The internet has proven to be a very essential instrument for today’s communication and socialization. Be it for work or personal reasons, online communities have helped people go through some rough patches, especially during the pandemic when face to face interactions were limited.
Now that we are slowly going back to the pre-pandemic norms, a number of the online interactions that were maintained for a year or so have remained, with some even thriving more than ever.
Online communities bring together people who would like to share what they know and people who would like to learn more about a certain topic. So if you are running a business looking to find the right people to serve, these online communities are the perfect venue.
How Your Brand Can Benefit from Online Communities
Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, creating and nurturing your own online community can help you grow your business. Here are some of the benefits you can reap by fostering a strong community of brand supporters online.
1. Build a Strong Online Presence
Your content marketing strategy revolves around one goal: to let people know that your business exists. As more and more businesses and consumers turn to the internet as a source of truth when it comes to making purchases, building a strong online presence matters.
By informing your potential customers of the products or services that you offer, you are helping them understand what your brand is about and that you can be included in their selections once they are ready to buy.
This is why many brands invest in building a quality website, maintaining accounts on different social media platforms, moderating forums, or partnering with other brands and influencers. This helps them reach out to more audiences and pull in potential customers.
2. Turn Followers in Brand Evangelists
If you want to build a strong brand, you must give importance to providing strong and reliable customer service. This helps transform your customers’ experience and elevate your position as a brand that truly cares about their consumers.
If you give more people a first hand experience of the topnotch service that you provide, you can turn them into brand supporters who will spread the word about the kind of business that you operate.
Your customer service will say a lot about your company, and in today’s virtual world, a great experience can be your ticket to better brand exposure just by words of mouth from the customers that you served with genuine care.
3. Educate the General Public About Your Brand
Another way to build trust for your brand is by becoming a reliable source of knowledge. This is one reason why a lot of industry experts put a lot of effort in creating knowledge hubs, producing how-to articles and videos and partnering with industry experts.
By providing your online followers with informative resources, you are placing your brand as an industry expert that they can turn to for guidance based on the kind of business that you provide.
For example, if you’re a B2B company that offers a project management software, by creating a blog that provides project management tips and best practices, you get to situate your brand as a reliable resource when it comes to project management.
4. Have a Great Source of Consumer Data
Another benefit of having a thriving online community surrounding your brand is that you can use it as a source of actionable insights. You can invite your brand supporters to join surveys in exchange for rewards (such as free premium access to your software, exclusive access to certain content and products, free invites to upcoming conferences and gatherings, etc.).
Customer survey data is a goldmine of information, which you can make use of in a variety of ways. These survey results can help you improve and transform your brand, your products and services, or even release a whitepaper that can further bolster and promote your brand as an industry expert. It can help you target specific pain points and truly provide your consumers with products and services that will actually target their needs.
5. Gather and Nurture Leads
The most important benefit of fostering a strong online community is that you can eventually transform your followers into buyers. Marketing is a crucial part of a sales process as this is what serves your brand in front of potential customers.
With a strong online community already supporting your brand, it’s a lot easier to identify your customer personas and work up a strategy that will help you turn them into buyers, or better yet, loyal customers who will always consider your brand above other competitors.
How to Build a Strong Online Community for Your Brand
It takes a collection of efforts to build a strong online presence and an online community that backs your brand. Here are some steps that you can take to begin your journey to building a strong brand following online.
1. Create and Maintain Social Media Accounts for Your Brand.
Social media has become a very important marketing channel for many businesses. If you want to become a constant presence online, social media is a key venue when it comes to sharing branded content daily. But it’s not just about promoting your brand on all social media channels. You also have to be strategic with where, what and when you choose to share your content.
You must first have a clear understanding of your customer personas and learn what channels you can reach out to them. Additionally, you should also pay attention to what content you share performs better and when. Once you have these insights, it will be a lot easier for you to plan and schedule your social media posts regularly, then gain followers which you can then convert to potential customers.
2. Build Help Forums and Social Media Groups.
Forums are some of the best places to build a strong online community. These online discussion boards allow users to share their knowledge, interact with their peers and build social connections that can go beyond just supporting a brand, but also about promoting their own expertise on certain topics that are relevant to your brand.
Forums can help your brand grow as it allows users to share their first-hand experience of using your product or service. Additionally, it helps foster a sense of belongingness which can also build brand loyalty.
3. Share Behind-The-Scenes Stories of Your Brand.
Another great way to share the human side of your brand is by giving your followers a glimpse of what happens within your business that people do not normally witness. It can be a video about how you would usually pack your products with utmost care, the tedious process of how your team chose your product design, a day in the life of your CEO or any senior manager, and many others. It can also be a collaboration about a partner brand, an influencer or famous personality who supports your brand.
Sharing these behind-the-scenes content can help make your users feel that they are part of the journey towards your brand’s success. You can choose to share such content on your own blog or social media and see to it that it speaks about your brand and why you want your followers to see this content. This way, they know that you value their involvement and trust towards your brand.
4. Build a Genuine Presence That Reflects What Your Brand Is All About.
Your online presence has a lot of potential when it comes to helping your brand grow. By being genuine about what you share and by offering content that benefits your followers, you get to show the general public that you are more than just another business. You should show them that you are not just another business looking to earn, and that your goal is to.
It is very important that you build a genuine presence in today’s world given the social environment that we have nowadays. People will be looking at your brand and will be judging you based on what you share, so it’s important that you be mindful of what you publish online.
Every content that you share should reflect the values your brand operates on. You can also use your platform to promote awareness and support social causes that are relevant to your brand. This way, it will be easier for you to back it with action.
Build and Strengthen Your Brand’s Following
Building a real and strong connection with your brand’s followers is not something that happens overnight. It requires constant effort and a proper strategic approach. With the right set of tools, cohesive marketing and customer support teams, plus the right blend of content and social media marketing strategy, you can improve your brand’s online presence and transform how the general public perceives your brand.
At TKKIE, we understand how important it is to have the right virtual tools that will support your efforts in building a strong online presence. Contact us today to book for technology adoption sessions and discovery workshops to help you gain and use actionable insights that can transform your daily operations.