Community building is often an afterthought, or sometimes an extension of social media marketing.
However, building an online community is all the more relevant today. In 2020, online communities saw an average ROI of 4,530%!
Community building is no longer limited only to Facebook groups.
Your brand community is a chance to tell your story like nowhere else, while harnessing the power of togetherness.
Why communities are important:
Save on Acquisition Costs
According to BigCommerce, 92% of people trust recommendations they receive via word-of-mouth.
Communities are a great place for your potential users to hang out and see what the current users are saying about your product.
The comments, questions and feedback can be used to craft paid ads, landing pages, website changes and any other marketing materials.
Get Active Product Feedback
Communities can be a place where users discuss what they like (and what they don’t) in your products.
This is a great way to capture the general sentiment of users and use that feedback to serve them better.
When developing a new product/service, talk with your community and understand exactly what they’re wanting.
Engagement and Support
Communities provide an opportunity to keep the warm and fuzzies alive long after a customer has made a purchase.
It’s a non-intrusive way of engaging with your customers, helping them discover more products, and solving any of their queries in real-time.
As the owner of your group, it’s crucial to actively engage with members!
A ton of brands create groups but never put the time and effort in to see the true value of it.
4 Ways to Build an Online Community
1. Find out what your customers care about
Communities are about engaging your current and prospective customers.
It’s important to understand your audience and build a community around something they care deeply about.
For example, according to Nielson, 66% of customers today are willing to spend more on products/brands that are sustainable.
Seventh Generation is an excellent example of building a community around sustainability and turning customers into advocates.
2. Treat communities as an extension of your brand messaging
A community is an excellent medium for you to extend your brand’s messaging beyond traditional channels.
If you solve a particular problem or serve a specific segment, consider building a community around that greater purpose for your brand.
For example, WeWood – a company that makes watches out of recycled wood – has an online community called Plant a Tree.
They partner with non-profit organizations to achieve this.
Not only does this underline their environmentally-conscious messaging, but it also helps create a positive association with the brand.
3. Align with a cause or movement
Many brands build their online communities around supporting a cause or a movement.
The cause you choose largely depends on what resonates with your audience the most.
Supporting a cause shows customers that you understand their passions and care about them.
See Love Your Melon, for example. It’s an apparel brand with a community that supports children battling cancer.
4. Make the community a sub-brand
An online community is an entire brand in itself.
It can be as simple as creating a unique hashtag for your community, along with dedicated social media channels and even newsletters.
Passion Planner does a great job with their Facebook community and the hashtag #PashFam that extends into a newsletter with special offers, free downloads, and exclusive tips.
What are you doing to build a community that’s unique to your brand and customers?
Let us know by replying to this email! We may feature you in a future newsletter!