October 12, 2023

Audience versus Community

As a creator, you’ve probably heard the words “audience” and “community” more times than you can count. While it may be common for creators to refer to their fans and followers as a “community,” that isn’t always the best term to use. In this article, we’ll be breaking down the biggest differences between the terms “audience” and “community”. Let’s get rollin’!

Relationship Dynamics 

Cultivating a relationship with many people all at once is the core of establishing your audience. As a creator, your content is how you connect with your audience at scale. In a community, this relationship dynamic shifts from one-to-many to many-to-many.

You might already see many-to-many relationships happening thanks to your content. For example,  you may already see online discussions on social media or forum threads where your fans are able to chat with one another, without you needing to engage (or even offering the space yourself in some situations).

Creating your own space on a platform like Discord for these conversations to happen on a more consistent basis is one of the first steps in transforming an audience into a community.

Creation Responsibility

As an audience builder, you are responsible for creating content for your fans to enjoy. One of the beauties of a community is the space it gives for new creations to bloom.

For example, if you start up a Discord server, your fans will be able to share, discuss, and create together. And as a newly-crowned community admin, your role is to facilitate connections with people across the globe by providing that space and participating in their conversations rather than being the sole content creator on a one-way road.

Your Community Goals

The metrics that matter the most when building an audience will look different to those when building a community. As a creator, growing your viewership, follower count or likes are common ways to measure the success of your content.

When building a community, engagement is the most important metric to measure. Before you focus on how many people are in your Discord server, make sure you are successfully engaging the ones you already have. After all, what’s the point of having thousands of members if none of them are doing anything? Setting goals for how active your server is, how many new members stay after joining, or how many people attend your community events are great ways to know if you’re truly fostering a welcoming place.

Going from establishing an audience to growing a thriving community is an exciting step in your creator career. Knowing the key differences between the two can help you create a space where audience members feel comfortable connecting and bonding.

Looking for more? You can find even more on community engagement resources over on our Community Portal. If you’re excited to keep learning about how Discord can benefit Creators, check out the following articles for you to study up on — no pop-quizzes afterwards!

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