Its one thing to charge someone with growing your membership, but quite another to truly understand what it is you’re asking.

No one can effectively grow and maintain a community without the resources to make it happen.

What are those resources you might ask?

Well, the most important is time. They need time to nurture the community, seed it with content, create discussions, build relationships and interact with the masses.

But wait!

They can’t do any of that if they don’t know what the users want. And if you can’t tell them then you need to give them more time to figure it out so that the community can thrive and grow.

There is so much competition out there, so your community has to become a destination. It has to fill a need that isn’t being met elsewhere. In other words, people need a reason to come.

Sometimes your brand is enough to get them there. But oftentimes it isn’t enough to get them to stay.

It is frustrating to see people deem this as an afterthought. If you are building or maintaining a community for a client, you need to be paid for the time it takes to do it. And you need to make sure they understand that this does not happen overnight.

How many ghost towns have you seen lately? How many LinkedIn groups with no discussions, abandoned Twitter accounts and empty Facebook pages have you visited in the last month? (Remember this report released four months ago that found that over a third of all FB fan pages had fewer than 100 fans?)

The problem is everyone wants to be everywhere but they have no strategy for making any of it a success, and that, in my opinion is crazy.

The point here is this: If you have goals related to increasing membership and engagement levels of any online community regardless of the platform, you have a hard job.

So, you’d better make sure that you aren’t the only one aware of that fact.