Unless you are in the middle of nowhere, there may be a number of different products around you. Whether it’s a chair you sit in, the computer that you use for work, or a favorite mug sitting on your desk. What is the first thing that jumps to mind when you think about those items? I think about the brands behind them.
No matter if you are selling a product, service, software or physical. All of them are associated with the brand that carefully create them for you to think about ways that are very specific. Brand is the reason why you choose one product over another.
Way brands communicate with people has constantly changed over the last decade or more. One reason for this is that the brand began to embrace the concept of community development.
Important things before you build a community for your brand
Regardless of what your goal is, to build a community is a strategic process that involves a fair bit of planning that will guide you in achieving your goals.
While we’re at it, remember that we are building a community of people, and your business benefit from it just a nice addition. This brings us to the cycle of community involvement, an interesting concept introduced by CMX, home to the professional community. It consists of four stages to remember when building your community:
This means that the identity of members of the community aligned with the community’s identity. He believes society and its members, actively participating in it, and feel rewarded for being part of that community. If the member meets all the criteria, you’re on your way to managing a community that is engaged and healthy.
Once you have set up a goal for your community, you have to think about one aspect that is very important before you put your plan into action: using SEO.
There are two ways to go about it. If you want your community to help improve the ranking of your primary domain, you must use a subfolder. For example, yourwebsite.com/community. With this structure, the keywords ranks will strengthen your community with the SEO of your primary domain.
Alternatively, you can put your community to a subdomain. For example, community.yourwebsite.com. However, I think it’s a good idea only if you want to rank separately, outside of your primary domain.
Outsourcing or in-house? That is the question
The second scenario described above tie in with the following question: should you host a community in your domain, or use a third party tool for that? Let me explain the difference.
There are quite a few third-party tools available for you to build a society externally, for example, Tribe, Mobilize, discourse, or Mighty Networks. However, some of them create a community for their client in the subdomain. If your community contribute to the SEO of your primary domain is not a priority, go to one of them. Discourse, for example, can custom-build a subfolder for your community, but that requires a lot of additional work on them in the back end.
You may also try to group Facebook or LinkedIn, Twitter to chat about the selected hashtag, or community Slack. If you choose one of these options, make sure you think about how in line with the long term strategy of your community. You never know when one of the platforms will remove your community out of the blue, and you do not want all your efforts to go up in smoke in the blink of an eye.
Hosting a community on your domain is quite clear, especially given the dispute SEO mentioned above. Once you decide to build your community at home, you have to do all the hard work to build from scratch their own or customize WordPress plugins to meet your needs.
Engage, engage, engage
Now that we have the initial planning and setting up your community out of the way, it’s time for the fun part. Let people in, and start engaging them.
Think about how your community split into different categories, and what would be the best way to engage your members. Each sub-category will have different types of discussions are typical for them. There is also space for you to create routines, such as weekly or monthly AMAs (Ask Me Anything) posts. So, one week, you can invite community members who specialize in a particular area to answer questions and give back to the community with his expertise. Then, the following week, a different specialist, and so on.
It is also a good practice to make chit chat / water cooler kind of space where community members can just jump into the conversation about their favorite TV shows or share photos of their pets. This obviously has nothing to do with the business goals of your community, but provide your members with a human touch and a sense of belonging.
“Building a community around the brand is the best way to build deeper relationships with your customers. A deeper connection help you learn more about their needs (so that you can design to this requirement in the products / services), creating a positive experience for them to learn and grow, and help them feel more connected to your brand.
By facilitating relationships between your customers, you are involved in their networks grow and become an important part of their story. Being part of the move, a supportive community is a powerful thing for anyone, and if you can make it for your customers, it is very meaningful! “
A branded community is an unending source, another opportunity for brands and people create the community. I’ve been a member of the community for many years Buffer. If there is a blueprint for a successful community, that they are with Arielle behind the wheel.
Collecting customer feedback
I may be wrong, but I assume the majority of community members will be people who are already using the product or service, at least initially. I can not imagine a better way to collect customer feedback than just tuning in to what people in the community have to say. They will share their pain points, suggestions, or feature requests them in one place. In fact, it is one of the most common use cases of our society in the LiveChat.