The brand community concept basically stands for a group of people emotionally invested in a particular brand. Typically, these customers follow this brand on one or more social platforms. It is a space built around shared love of the brand, and everything that it stands for.
Members of brand communities prefer to:
- Buy the brand's products or services
- Consume content centered around the brand
- Advocate the brand among family and friends
A brand community enables its members—customers or followers—to connect and engage with each other over discussions. This audience shares experiences and more information. Valuable insights and feedback result from these conversations.
Leading brands build their communities using social media accounts. On the other hand, a company’s private, dedicated online brand community occupies a different league. It empowers members with several avenues to closely engage with each other.
Importance of Online Brand Communities
Today's companies have a community presence on social media. Yet, these brands prefer to nurture online community brands on their websites. This part of their marketing strategy gives users a warm, dedicated space—to express themselves and be heard.
An online brand community is an important asset in the digital marketing era—be it a startup or an established company. Businesses can make emotional connects with their target audience, build relationships, and get meaningful feedback. This organic connection with customers helps brands understand their needs. It offers hassle-free, easy market intelligence for the business.
When it comes to your business, brand community engagement deepens customers' trust and loyalty towards your brand. It turns them into advocates for your business. Besides, a brand community increases sales conversions by enabling your brand to more effectively market products and services.
By creating and managing a successful online brand community, your business can:
- Make well-informed, targeted decisions
- Get new customers and keep existing ones
- Get a loyal customer base
- Monetize your brand's increased visibility and credibility
- Establish a pan-industry authority
- Enjoy more leads, sales, and profits
How to Build a Successful Online Brand Community
People who support and crave your brand are already out there. These followers need newer ways to connect with your brand community—a dedicated space to hang out. This involves more than just taking your audience to a specific platform, offline or online. It is key to create a sense of belonging and exclusivity.
Building a successful and profitable brand community takes time, effort, and dedication. The idea is to nurture a community of engaged users who can actively promote and support your brand.
Here are some tips to get started:
- Define your brand’s characteristics in detail - Be clear about what it stands for beyond products, such as your company's vision and mission. Establish the brand's voice and persona. Make them part of your community strategy.
- Set the brand's goals and performance measurements - the results you look for and intend to track. Figure out how your community goals can further your company’s goals.
- Choose a community platform from the multiple available choices - These include a forum and a social media group, which help the creation of a large community that discusses shared interests.
- Find a compelling reason to attract members - Ensure that they get value for their time and energy to engage with each other, and your brand.
- Identify your target audience - their passion and motivation. You must create valuable content and engage them in exciting activities.
Now let us look at the critical steps to building a solid brand community. You must be able to:
- Keep your brand message intact once you set up its brand values and personality. Venture into causes that fall within the scope of your brand.
- Let your brand stay true to its identity, values, and beliefs. Despite today's social media hype, people can sense what's genuine and what's not.
- Make genuine connections with your brand community, understand your audience well, and where you can meet it. Engage with your community wherever they are.
- Let members criticize, root for, and ideate on your brand. They will rally around your brand for the beliefs and values that it stands for.
- Create a content hub and high-quality, engaging content. It must reflect and resolve your members' issues, concerns, dislikes, and interests.
- Share social media content and extra information with customers. Use blogs and personalized emails that add value to their lives.
- Encourage interactions that add value to your space. Members must be able to connect and give feedback. This includes sharing of problems, needs, ideas, and knowledge.
- Focus on engagement from the start. Encourage user generated content like your customers' contributions. These can be in the form of photos, videos, and text-based information.
- Moderate all community conversations to ensure that they are courteous and on-topic.
- Supply value to members by being responsive to the needs. Accept feedback from your community members.
- Reply to members' queries. Nurture discussions and start new conversations regularly.
- Address conflicts within the community space. Embrace the inner conflicts since your community thrives on them.
- Reward the most loyal customers or referrals. Create programs that give value like perks or an affiliate program.
- Promote your branding community over online and offline channels. Seek the service of a brand ambassador to promote it and keep it vibrant.
A robust, engaged brand community delivers rich benefits for your brand—right from customer loyalty and improved products, all the way to enhanced brand awareness and overall business growth. This requires meticulous research, hard work, patience, and an eagerness to listen to your customers.
Brand community creation efforts go far beyond just selling products or services. These efforts are essential to earn influence that serves your brand well in testing times.
You can build a community of wholehearted brand advocates if you craft relevant community content. This is where solutions like AtomChat offer a great way to complement your online brand community-building effort. It helps your users take part in an incredible community engagement experience.