The Oxford dictionary defines community as “The feeling of sharing things and belonging to a group in the place where you live”. This clarifies that a community is where people share emotions, thoughts, and emotions with people in the community. A human mind not only learns things around but studies and analyzes them.

Communicating is an inevitable act in a community. A community cares about verbal and nonverbal communication. We can never separate communication and community. And that is why knowing how and which type of communication theory is apt for your content will help you make the content reach the human brain.

What are the ways communication is communicated?

Knowing how communication works will tell you how communities work.

This is how segregation is done.

  • Mechanical:

Sender --- message---- receiver

  • Psychological:

Sender---- message--- receiver--- reaction

  • Social:

Social is always a bigger picture. This applies here too. In this, the content alone is not considered, but how it is communicated also matters the most

  • Systematic:

Here, the message depends on what the receiver interprets

  • Critical:

Communication can exert authority!

These are how communication gets transferred and people who know how a community works will know that a community deals with all these types of communication.

Communication theories and their use in a community

Magic bullet theory

Magic bullet theory states that people are passive and they take the content in a way the media wants them to. It also says that the use of this theory can cause uniform impact creation from all the members. With this, a person can find the effect of the content immediately.

Application of Magic Bullet Theory in community

Using the magic bullet theory will let us put ideas and perspectives in a straightforward, strong manner that people will take in no matter what, as our aim is right in their minds. There is no way people will miss getting the idea.

  • Have this theory in mind when putting out your guidelines, rituals, and culture in a way that people extract those ideas without even realizing it because members following these in the community are of high importance to us.
  • Images, emojis, and titles are a way you put a message in people’s minds without them making any effort to consume it.
  • Simple polls we use in community work according to the magic bullet theory.
  • Create an invite-only community where only premium members get access to premium content.

Actor-network theory

The actor-network theory states that the actor which is the human and the network which is the technical platform both have a place in bringing out success.

Application of Actor-Network theory in a community

Both the creator, content, and the platform have an equal hand in bringing success

  • Online community forums take the community a long way. Cause they expect little effort from the people.
  • Choosing a simple platform can make members feel that the platform is accessible. If the platform is very confusing and complex, they might move away.
  • Finding the right pattern to use the platform in a way that the type of content and the way of featuring it on the platform is the best, can create the utmost impact.
  • The placement or the order in which you put your content can create a whole new perspective, and this theory screams out how the way you put things can create the perspective you want your community members to perceive.

Spiral of silence theory

This theory says that people with ideas that are accepted will tell it out loudly and others who find the idea acceptable will join in along with the team and shout it out. But people whose ideas are not accepted will suppress them.

Application of Spiral of Silence Theory

The spiral of silence is a powerful thing a community can put to use. This has 2 sides to it. This might also turn out to suppress the good in the community, so stay attentive.

  • For instance, build an inclusive culture through the comments you share, the way you encourage a positive attitude of users, via guidelines, and also while  active users

Note: A community should be an inclusive place that encourages and values each person’s perspective. If the silence of silence theory goes wrong, it might start fueling a negative culture over a positive culture. Make sure you use it right and let the positive spiral grow hugely in your community.

Agenda setting theory

This theory says that when you set an agenda, things go according to it. Agenda setting is nothing but setting levels of importance to a specific topic. For example, we all think or believe that the breaking news given out by the media is the most important thing that happens in the world. It may not be, but the media has the power to make all of us believe in something by setting an agenda. With this in mind, you can guide your content in a way that provides maximum traffic towards them. This is not goofing people but guiding people on the most important content that would benefit them.

Application of Agenda Setting Theory

There is quite a lot of content in your community and if agenda setting is not used, people will get lost.

  • You get to prioritize what your members should see first. So make use of that to reach the OKRs and benchmarks you have for your community. Design your welcome message, redirect users from the welcome message, and have a community tour planned in a way that users don't feel lost

Like how the community is everywhere, so is communication. A person who understands both these ideas will make changes of great magnitude in this world that can change things in the world to a great extent. Having these makes you one powerful person. So by analyzing and making use of these 2 aspects (communication and community), you would be one of the smartest beings on earth.

#Life is what you make it, why not make it a healthy communicative community!

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