Successful online businesses rely on a strong community. This is where people come together to share their experiences, learn from each other, and build relationships with one another. Communities are a powerful tool for marketing your business and building trust with your customers. They can also be helpful in forming customer relationships and helping you grow your business. Here are five tips on how to build an effective online community for your business.
1. Identify key stakeholders for the online community
One of the most important things you can do to build an effective online community is making sure your community is organised. You want to have team members dedicated to specific jobs in your community. Which team member completes which tasks in your community will be based on their role in your organisation.
Your community manager will be a dedicated team member whose job is to make sure everything runs smoothly. They can also identify improvements that need to be made to your community and branding since they’re working so closely with your community members.
Other members of your team can work with your community as well. For example, your marketing manager will be creating the content calendar for your community. This can include content that encourages community members to buy for the first time, or buy a higher-tier product.
2. Share your business ideas and experiences
One of the best ways to build a community for your business is to share your business ideas and experiences. If your community doesn’t have a purpose, people won’t understand why they should join it. This will help people become more engaged in your business and feel a sense of ownership.
Additionally, it can be helpful in building relationships with potential customers. Share your story, explain what you do, and show off your products or services. This will encourage people to connect with you on a deeper level and to become more interested in your business.
3. Select a community platform
If you’re looking to create a 10-person community, you could create a Whatsapp group chat or an Instagram group DM. If you’re looking to create a community of 100,000 people you’ll want to look at other platforms, like Reddit or a Facebook group. These are all free community platforms. This can be done through social media, email, or other forms of communication.
With community apps such as Disciple, the possibilities are endless. Disciple encourages you to build your online business and its community through its dashboard which allows you to post content, moderate members, and understand your community better.
It’s important to stay connected with those you know and to provide value to them. You can do this by sharing information about your business, providing valuable advice, or just being a friendly face.
4. Align community with brand
Your community is an extension of your brand and it should feel that way to the members. If you’re on a free community platform like Facebook, you can brand your community with headers, profile photos, and the images that you share within your post. You can use a variety of methods to reach out to your community, such as social media, email marketing, and even paid advertising.
Aside from visual brand design, you’ll want to keep brand voice and tone guidelines in the posts, comments, videos, etc. By creating a strong marketing presence for your business, you’ll be able to connect with more people and build relationships that will last long term.
5. Promote your community
The first step in building a strong community for your business is using it to build trust and now it’s time to get people to want to be members. You’re going to be showing people why they want to be a part of this community by pushing on the point that the community serves.
Here are 2 ways to promote your community:
Partner with influencers: Who do you know that would want to be a part of this community? One of the great things about influencer marketing is that it is open to brands with almost any budget. So even if you are a smaller brand you are not excluded from the realms of influencer marketing.
Your contacts include a list of people who all have one thing in common: they all know more people. By telling your contact list about your community, they’ll be able to spread the word to their friends and so on. Your initial web of target members can then grow through organic networking.
A referral program: Referral Programs give members rewards for referring people into your community. Your rewards can be a free product, a discount code, a prize etc. Your current community members may already know people who would also want to be part of the community. You just have to motivate them to want to spread the word for you.