Reach a broader audience online through the power of subtitles! Inviting your fans to become contributors not only helps you to reach new audiences; it also gives you an opportunity to build a real connection with your most engaged community. Welcome your contributors to your own Amara Community: a controlled workspace where you can add YouTube videos, curate a team of subtitle contributors, and create and export subtitles.
New technology has made it easier to reach people online more than ever. But building an engaged community is about more than just reaching people. It’s about creating a sense of togetherness: around a shared purpose, a common identity, or a mutual interest.
Make it personal
A common error that new communities make is to try to please everyone. An open call that is meant to reach everyone is likely to affect no one. The Internet allows us to reach so many people with a single post, but people want more than to be reached. People want to feel a connection.
Our online lives are saturated with content. Many of the people that you want to reach might be suffering from social media fatigue. Eventually, information starts to become background noise: advertisements, spam emails, auto-play videos, pop-ups that say “Subscribe Now!” on every page. By trying to please everyone instead of a specific audience group, you’re less likely to stand out from all this content clutter.
Think back to the last time that you joined an engaged and motivated community. What was that first interaction like? It could have been something as simple as a recommendation from a friend over a cup of coffee: one-on-one.
To build an engaged and motivated community, aim for genuine communication and interaction to break through the mass of information out there. Connect with people one-on-one when they interact with your content. Respond to comments, shares, and new followers with appreciation.
What inspires your community
If you already have some content out there, analyze which posts get the most interaction and see if you can identify a common theme. Or you can create a few test posts with different options and pay attention to how your audience reacts. Do they want to think, learn, interact, or laugh? Is there something that your audience wants to change? Do they want to change themselves or change the world?
Learn more about your community
How does your community communicate? Because more of our interactions are online, we are no longer as restricted by geographic and linguistic boundaries. You can learn about the distribution of your audience across the globe in YouTube Studio. This can give you a good starting point to find out what languages your audience speaks. From there, you can create social media polls for your audience to vote on which languages they would like to see your content in.
Promote your language poll in new posts or videos unlock the global potential of your community. Check out which referral sources your audience is coming from and share the poll on those pages to get a more complete perspective through your language poll.
Show them that you care about their ability to access your content by committing to create subtitles in their languages.
After you know more about your audience’s language needs, you can use that information to customize your subtitling team. You can select 5+ languages when you start an Amara Community for your community members to create subtitles in.
Welcome your community
After you create an Amara Team, it’s time to gather your team of contributors to start subtitling. Your team members need to have an Amara Free user account before they can apply to join your Amara community. Make sure that your team knows how to create and sign in to their user account.
Encourage your team members to introduce themselves after they join your Amara Team. This will not only help build a relationship between you and each member, but among themselves as they begin to collaborate with each other. The first step is always the hardest, so make it a simple one: post a photo, bio, or add their personal languages.
Share videos with your community
Help your users find the perfect match for their interests by sharing specific videos or series.
Share individual videos to your social media pages by copying the video URL on amara.org. Go to your Amara Team’s Videos page and right-click on the video title to copy the URL.
Or share a series of videos through Projects. A Project acts like a tag for all of the videos that you add to your team. When looking at the Videos page of your Amara team, select the Project filter to see all videos in a project. Create Projects to organize your videos into on the Settings > Projects page. Then you can filter for videos in a specific project in your team Videos page and share the URL of that page to prompt team members to work on your high-priority videos.
Engage and motivate your contributors
Your Amara Team members can start contributing by clicking the Add/Edit subtitles button on the page for a video.
Celebrate your contributors after they complete subtitles. Contact them and ask if they would like to be highlighted on your social media platforms as a form of thanks.
Encourage engagement in your communities by celebrating success, creating open communication, and listening to their opinions. As you continue to make your engaged and motivated community sustainable, you will be able to identify leaders who can help you build your team further.
Foster communication by creating a separate space for your community members to start conversations outside of their workspace:
Just like in your Amara Team, encourage people to introduce themselves with simple instructions to get the conversation started. A quick introduction can go a long way. Ask your audience about their favorite video, why they started following, or how long they have been following your content. Having an open line of communication from the start is good for your community in the long term because it makes it easier for your team members to reach out with questions or suggestions to the whole group.
You can also share your video or project URLs from Amara through group chat so that your request is targeted to the people who have already demonstrated who want to help your videos be more accessible.
Establish an open and respectful tone in your community by encouraging your members to share their thoughts early on with prompts, questions, and virtual meet-ups.
Setting a respectful tone can help your team work better. This can be especially useful if you enable a review step in your subtitling workflow. Adding a review step can boost your subtitle quality and create a better experience for subscribers. Go to Settings > Subtitle Workflow to enable review.
The Amara Editor allows subtitle reviewers to leave notes for the original subtitler. Maintain positivity in your community to make sure that those subtitle notes are a way for your contributors to help each other.
Provide resources like these simple subtitling guidelines to help your Amara Community create quality subtitles through collaboration, readability, and an audience-first focus.
In the time of social distancing book clubs, watch parties on every streaming service, and more people working from home due to COVID-19, both our personal and our professional lives have shifted to online spaces. As our interactions shift, so do our communities. Even if we cannot be physically close to one another, we are all trying to find ways to connect: from spending more time on social media to transitioning from in-person events to virtual ones.
As we make this shift, we have an opportunity to build engaged communities online. If you build your community the right way, your members will be motivated to help you build a community where they want to contribute, interact, and belong.