What is the Difference Between an Audience and a Community

The difference between an audience and a community is between being a passive recipient of the information and being an active participant in the conversation.

Audiences are people who consume content. They may read your blog posts, listen to your podcast, or watch your videos, but they aren’t connected to you or each other.

Communities are groups of people who share a common interest and want to connect. To do this, they need to feel safe and comfortable sharing personal experiences, feelings, interests and opinions.

Community-building takes time and effort. It involves creating opportunities for people to engage in discussions about topics that matter to them, helping them feel like they belong by acknowledging their contributions, providing support when needed, especially during difficult times, recognizing individual achievements, offering networking opportunities, and so much more!

The relationships

The difference between an audience and a community is also evident in how people engage with each other online. Audiences often exist on a one-way street, where they consume content without engaging with it or sharing their thoughts or reactions. On the other hand, communities are two-way streets with back-and-forth communication between members who participate in discussions and offer feedback on posts they like or don’t like.

Direction of communication

Another critical difference between audiences and communities is the direction of communication within them. Audiences often follow a top-down approach where companies provide information about themselves through their websites, blogs or social media profiles. Still, they need to receive feedback on what kind of content users find useful or valuable from these sources. In contrast, communities tend to operate more like bottom-up networks where information flows freely from member to member rather than being directed from above by any single person or organization.

Equality of voices

In an audience, everyone has an equal share in the conversation; they can all speak their mind and air their grievances. A community is like a family, where individuals have different roles and responsibilities. Everyone has something to offer, but only some get to make all the decisions.

Relationship-building opportunities

A community is a place where people can build relationships with one another through discussion, sharing and collaboration. In an audience, members don’t necessarily know each other or interact on a personal level outside of their online comments or votes on content.

Goals and targets

An audience is a group of people with a common interest in your brand or business. They aim to engage with your content to learn more about your product or service.

A community is a group of people with shared interests whose goal is to explore these interests together through conversation. In other words, the members of an online community want to connect with other like-minded individuals rather than consume information about your products or services.

Communication channels

An audience is usually large and spread out over different communication channels. For example, a brand might have an email list of thousands of subscribers, but those people don’t necessarily interact with each other or with the brand itself; they’re just there to hear about new products and promotions.

On the other hand, a community is smaller in size but more connected through various platforms like Facebook groups or live events where they can interact with each other and the brand itself. Community members are often more interested in building relationships than just consuming information.


Targeting your content to a community is just as important as choosing the right platform. An audience would focus on getting your point across, while a community would focus more on them listening to and understanding you. If you think of your platform as a community, you will likely begin to create more helpful content that connects with that community and thus results in more engagement.

Social Media Marketing by Glen Huff

Hi, I'm Glen Huff!

Blogger, marketer, and coffee addict. I constantly have my head involved with the inner workings of the internet. I have a love-hate relationship with Social Media, SEO, PHP, and algorithms. With the industry constantly changing, it's hard to know what works.

This blog aims to take my 13 years of marketing experience and give you a clear path to success. My passion is helping business owners thrive online. I hope this blog becomes a valuable resource to you. May your funnels and social media campaigns shower you with leads.

It can be a difficult task to plan social media posts. What should you share with your followers? What will you post today, tomorrow, or the next?

I recently updated my article on this topic. It’s called: 121 Social Media Post Ideas – Never Get Writer’s Block Again! 

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