In today’s society, the use of technology-based communication platforms has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Social media brought a radical global change in terms of connectivity, communication, and instantaneous access to information. Social technology has also revolutionized the way businesses operate – from planning, managing, marketing, advertising, rendering customer services and everything in between.
For the past couple of decades, entrepreneurs and marketers are continuously improving and updating their marketing strategies in the face of rapid technological advancements, growth, and evolution of social media. Businesses which were solely dependent upon product-centric approaches have slowly shifted towards a customer-centric strategy, and now to a more customer community-based approach.
Among these new strategies is online community building and management.
What is an online community?
Creating and actively nurturing an online community, such as a Facebook Group, has become increasingly popular and recognized by all types of businesses. It facilitates the coming together of individuals who interact and partake actively around a shared interest, purpose and values. It acts as an information system where community members can post, comment, engage in discussions, raise questions and concerns, give advice and/ or collaborate.
From a business point of view, building an online community allows you to position your brand in front of the right audience at the right time. It serves as an avenue for your business to humanize itself and engage with the community in social media by sharing valuable content, responding to comments and queries, liking posts, and basically fulfilling the needs of consumers.
It is about building and fostering meaningful relationships not only with current customers, but also with your target clients. By doing so, you’ll likely spread more brand awareness, inspire more trust from consumers, boost conversions and eventually advance your business agenda.
Why build an online community?
Investing in community building and management is different from maintaining a business page. Rather than being a product-centric, a digital community helps connect like-minded people who are interested in your business, products or services.
Involving yourself and engaging outside of your official business page allows for a greater level of interaction with your target clientele. It also provides you with an opportunity to create authentic, personal conversations that would resonate effectively with your audience and build among them the sense of belonging and community.
Aside from building genuine connections and meaningful relationships, having an online community will allow your consumers to interact with each other, exchange their ideas, share their experiences and learn more about your products and services. It is also a way for them to gain a deeper appreciation for your brand, which will in turn might lead them to become your brand advocate.
Although building an online community is not solely for customer support, it gives you an easy way to listen to your customers and gain valuable insights from them. These feedbacks will subsequently help you improve your products and services as well as add value to their experience.
Moreover, getting to know your community members will help you better understand what your clients are looking for in a product or service.
Innovative ideas often stem from a diversity of thinking. Listening to your community members and learning from their ideas, therefore, can help in developing better or new products and in the process of improving your business strategy. In fact, providing your consumers with the products and services that they want is the fool-proof way to maintain and boost your business growth.
While building an online community takes time, effective tactics, knowledge and effort, it will truly have an invaluable impact to the establishment and growth of your brand. Remember that conducting business in a fast-paced world necessitates a strong following and community base for it to become a successful venture.
Do you have a Facebook Group for your business?