Creating a community for customers is all about creating deeper, more meaningful relationships between consumers and the brand. Despite being more connected than ever, most people today struggle with isolation. Communities based on common interests give people a place to feel like they belong. Companies can build a community around their brand that both serves the customer and lends a little humanity to their brand.
A good product and a smooth transaction are not enough to inspire customer loyalty. A deeper, more authentic connection must be forged. People are looking for companies that share similar values and make them feel seen. Building a customer community is a growth strategy that increases brand awareness, nurtures leads, and encourages brand loyalty. Since every company’s target audience is different, it isn’t always easy to pinpoint what makes a successful brand community. Here are a few tips to help you start and grow a customer community around your brand.
Before You Start a Community
There are a few steps that must be taken before you start trying to build your brand community. You need to intimately understand your company and target audience before you even begin attracting people.
Establish Your Brand
It is important to establish your brand’s mission, values, and personality. Since you plan to build a customer community, the brand is the core. If you don’t know what your company stands for, no one else will either. Build a rock-solid foundation to build on top of. Take it one step further and be very clear about what your brand’s values are. When they walk away, customers should have a good impression of the brand’s personality and values.
Establish Your Audience
You can’t reach everyone, so figure out who it is that you are reaching out to. Stay with your brand’s mission and from that, develop your target audience. As you learn who your demographic is, you can tailor your brand’s personality even further. This way, you can easily meet the needs and preferences of your audience.
The Content of Your Brand Community
Once you have established your brand and your audience, it is time to consider what kind of content you will be sharing. You also need to consider the tone of your community methods. How will you handle conflict and hot-button issues? How do you want to interact with your audience?
Create Quality Content
Part of drawing an audience into a brand community is offering content that has value to your consumer. Create tutorials, publish articles, host live digital events, and co-create with influencers your audience follows. Encourage people to participate and share their own opinion and perspectives. Create a space that is relevant to your audience.
User Generated Content
Encouraging users to create content is a great way to cultivate participation and grow your brand. Consumers are far more likely to believe another customer’s opinion about a brand. If your audience is producing content surrounding your brand, it is automatically generating new leads. As their friends and followers consume the content, your community expands.
Understand the Benefit of Conflict
While you don’t want comment sections or forums blowing up with huge fights, small conflict enriches community culture. It lets you see your audience’s thought processes about your brand and the things they love or need to be changed. It’s a good idea to have a community manager to ensure the conversations continue to stay respectful and safe for customers.
Let your brand lead by example. It isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing as well. Consumers are more likely to support brands that give back to the community. Contributing and bringing awareness to a cause is more likely to attract a wider audience.
Highlight Everyday Relatable People
Celebrate the voices of your community by highlighting everyday people. While it’s helpful to have celebrities and influencers on your pages, it’s the everyday person that we relate to the most. Co-create content with loyal customers and show your appreciation for your patrons and their support.
Optimize Your Customer Experience with Community Management
Apps like StayTouch improve the brand’s community by assuring your customers that you are there to help when they need it. Connect instantaneously and effortlessly into each other’s networks and create clear communication when necessary. Enjoy an organized calendar, meeting invites, and instant messaging all within a single platform. Learn more about how StayTouch can help you improve your customer experience.