Are you looking to generate great returns on the marketing efforts? Start an online community for your brand. You can use the community to make the prospective customer familiar with your brand and gain trust. It also helps to build a stronger, personal relationship with the customers. Key advantages of having a community are the development of customer-centric products, reduction in support costs and increased revenues.
About Online Community
It refers to a group of persons who interact with each other on an online platform. You can leverage the free community platform like Facebook groups, or create your own. Buy domain and hosting and install community application. Customize it inline with your brand and start inviting existing customers and potential one to join it. There are two types of online communities:
- Public Social Network-these is the communities that need an account to start with. There are not many restrictions on being a part of the community.
- Branded Communities-The are not like public ones. It is like a private online member club. You need to provide credentials to access it.
Benefits of Having a Branded Online Community
An online community works like a virtual store where your customer come every day. It offers opportunities to interact with your brand and learn about it. Here are some significant advantages to having online communities.
Customers are the best to give feedback on where the improvements are needed. They tell what they like about the product, what they do not and what is never used. By researching these feedbacks from thousands of customers, you can gain valuable insights about the features and modifications that the product needs. While the feedbacks may not always be positive, however, these help to upgrade the product from initial version or design to what it is today.
Better Understanding of Customers
The online community helps to understand the customers in a better way. On day to day basis, they will detail on the issue they are facing. Understanding them helps to improve the offering. It makes the product more related to their needs and shows that the product meets their needs perfectly. It also makes you cut above the competition.
Lower the Support Costs
An online community helps to gauge the behaviour of the customer before making the purchase and after it. It helps to understand if the customer is facing issues with the product. The online community can be used to answer the questions that the customers are having and solve them too. It also reduces the number of consumer complaints that are coming to the customer support team.
Get Valuable Feedback
Similar product complaints or questions in the online community should not be ignored. They are good at reducing customer support costs. Moreover, you are better at improving the product in the way the customer wants it. These complaints and questions are essential and should be noted in the product improvement notes or to-do list.
Online communities enhance engagement in several ways. They can tag you in their profile or stories. The customers can also create posts on Instagram, Facebook, or reply to the tweet. These actions from the other users increase the account’s engagement and put you in front of the new users.
How to Create an Online Community?
Social networks help you create an online community easily. However, if plan to buy domain and hosting, most of the work is in figuring out the purpose and how it is going to be promoted. Here are the steps to build an online community.
- Identify who will be responsible for which task in the community based on their role in the organization.
- Find a community manager who will be responsible for handling all the things related to the community.
- Give a purpose and a goal. If the community doesn’t have a purpose, people would not understand why they should join it.
- Build a member profile that should mirror the customer avatar profile and find answers to who is this community-serving.
- Have some rules and norms for entry to avoid any chaos.
- Align it with the brand of the company. If you have owned the community platform, brand the website with the logo and the brand palette.
Online Community Is Where Your Brand Lives
Yes, your brand lives in the community. The members interact with it, share their feedback, seek improvements and stay in relation for long.