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Building an Online Community Around Your Brand

A Step-by-Step Guide

Traditional marketing will always be relevant, but there is a recent trend toward cultivating a culture around your brand to help it blossom. Humans have a primitive desire to be part of a group, so creating opportunity for a community to form around your brand can open doors.

Face-to-face interaction is important, but an online extension of that interaction can help you reach new audiences while strengthening the bond with your current audience.

For the greatest chance of success, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

1. Explain

On every social media platform you use, you should write a good description to clearly outline what your brand does and the purpose of your online community. It’s also crucial to lay out some ground rules for any user-generated content, such as discouraging foul language, hurtful posts, spamming or self-promotion.

The goal should be for everyone — especially your target audience– to feel welcome and comfortable engaging with others in the group. You also that you’re active on the best social platforms for your intended audience. For example, Twitter has a younger audience than Facebook.

 

2. Engage

When you first cultivate your community, you may need to put more energy into engagement. Ask questions that your audience can answer, post a relevant article for them to read, and invite specific people to join the group. In addition to connecting with your brand, the community members will have the opportunity to connect with each other to share ideas and provide support.

Even when the community is flourishing, you should still maintain control. Direct the conversation toward relevant topics and monitor posts for anyone breaking your ground rules. Furthermore, if someone asks a question directly to your brand (through Twitter, Facebook, etc.), it’s crucial that you respond to them promptly. Whether the question/comment is positive or negative, you should make it known that you care about your audience and their feedback.

 

3. Be Consistent

Consistently providing value to your audience is crucial for your community’s overall success. You could do a weekly blog post, monthly podcast, regularly engage your audience, etc. When your audience is happy, they’ll be less likely to seek similar groups to fulfil their needs.

If you build a solid community and consistently engage them, you have the foundation for a successful online presence. In addition to increasing awareness, a strong community can help your audience to feel more connected to your brand, helping your business’s long-term goals.  

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