Nowadays, we live in a world where everyone is always connected and in touch with each other. Companies have realized the value of building online communities and try to bring people with shared values and common interests together for a purpose.
This article will introduce you to the five reasons you should focus more on community building to help with your business’s growth.
The value of building an online community
When you think of online communities’ value, the uniting nature of groups comes to one’s mind. But there are many more valuable aspects of a community. Usually, we divide online communities into two different types. On one side, we have shared social communities, mostly public, with limited control over the narrative and the data collected. These include public social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Brands use this type of community mostly for marketing purposes, such as building brand awareness. Social communities are primarily useful in identifying broad consumer trends. On the other side, there are branded communities, a dedicated community built by someone on their website, on meetup platforms such as the Zürich Growth Hacking Meetup, or generally secured membership areas with a login function.
From a business perspective, users can help their peers solve problems and answer questions. While brands can grow beyond their branded websites and social platforms, they will see direct benefits from engaging with their customer base.
Five reasons for starting an online community for your brand
1. Get to know your customers
The best way to improve your customer experience is if you know your customers and their background well. Creating an online community for your brand allows you to fully understand the customer experience and get feedback about the things they do and don’t like. There are multiple ways for businesses to engage with their customers, either with product reviews, feedback forms, or social media platforms. Community members usually have invested time, effort, and money in brands. That makes their feedback very useful in helping you understand what your customers value about your brand.
2. Increase brand awareness
Brand awareness is incredibly important for business success and helps the consumer trust your brand more. Once the consumer bonds to your brand, they are more likely to repeat purchases and turn into loyal customers. Brand awareness associates action and products with brands, and subconsciously encourages us to use branded terms. By creating free content, you can increase your brand awareness and authentically connect with your community while sharing your brand name.
3. Product feedback
Communities not only help your brand grow, but they can be the most valuable and honest source of feedback for your product. Traditional product marketing research, such as surveys, aren’t as reliable as direct feedback from community members. Online communities give brands a deeper understanding of customer needs and desires. The reviews and comments are seen as more authentic, and having an actively engaging community that creates content around your company’s product is crucial.
4. Foster Brand Loyalty
Keeping your current customers happy and engaged is just as important as gaining new ones. Communities are crucial to brand loyalty, awareness, and overall success. The more time and money a customer invests in a product or service, the more they will end up appreciating it, and people will usually spend more on a brand they are loyal to.
5. Increase engagement
To show your community that you value your customers, you can share user-generated content with them. It’s one of the easiest and most effective things you can do when building a community online. Before you start sharing content, you can look at the demographics, average view time, social shares, and engagement to determine what kind of content you should create. To continuously grow your brand, you need to regularly engage with your following by replying to comments, following people back, answering people’s questions, and sharing their content with others. Sometimes it also helps to offer people that are following you something for free. Giveaways are an excellent way to do this and keep your community interested and engaged.
Ready to get started?
A healthy and active community helps build loyalty and engagement for your business, and users who value your products are more likely to get others involved. For more information about our community building services and consultancy, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.