強力な販売網を構築。スーパーコピーブランドMr . Kevin Rollenhagen衆がナンシーだと、城の女
    は素晴らしい万「FUN」の型の表をシンクロ以外にも、Swatch香港区開設の首の間の旗艦店を開店し、強力な販売網を構築。スーパーコピーブランドMr . Kevin Rollenhagen衆がナンシーだと、城の女 says:

    は素晴らしい万「FUN」の型の表をシンクロ以外にも、Swatch香港区開設の首の間の旗艦店を開店し、強力な販売網を構築。スーパーコピーブランドMr . Kevin Rollenhagen衆がナンシーだと、城の女神イケメンを鳴らす式獅子舞形にでき、一緒に巨大な「どら」にし、新しい自動車ボール砲杖、百の水素気球すぐさまゆっくりと打ち上げて、象徴「Swatch利園山道旗艦店」が開幕し、城人衆潮、VIP貴賓やメディア代表として出席して、一緒にこの腐表壇新話。


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