Building Strong Online Communities: Lessons from Airbnb’s Community Management, Ricardo Ramos Soto

img Yosefine BukitVista | October 7, 2023

Hello. I am Yosefine, currently serving as a Human Resource Intern at Bukit Vista. In my relentless pursuit of enriching my expertise and cultivating an environment pulsating with harmony and productivity, I have stumbled upon an article that is nothing short of a captivating treasure trove. This literary gem holds the key to invaluable insights into the art of community building – a craft that, from my perspective, extends its influence far beyond the digital realm to become an indispensable tool in nurturing an atmosphere of boundless positivity and seamless collaboration within the workplace.

It is our distinct pleasure to introduce a remarkable speaker whose wealth of experience and expertise has made a significant impact on the art of community management. Ricardo Ramos Soto, a former Global Organizing Program Manager at Airbnb, is renowned for his expertise in building communities that transcend immediate political actions. Ricardo shares his profound insights into creating sustainable communities, emphasizing the importance of synergies among community archetypes and fostering deep engagement among members. His experiences promise to illuminate the path toward enduring and thriving communities, offering a fresh perspective on community development in today’s digital age. In this era, community engagement holds paramount importance, both online and offline, as it plays a pivotal role in fostering connections, sharing knowledge, and creating a sense of belonging. This article delves into the significance of regular events, continuous engagement, and diverse forms of interaction within online communities, drawing inspiration from Airbnb’s successful approach. We will explore various strategies and insights that can help community managers and organizers create thriving online communities.

Discussion with Ricardo at Bukit Vista StartUp MasterClass

Consistent Engagement and Anticipation

Community engagement is the lifeblood of any successful online community. Drawing inspiration from Airbnb’s community-building approach, it becomes evident that the consistent hosting of events and maintaining continuous engagement with community members is crucial. One effective way to foster engagement is by creating online engagement groups. These groups serve as a space for community members to connect, share ideas, and discuss common interests. Hosting discussions on various topics of interest allows for meaningful interactions, forging deeper connections among members. Anticipation is a powerful tool for community engagement. By promising future events, community managers can keep members excited and engaged. Airbnb’s success can be attributed, in part, to its ability to consistently deliver unique and exciting experiences to its community. Listening to the community’s specific questions and needs is paramount. Airbnb’s approach involves actively addressing the concerns and inquiries of its hosts and guests. This personalized approach demonstrates a commitment to community members’ well-being and satisfaction.

Diverse Engagement Approaches

Beyond events, diverse forms of engagement are essential for a vibrant online community. Airbnb’s emphasis on sharing materials and creating shareable content, such as instruction manuals and cleaning protocols, sets an excellent example. Sharing valuable content like instruction manuals and cleaning protocols not only enhances the user experience but also encourages community members to share these resources with others. This type of engagement extends the reach of the community and strengthens its sense of value. When showcasing examples or community ambassadors, it’s essential to strike a balance between aspirational and attainable figures. Airbnb’s choice of ambassadors, for instance, inspires others while remaining relatable. This approach resonates with a broader audience.

Leveraging Offline Foundations and Parallels with Public Policy

In the arena of community management, the fusion of offline and online strategies stands as a cornerstone for success. Professional webinars featuring community champions have emerged as potent tools, providing valuable insights and promoting direct engagement between experts and community members. Identifying and showcasing community champions amplifies engagement, as illustrated by Airbnb’s successful webinars. Moreover, the significance of translating insights from discussions into tangible actions is emphasized, reinforcing the commitment to community betterment.

Ricardo’s invaluable insights further underscore the importance of bridging offline and online community-building foundations. Creating opportunities for member connection and shared experiences is pivotal for fostering engagement within the online sphere. Furthermore, Ricardo highlights the strategic advantage of having multiple voices within a community, enriching discussions and ensuring a more comprehensive representation of the community’s diverse needs and interests. Despite the apparent disparities between community management and public policy, Ricardo’s observations reveal striking parallels, with proficiency in one domain translating into enhanced skills for the other. Effective communication, problem-solving, and collaboration are common threads that unite these seemingly distinct realms. Finally, the analogy of motivating an elephant rather than pushing it serves as a valuable guiding principle, emphasizing intrinsic motivation’s pivotal role in both community management and public policy.


Building and maintaining a strong online community is a multifaceted endeavor. Drawing inspiration from Airbnb’s approach, we have explored the importance of regular events, diverse engagement strategies, and the need for proactive action. Additionally, Ricardo’s insights into leveraging offline foundations and bridging public policy with community management offer valuable perspectives for community organizers. By implementing these strategies and insights, online communities can thrive and continue to provide value to their members, fostering a sense of connection and belonging in an increasingly digital world.

If you’re enthusiastic about delving into additional masterclasses and expanding your knowledge, kindly visit our StartUp MasterClass website and let’s embark on a continuous journey of learning and innovation together!

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