With the economy quickly reopening, it is more important now than ever to build a strong brand community. After more than a year of lockdowns, limited capacities and social isolation, people are craving a deep sense of comradery. For businesses, strong brand communities both online and in-person are critical to success.
According to Forbes, word-of-mouth is still the most effective way to raise awareness and grow a business. In fact, people are 84 percent more likely to trust a referral or recommendation if it comes from a friend, meaning the importance of a brand community is at an all-time high. This powerful business tool not only creates brand awareness but also offers the best of brand loyalty. People within your community are dedicated to buying from your company, reading your content and sharing your products or services with their friends or family. Read on to learn our top tips for building a digital community around your brand.
YOUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS ALREADY EXIST, NOW GO FIND THEM
According to Sprout Social, it’s important to understand your brand community members already exist online. There’s no one-size-fits-all method, but with the right strategy, your brand can find and connect with existing communities to build platforms where their members interact with each other.
DEFINE YOUR BRAND
Once you’ve rallied your community members together, you can build a digital space specifically for them by defining your brand. The more you showcase what your brand is all about, from your mission statement to the company’s vision, personality, who you’re trying to serve and what you want to be known for, the more you’ll be able to recruit additional ideal community members.
SET GOALS FOR YOURSELF
Brand communities are wonderful for helping companies make customer-driven decisions based on direct feedback from their most loyal followers. However, it’s crucial to set specific goals for your community to keep members engaged. Placing too much emphasis on company growth or sales can result in fans who built the community in the first place feel ignored or left behind. To help guide yourself in the right direction, ask yourself questions such as: What is the purpose behind the community? How are we thanking community members so they stay engaged? What metrics should we track? How will this community help our company reach its marketing, customer service and sales goals?
According to inc.com, it’s crucial to incentivize your early community members. Your earliest contributors will be the hardest to acquire since there won’t be a community already in place to attract them. Offer some other incentives to encourage their participation. For example, you could offer them discounts, entries for drawings or more one-on-one interactions and guidance from your team members. Go out of your way to define your goals, make your earliest contributors happy and invest in acquiring more members.
FIND THE RIGHT PLATFORM FOR YOUR COMMUNITY
Social media can be a great place to host your community. From building various business profiles to creating groups, social media is ideal for communicating with your digital audience, hosting Q&A sessions or having your community members vote on potential new products. According to Sprout Social, rewards or affiliate programs are also excellent ways to build loyalty within your brand community by giving back to your most loyal customers.
A robust brand community can not only create ample user-generated content (UGC), but also be valuable for your content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and overall inbound marketing strategy, according to inc.com. Depending on the popularity of your community’s social media pages or forums, a strong community can also lead to a variety of other public relations opportunities.
With a team comprising digital marketing, social media and public relations experts, The Vox Agency is here to help you strategically create a loyal brand community online. Click here to get in touch.