Building an online community is critical today. And, it’s the easiest way of connecting regularly with your customers or your users. It’s no longer enough to have just a website. Every business and any brand must have a social media online presence to put you in the middle of important conversations about your business. These conversations are happening all around you even when you’re not aware. Therefore, building an community around your product or service using today’s online tools is a MUST.
Engage Your Customers
First, learn how to engage your customers to get the most out of your online community. This takes some research. Find your audience. Go out and search for the customers that are already talking about your product or services online. Find a way to become part of that conversation. Also learn to make the best use of social media by designing the right kind of profile for social media. And, you must engage your customers in the right way. Depending upon your skill level, it may be worth getting a professional to design and create a strategy for your product and brand.
Start Your Own Groups
Find existing avenues that you can use to reach your target audience. If you cannot find any, start your own. You may find plenty of places to interact with customers about your products or services. But if not, starting your own groups is a great way to provide valuable information to your target market. It’s worth your time because you can gain valuable insight to draw customers and prospective customers to your group to interact with each other.
The social media landscape is really vast. There are a number of popular networks you’ve probably heard of by now! New ones appear regularly as well. Some of the popular ones include: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumbler, Google +, Vine, LinkedIn, SnapChat, to name a few. This list keeps growing and you can find a network for almost anything nowadays. Sometimes it can be difficult to decide which is right for you because the landscape is so big.
If you are a big business or brand, then you really should exploit all the social media networks. And you will most probably want an ACTIVE presence on each of them. A small business, however, should have an active presence on one to three social networks. This should allow you to have a sufficient online voice. Start with one and expand from there once you get good at it. There are platforms that allow you to post to several at one time. The most important thing is to not take on more than you can handle!
Ideas for Building an Online Community:
- Explore several different Networks: – Don’t just look at the big three such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn really explore the social landscape available to you.
- Use the search criteria within each to find conversations. Find a network where the users are talking about you or your products or could be given the right circumstances. Use the search function to explore what people are saying and join the one most relevant to you or your business.
- Join Groups and Follow Networks. – Interact and contribute to relevant groups or networks which suit you, your products and your business.
- Pick 3 networks with the best and most amount of traffic for your content.
Watch for our upcoming blog articles which will talk more specifically about the different elements for building your online community. We’ll provide you with a quick analysis of the different social media platforms and how to figure out which one you might want to be on.