When starting a business, it is important to build an online community, especially if you want your business to succeed. It is important to note however you do not need to build an online community for every single business. However, if your business is particularly B2B or even in some cases B2C it is important to have support from people online. There are a number of reasons as to why you should build an online community, Joe Glover the founder of The Marketing Meetup community stated that some of these reasons are:
- Brings people with the same interests together meaningfully.
- You share an experience with those who have a similar interest to you.
- You can create long term opportunities through human interaction.
How Do You Build An Online Community?
Seems Simple But Pay Attention To Your Branding
When building an online community, you want your social media channels to be clear in both branding and what it is your business is selling. The last thing you want is for people to come on to your social media page and be confused by what it is you sell. The branding of your business should represent your brand relatively well. It makes the most sense to have the same branding through all of your social media pages and website. You want your audiences’ experience visiting your online pages to be seamless. Brand identity is incredibly important if you want to be at the forefront of your audiences’ minds.
Show Your Audience Value
This is important to obtain and keep an online community. People do not tend to become a part of an online community for the sake of it, the brand tends to offer some sort of value that makes it worth their time. Maybe they joined this online community to learn more about your products and services? Or they love the idea of having meaningful discussions related to a topic that is associated with your brand. The majority of the time, people will only stick around and get involved with your band if they are being offered something in return. You want to always add value to your community! How do you do this? Well, you can share useful tips and advice that your audience will get the use out of! Offer discounts and incentives if you can! Encourage your audience to engage with your posts! An important thing to note is to make sure that your audience knows that your brand/ social media space is a safe space for like-minded people. It is important to establish a culture that promotes inclusiveness.
Identify Key Members In Your Online Community
When you begin to develop your community, it is a clever idea to identify the most active members of this community. The reason being is because these members tend to be the ones to start a conversation with themselves or other members of the community. Some members of the community just like to sit in the background and watch everything that goes on. By identifying key advocates and showing your appreciation is a key aspect in making your community thrive. It should be easy enough to identify these members so once you do, give them some sort of reward for being a top member of the community. The idea behind this is to show that the people who do the most in your community, always get the appreciation they deserve.
When Building An Online Community, It Is Important To Be Able To Solve Their Problems
It is important to note, this of course depends on what kind of business you run. People may follow your brand for several reasons whether that is tips and advice, or if they want to be entertained. Whatever is the reason that your audience follows you, should be your core focus. A huge mistake that you can make when it comes to trying to build an online community is that they try to be everything to be relatable to everyone. DO NOT do this. For example, if you are trying to be entertaining, educational, motivational, this can just confuse your followers and thus turn them off which will lead to them unfollowing you. This is the last thing we want when trying to build an online community. Remember: Stick with one thing and do it well. It will benefit you more in the long run.
These are just a few tips when it comes to building an online community. We hope you found this helpful! Read our other blog posts here all about digital marketing, social media marketing, SEO.