Brands that foster community clearly care about their customers
“Think about how often you see brands shouting their messages at their audience. No engagement, no context, no conversation.Those brands look spammy and self-centered, not exactly trustworthy.”
Brands that foster community on the other hand clearly care about their customers. They converse with their customers, sometimes even one-on-one. They want to learn more about their interests, needs, and behaviors. They want to solve their customer’s problems.
As a result, their customers care about them and what they have to say in return. They become loyal to these brands
So where do you even begin? Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is any community. Community building is an investment. It’s genuinely a long game, however, this does not imply that the procedure is difficult.
Here’s how to start building your community (that loves you) one brick at a time.
1. Define the aim and purpose of the community.
This is the first step in creating an online community, and without it, you won't be able to move ahead. People will not comprehend why they should join your community if it lacks a purpose. Your community provides something to its members; the question is, what kind of experience does it provide to its customers?
2. Community stakeholders: How to identify & engage
Your community should be as well-organized as your company. You want team members devoted to certain duties in your community, just as you have CEOs, managers, and supervisors in your firm. The function of each team member in your business will determine which jobs they accomplish in your community.
3. Choose a platform for your community.
You need to find a home for your purpose now that you've discovered it. "How many people do I want to expand this community to?" is a critical question to ask yourself right now. For eg. Create a WhatsApp group chat, a Telegram group, or an Instagram group DM if you want to build a 10-person community. But you should consider alternative big platforms, such as Pensil, Reddit or a Facebook group, if you want to build a community of 100,000 or more individuals. Nobody wants to be in a 100,000-person group chat.
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Once you know how many individuals you'll need in your community, you may pick between these types of community platforms. The right platform for your online community depends on your product and market size. We created this great chart that visualizes the 5 ways to create a $100M company, which helps you to understand how to find the right platform.
“The cheaper the product, the more customers you need”. There is a tendency that cheaper products suit bigger markets and vice versa. Cheaper products with more users benefit from network effects and user interaction, both of which are fostered through community-like features.
Platforms that are owned by the community & matches your brand (Best) Websites with their own login and password are known as owned community platforms; also supports social login & can be tuned to your product sign up. Community content also contributes to your website SEO so its a great help to build community on these platform. (Eg. Pensil, Circle, Tribe etc)
Community platforms that are available for free Social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, and messaging applications like Telegram and WhatsApp are examples of free community platforms. They're websites where your community members (and you) may sign up for a free account and then operate their own micro-community within the bigger platform.
4. Create member persona.
Your objective is to attract people of your target demographic to your community. Your customer persona should be mirrored in your member persona, and it should answer the question: Who is this community serving?
5. Once you've determined who your ideal member is, you should consider the following questions:
6. This is your member persona, and it will guide the copy you use to persuade people to join your community.
7. Create a set of rules and guidelines.
While your community exists to serve its members, it does not imply they have complete control over the rules. Show them the ground rules and standards for entrance before they become official members, and have them commit to follow them. Tell them that if they don't, they'll be kicked out of the group.
Eg. Members are not permitted to speak adversely to one another, swearing is not allowed, and members are not allowed to hawk their own items inside the group, etc
8. Create a community
You've established the goal of your community, the member persona, and the ground rules that all members must adhere to. It's now time to bring this community to life and put it up on your preferred platform.
Persistence was key, and she refused to back down because she knew that community was the answer to so many questions that the organization had. “This change has full-on skyrocketed our community. This is a community builder’s dream. Truthfully, the number one thing that our community members have in common is the product. They all want a strong say in what the product does and how it functions. Now they have that say with community." -Erica Kuhl
Make the first community categories. Your community can be organized as a single huge forum or as a series of sub forums. For instance, you might create a travel forum and then organize topics by place (Paris, Rome, Berlin, etc.). If your community is geared at company owners, your categories may include Accounting, Marketing, Automation, and Human Resources, among others.
You may establish categories within your community based on your items, highlighting how they're a perfect answer to a community member's difficulties. This may also help you figure out which members of the community engage with certain categories the most, and what items would be ideal for them.
Review the member sign-in procedure.
Your members' sign-in procedure, like your transaction process, should be simple and convenient.
9. Promote your community.
Your community is live, and now it's time to entice others to join. It's the same as advertising a product when it comes to promoting your community. You'll be demonstrating why people want to be a part of this group by emphasising the problem that the community addresses.
Collaborate with influencers - By collaborating with influencers, you may market your community to their audience. The influencer should have a group of individuals that are similar to your ideal member, and they should already be paying attention to them. This is a more efficient technique of locating your target member than running paid traffic campaigns, retargeting to people, and hoping for enough conversions to pay your acquisition costs.
Invite your contacts - Invite those you know who could be interested in becoming a member of this group? Your contacts comprise a group of people who all have one thing in common. They will be able to spread the news about your community to their friends and so on if you inform them about it. Through spontaneous networking, your web of target members just grown.
A referral scheme is available - Referral schemes reward users for bringing new members into your community. Your incentives might include a free product, a discount voucher, a prize (such as a new laptop), and so on. This is similar to your contact list in that your present community members may know individuals who would like to join as well. All you have to do now is persuade them to help you spread the news.
Make community a part of your marketing approach - Your community is just as much of a product as the main item you offer. It might be the product people buy before or after your primary product, depending on who your community is for. Find out where your audience visits your community along the buyer's journey, and use that information into your marketing approach.
“Always make it about the people. Even if you have intentions to use your group to build awareness around your brand or sell your products, that cannot be your primary goal with building community. Being overly promotional or sales driven feels inauthentic and will likely push members away.
Email two of your most engaged customers or readers today and ask them if they’d find value out of interacting with each other. Make an intro and see what comes from it.
Building a Community is HARD business so let us help you from falling into these common #EpicFail potholes. If you build it (right), users will come. Avoid deadly sins while building community and you will be fine.
Create authentic community experiences where customers/users are engaged and empowered.