The customers’ way of supporting brands has changed over the years. Instead of looking only for the product with the best quality, they now prefer brands that share their values and build meaningful connections with them. This is why starting and growing an online community is important.
An online community is a group of users interacting with one another using online platforms, like social media and forums. Building one can generate as much as 6,469% ROI. It can also improve brand perception, increase brand loyalty, and establish an authentic relationship with customers. Here are tips for establishing an online community:
1. Set Goals
Building an online community seems straightforward. However, just like any marketing strategy, identifying what the brand wants to achieve is necessary. Planning is vital to get the desired results. For this reason, it’s important to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals.
When determining goals, the company must consider what the community needs from them. These goals will help the company build authentic connections, raise brand awareness, and boost sales and customer satisfaction. In other words, they serve as the company’s roadmap for success.
2. Identify the Users’ Needs
With multiple communities available online, standing out can be challenging. Thankfully, a company can gain a competitive advantage by ensuring its users get something out of the online community.
People get encouraged to join an online community to learn new things, gain exposure, or achieve a sense of belonging. This means companies need to create an active community that benefits their users and avoid focusing only on advertising or selling products. They must focus instead on using their community as a platform for building authentic relationships with their users. One way to achieve this is to create content that educates and interests viewers.
3. Choose the Right Platform
An online community can be built by creating a Facebook group, using another social media platform, or making its own forum. The right platform to be used depends on which app or website the target audience already uses.
Considering the company’s goals is also essential. Choosing social media can be convenient, but it might not be the best choice if the company prioritizes having more control over analytics, data, and the online community’s members.
4. Create Community Guidelines
Every online community needs clear guidelines and moderators. Otherwise, the community can be mismanaged. This happens when users can post whatever they want, including content that doesn’t reflect the company’s values and the community’s expectations. As a result, the community can be filled with spam.
5. Set Up the Online Community
When it’s time to launch the online community, the company must create it on its chosen platform. This stage involves personalizing the platform to ensure it reflects the brand, posting content, welcoming new members, and assigning staff to be moderators or community managers.
Nurturing a successful online community is key to driving innovation, generating a great ROI, and meeting other business goals. Most importantly, it effectively gathers customers with a strong emotional connection to a brand and encourages them to have fun while engaging with a brand. To get started with establishing an online community, partner with a reputable marketing agency.
New Digital is a digital marketing agency that helps small and medium-sized businesses generate leads and sales and raise brand awareness through SEO, Facebook ads, Google Ads, PPC, and CRO. Contact us to see what we can do for you!