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Recently, we had the opportunity to hear Maria Katris – CEO of Built In – speak about building a vibrant and active online community at our ongoing SoMe Insight series on September 27th at BIN 36.

Maria highlighted several key points that are essential in building an online community:

• It requires both online and offline efforts, such as attending other networking events, to spread the word
• High-touch customer service and the willingness to do anything for your super fans are a must
• Consistently testing, optimizing, and gearing the community to what your users need and want and measuring responses
• Being open to critical feedback and making changes that will provide the most value for your members
• Launching new features and tools frequently and being adaptive and pro-active vs. reactive to the needs of your community
• Putting yourself in your users shoes and looking at building a community that is highly focused on them vs. your end objectives and goals
• Sponsors, monetization, etc. will all come once you’ve built and focused on filling a need
• Get to know your fans: it’s amazing what kind of change in the community we make when we discover a common ground among us. Don’t be afraid to pay it forward

You can take a peek at our highlight reel below.

We want to give a huge thank you to Maria Katris for both her time and insights! Our next speaker is Mike McGee, co-founder of The Starter League, talking about passion and authenticity in social media to build a brand. Reserve your ticket for 10/25 here.

SoMe Insight is a monthly speaker series that brings together Chicago leaders and the community to engage in meaningful dialogue about how social and digital media can grow business.