You’re reading this because you’ve been meaning to build a community around your brand, but numerous things are holding you back. Or maybe you’ve already tried to build a community, but that ended in a fiasco due to a lack of participation and engagement of community members.
Hang on then we will discuss all the crucial tips that are needed for building a strong brand community which you really need to know in order to be more engaging and provide you with a robust way of building a brand community.
But before we dive into it, let’s discuss a bit about brand community and its benefits that will help you clear the air and be more confident about the basics of building a brand community.
“A brand community is a group of customers who are brought together by their common interest in a brand’s products & services”
A brand community showcases brand loyalty at its best. It provides a platform for all loyal customers to interact with one another and the brand. These customers engage with your brand’s content on a deep level and help in building a strong image of your brand in the market.
It could be anything from a Facebook group to an online forum on the brand’s website. A brand community is different from brand awareness. They are just not like general customers. They are the people who follow the entire brand’s feeds on social media, share their views about your products with others and serve as a powerful tool to spread the word about what your company offers.
There are numerous benefits of building a strong brand community. If done precisely, you can turn it into an exceptionally powerful tool, which can help the brand in various ways. Building a loyal customer base online is the sole purpose of many online communities; also there are some key benefits from which you can make the most out of it. Some of them are as follows:
Building an interactive online brand presence is a key to growing engagement. The bigger your community, the more your brand will be visible to people. The more people will talk about it, the more people will know you. With this, more will be the probability that they will become your customers.
These are the loyal customers who recommend and advertise your brand for free. In this digital era, a brand is no longer what companies showcase to people, but instead, what people convey to other individuals. That’s why these days innovative companies are investing in building communities, not customers. No matter how much technology makes things faster and easier, nothing can beat human interaction — and that is exactly what brand advocates do for a brand.
Customers appreciate being part of a community. They feel more connected when they get a place to express their thoughts and opinions. Loyalty is emotional and irrational and leads to customers feeling like they’re part of an exclusive group. This feeling of being special makes them your brand supporter. They contribute to building your brand image by telling other people about your company and their experiences with your brand. This eventually escalates retention and differentiates your brand from your competitors.
Online communities are a new source of authentic information. It provides space for people to put forward their thoughts about your brand in the form of reviews, comments, Q & As that are used as social proofs to attract new customers. For all the customers, reviews are the most valuable factor to judge a brand before making a purchase.
So finally here are the top 5 tips that can help towards building an online community around your brand.
1. Determine the Purpose and Goal:
Everything starts with a purpose. Communities generally aren't self-emergent; they need a kind of catalyst to get them going. So, before building a community it’s significant to know what you want your community to achieve. Do you just want people to be able to ask questions? Or do you actually want them to be able to answer the questions of other customers as well in order to make everyone in the community communicate with one another? Or, In order to provide a rock-solid foundation for a brand community, the purpose and goal of a community should be well established. Establishing a goal around your brand community gives an impetus in the form of a purpose to the community and a reason to join and participate.
2- Listen to your Community Members:
Listening to your community members is the foundation of community development as it builds trust and relationships, helps to collect genuine feedback, uncovers issues and encourages people to come together. Also, When something does go wrong, one just needs to reach out personally to show vocal or disgruntled users that the admin does care, and is listening to and working to solve the problem.
3. Be responsive / Maintain Consistency in Engagement:
Members' engagement and participation is a key to making a community successful. You have to find different ways to make this happen. Like - You can motivate members to put forth their opinions about your brand or services or can listen to their thoughts on your recent developments. You just need to make your members feel that the brand is attentive and listening to all the members to instil a sense of belonging. For that, you can reply to their questions, suggestions, or opinions to keep them motivated to contribute to the community. Be authentic and creative. Listen to the concerns of the community and then talk about issues that matter to them.
4. Create clear community guidelines:
Rules are a set of guidelines that are created in communities and are followed by all as a standard. It is essential for an admin to define how he expects members to behave in the community. If you develop rules and norms ahead of time this will minimize the chances of inappropriate activities. People must feel that they are a part of a sensible group where they can impart their knowledge and can share their opinions without being suppressed. If someone posts something that is irrelevant or objectionable then they can be penalized by the admin or moderator as per the guidelines. Adequate and justified rules are important for improving community engagement and keeping community members happy. Basically, rules bind the members to respect each other’s opinions and maintain decorum within the community for it to thrive.
5. Choose the right community platform:
Before you can start reaping the benefits of having your own community, you must choose the right online community platform for your business. Choosing the right platform is not a herculean task. To do so, you should begin by setting clear goals of what you want to achieve so you can find a platform that meets your needs. There are various options available on the internet Like- Facebook, Circle, UUKI, Tribe etc. By choosing the best online community platform for your brand, you can gain insight into your customer’s perspectives and concerns, find a way to serve them better and drive your business in the right direction.
Gone are the days when branding was done only by informing potential customers about the product or services. Nowadays branding is done by actively engaging your customers in the process of branding. Making them feel important and being valued are the key aspects that one needs to keep in mind while going to build a branding community. We hope this will assist you in creating your own online branding community for your brand to grow by leaps and bounds.