How are members of communities recruited?
The size and the duration of the community has an impact on how communities are recruited.
The key methods are:
From customer lists: This is the best option, especially if the invitation is directly from the client to the potential member. It typically recruits the right sort of people, is fast and can be very inexpensive.
Purchased recruitment: This is used where a client does not have a customer database with emails, or where it can’t be accessed, or where non-customers are being recruited. The purchased recruit might be from an online access panel or from a list broker.
Via advertising: This includes online, poster, press, in-store etc. This route is particularly relevant to media organisations.
Member-find-member: This is typically used to increase the size of a community and is a system where people are rewarded for recruiting people from their contacts.
Social media: If a brand has an active social media presence (for example a Facebook page or Twitter account with a large number of followers) then this can be used to recruit members. Most people adopting this route report only modest success.