You don’t need to spend all your money on marketing and advertising to build your market. Instead, unlock the secret to organic growth and increased social engagement by building a community around your brand. Community is the cornerstone of success for any growth strategy.
We are talking about building a brand community, not brand awareness.
Your brand community contains people with an emotional connection to your brand. The more there are, the stronger the community. Seventy percent of marketers say that building a community is more important than direct sales.
Before you build a community, make sure you have defined your brand identity. You need to know who you are before sharing that with others honestly and authentically.
As RuPaul iconically says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
If you stand for nothing, what will you fall for?
Define your brand and what you stand for based on your value proposition. Sharing values with your community gives those involved a sense of belonging and identity.
- Show behind the scenes of your company.
- Share your teams’ stories.
- Develop a social mission
- The proof is in the pudding – share your employees on that volunteer trip you had, or celebrate success in raising money for a cause.
- Share content that enhances the lives of customers
- Understand your shared purpose
Choose your preferred stage
Choose how to connect with your community. Think of it this way; your community already exists. You just need to find them. Understand your target audience and look into where they hang out. Is it Instagram? Facebook? There are multiple options to look into.
What to consider when choosing a platform
- How your audience prefers to engage
- What features does your brand need?
- What’s your technical skill level?
- Your budget
- The size of your audience
Ideas for locations to build an online community
- Choose your preferred social media platforms.
- Create a private Facebook group.
- Build a membership site on your own.
- Start a Slack workspace.
Create an exclusive space where your audience can interact with each other and your brand.
Make that shit personal
Make your community feel valuable to your brand by engaging with them personally. Your brand means a lot to you (I assume?). Prove to your community that it can mean a lot to them as well. Social Media especially is a fabulous way to offer personalized communication and increase customer loyalty. Keep these in mind when designing a social media strategy:
- Respond to all comments and messages as quickly as you can.
- Ask for their opinions and implement them.
- Test new product mock-ups.
- Source customer reviews and testimonials.
- Offer customer service via direct messaging.
- Create polls and ask questions to keep customers involved.
Most importantly, be sincere. When your content feels forces, people pick up on that right away, and it can be a major turnoff. But, on the other hand, being authentic builds trust within your community.
Is it worth it? Let me work it
Make it worth it to be involved with your brand by giving more than you receive. Here are a few examples of exclusive and valuable things you can offer your customers:
- Post stories that only your followers can see with discount codes or special offers.
- VIP rewards programs.
- Customer referral programs.
- Create events and social gatherings exclusive to your followers.
- Provide helpful resources.
- Host giveaways on your page.
- Give a select group of top users access to an extra set of benefits.
Celebrate their involvement
Everyone loves to feel special, and an easy way to evoke that emotion from your followers is to recognize and thank them for their involvement with your brand. Showcase how amazing your community and you are bound to attract more members. Not to mention, word-of-mouth marketing is one of the best forms of marketing, and when you share customer success, they will, too, proving the quality of your brand. Take a look at these examples:
- Share customer-submitted videos.
- Host a photo competition and repost your favorite ones
- Reward your followers when you reach social media milestones (Such as getting 10k followers, etc.)
- Host a giveaway as a thank you (this can also be an excellent way to increase your following by asking people to tag their friends to enter)
- Share client stories
Reward your followers’ personal investment in your brand. The more attached they are, the more they will be encouraged to support you in any way they can. Take care of your clients, and the word will spread.
It won’t happen overnight – but we can speed up the process
Take your time. There will always be an awkward phase as you begin to feel out the community and encourage conversations. Don’t worry. Consistency is critical, and eventually, the conversation will evolve into an excited community that interacts with your brand and each other.
Once you have an established community, no matter how small, you have built yourself a strong foundation for continued growth. Nice! The next step is to expand that community with a viral campaign everyone can get excited about.
Nowadays, designs and executes organic, no-bullshit campaigns that we guarantee will go viral. Now that is something your community can get excited about! Everyone loves to be the first person to discover the next best thing.