If you’re trying to open a new business, then you should be aware that competition is fierce, no matter what industry you’re in. You have to think of certain ways to effectively market your brand so you can attract the right audience.
Community building is one of the most effective marketing strategies as it can help you show your audience that you are committed to establishing real connections and relationships with the community that you are trying to serve.
Today, building a community around a business is mostly done through online channels. This is especially helpful ever since the Coronavirus pandemic began as most people cannot go out of their house. Some of the most common channels used for community building include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and more. These social media platforms allow business owners and marketing leaders to interact with their audience, which then helps build a sense of community.
Today, we will be discussing why you should work on building a community around your business and how to do it.
Examples of Brands That Built Communities Around Their Brand
Let’s take a look at some of the brands that were able to successfully build a community around their businesses.
Hydro Flask is a brand for water bottles that has focused on building a community. They share original stories from their customers that they know other people could relate to. The company also shares profiles on their page, as long as they are related to their brand – which is mostly about adventure, travel, and basically enjoying life in general.
This helps Hydro Flask build a community around their brand by just reposting and sharing content that can help connect their audience together. This encourages them to talk to each other and with the brand itself.
Wildbird is a baby sling brand which means that it caters mostly to new parents. One of the ways it focuses on community building is by using the hashtag #mywildbird in all of their posts. They also encourage their customers to use the hashtag when posting about the brand so everybody can easily see the posts if they want to know more about the company.
The company also has a closed Facebook group where people can comment, like, and share photos and posts regarding their Wildbird experience.
Love Your Melon
Love Your Melon is a brand that caters to hat lovers. As a way to help their community, they make sure to donate hats to children who are battling cancer. They also provide financial help to non-profit organizations that support families and children who are in need.
According to them, they donate fifty percent of their profit from the Love Your Melon product sales to their non-profit partners, which handles the fight against pediatric cancer.
This is truly one of the greatest ways to reach out to the community, as not only does it help knit the community together, but it also helps people who are in need.
Yellow Leaf Hammocks
Yellow Leaf Hammocks’ mission is to help mothers and women find jobs through weaving hammocks. They help train and hire them so these women have something to do during their spare time.
They work directly with families and mothers so they can have financial stability within their reach. This way, they are able to work closely with the community while also helping their audience get out of systemic poverty.
Why Community Building Should Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy
Now that we have discussed some examples of community building within a brand, it’s time to talk about why you should focus on this as one of your main marketing strategies.
It’s Cost-Effective Yet Impactful
Community building includes webinars, live streams, engagement, and social listening. All of these are mostly cost-effective marketing strategies, but they can have a lasting impact on your audience, as long as you do it right.
However, you have to remember that community building is not done overnight. It takes time to gain your customers’ trust, and you have to be patient. Working on it is worth it though as building connections with your community will help ensure continued growth.
It is basically more cost-effective to directly reach out to your audience than to bombard them with ads that they would most likely ignore.
It Helps to Improve Your Customer Service
If you ever experience something negative regarding your brand, then try to turn it into something positive. For example, if one of your products receives backlash from some of your customers, then address it right away. Do so in a humble and honest manner so your audience will see how concerned and genuine you are regarding the matter.
Most people will turn to their community when dealing with these issues. They’d likely look for reviews and similar experiences, and they will be encouraged to communicate with other customers dealing with the same issues.
Make sure to talk to your community management team and ask them to reach out to the affected customers as soon as possible. Release a statement owning up to the brand’s shortcomings so people will see how humble you are as a brand owner and that you are not hiding anything from them. Let them know that their issues will be addressed ASAP and that your customer service team will be in touch with them.
It Allows You to Earn Loyalty and Trust
Just as we have mentioned, being transparent and honest with your customers will help you gain their loyalty and trust. You have to be your most authentic self if you want people to follow you and your brand.
As a business owner, you have to be open to directly communicating with your audience. You don’t have to reply to every single tweet or Facebook comment, but interacting with your customers every once in a while will show them that you really care for the community.
Make it a point to sit down for a couple of hours a day and communicate with the community. Answer their questions and be honest about it. Not only is this cost-efficient, but it is also a great community management strategy.
Increases the Rate of Returning Customers
Earning the trust and loyalty of your customers means that the likelihood of repeat purchases is high. Since they are already familiar with your brand and they fully trust your company, they won’t be looking for a new brand to purchase these products or services from.
This way, you will be able to save money by solely focusing on customer retention and satisfaction. You have to make sure that you take good care of your current customers as they can also easily spread the word – good or bad – to the whole community.
Make sure that your community management team is always looking out for your current and repeat customers as these people can be loyal customers for life.
It Gives Your Brand a “Personality”
The last thing that you want is to sound like a robot. You’d want your brand to have a “personality” so people can easily relate to it. Your customers will see how you portray
yourself and your brand through community management. They will see and hear your tone through your posts, and this will help them decide whether they connect with your brand or not.
Giving your brand a personality is a way to demonstrate your ethics and values. Most people are concerned with the brands that they are associating themselves with, which is why you want to make sure that you are being transparent with the community.
It’s an Opportunity to Become a Role Model in Your Industry
Once you have earned your customers’ trust and loyalty, most of them will likely look up to you as a leader in the industry. People will appreciate you being active in the community and thus, they will see you as a trusted role model.
However, you have to try and be innovative when it comes to your products, services, and marketing strategies. Listen to what the community has to say and try to tweak your actions around their suggestions. The more you listen, the more your industry will see you as a leader.
It Gives You a Chance to Get to Know Your Target Market a Lot Better
You have to understand and know your target market before you can be successful in the industry. Proper community management and community building will give you a chance to directly communicate with your audience.
Try handing out surveys to your customers. This can also be done online, especially since the pandemic is not going anywhere. Try asking your customers about their preferences and take these into account. This will also help you get to know them on a personal level so you can tailor your products and services to them and their likes and dislikes.
Community building and management are much easier to do for smaller businesses and start-ups. However, with the right strategies in place, even big companies can do this. Reaching out to your customers is undoubtedly a great way to communicate with your customers and build a better brand for them to enjoy.