How can a company create a community and interact with it?
A company cannot grow without creating a community around its brand and a good customer relationship. In fact, the creation of a community gives personality to the brand. It is a way for them to circulate their values, their ethics, and their ways of working. Furthermore, when a community grows this wakes the curiosity of others and in consequence, a company will be able to reach new clients and will have more chances of gaining collaborations. Now that we have shown you some advantages that a business can gain from a community. Nevertheless, you cannot create one overnight. This demands expertise and an important workload. Indeed, the more time you devote to your community, the more it will develop.
Are you part of a company that is starting to develop and that needs a community? In today’s article, we are going to reveal all our tips to effectively federate the public to your brand. Then, we will explain how you can interact with this community in the making to gain their confidence, generate real engagement and retain them.
Table of contents
1. How to create a community?
a. Fixing clear objectives
Previously fixing clear, coherent, and reachable objectives allow you to have a goal to reach and to better organize. Furthermore, potential members could know what to expect when they join your community. Without even noticing, creating a community can take a lot of time and energy. So, in order to not waste them, here are our tips – ask yourself the right questions to define clear objectives like:
- What will the creation of my community be used for?
- Who is interested in my content?
- Why should someone sign up? What will it bring to them?
- What are the needs and expectations of my future members?
Once you have answered these questions, you can finally determine the objectives of your community. But don’t forget that they must be clear and identifiable. Now that the goal to achieve has been defined, you can put in place a good communication strategy to create a sense of belonging to the people that you are targeting and attract the people who are really interested in your brand.
b. Elaborate rules
Before throwing yourself into your strategy to federate a community, it is essential to elaborate on operating rules. You need to explain the fundamental rules within the strategy to avoid any outbreaks. They should be clearly exposed to the members who are on the chosen communication channels. This will allow you to inform everyone and if some people decide to break the rules, you will also have the possibility to exclude them. Putting rules in place allows you to guarantee a good brand image and to not lose control of what you want to convey. Nevertheless, if a conflict is unavoidable, you could try and make it an advantage by answering with moderation and precaution to know what is causing the problem.
c. Integrate your inner circle
The development of a community requires investment, so the first members are very important: a community does not federate from scratch. Indeed, the first ones will be selected from your inner circle: friends, colleagues, family. They could test the value proposition of the company as long as you ask for critical and constructive feedback from them, as it is not the compliments that will help you correct your problems and improve. Furthermore, you need to invite them, encourage them to recommend and talk about your product or services to their relatives to federate and expand the community bit by bit. At the start, the word of mouth is very important: it is more direct and not as much on the advertising side. This will allow you to open up durable relationships and more implicated members.
d. Include a blog into your website
In a former article, we have explained the 7 advantages that a blog could bring to a business. We are delighted to announce that a blog could also allow you to create a community efficiently. Indeed, if a business does not integrate a blog to its website in which it proves its expertise and responds to the requests of its readers, it will not be able to federate an engaged community. Don’t forget that someone that finds all the answers to their questions on a website will come back when they will have another question about something else as they will refer to you as a reference in the sector. Moreover, a blog will allow you to create a community that really has potential and can lead to a conversion, as they end up on your webpage after having researched keywords on google. In short, you should not skip a good occasion to build a good community freely by creating an informative blog.
“77% of internet users read blogs regularly.” (Reference: arobasnet.com)
e. Be present on social media
Who says community, says social media! Indeed, it is on these platforms that we mainly speak of community and interaction. Nowadays, social media occupy an important place in everybody’s life. It is primordial for a company to create Facebook and Instagram accounts, the 2 most used social media. Then, according to your activity domain and your target, you will be able to sign up to other platforms like LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, and YouTube.
It is important to be present on social media as a business can publish captivating and entertaining visual content but be careful the content should be adapted to the target and should be rewarding. Therefore, you should always put yourself in the place of your community before creating publications. Furthermore, before making a purchase, consumers always like to check the brands’ accounts to know their values, see other opinions and comments, etc. To conclude, a business can not not have social media in its community strategy.
f. Offer a welcome gift
One of the best ways to create a community for a company that is starting is to give a welcome present. Indeed, it is a way to thank the members that have joined the community. Moreover, this also shows internet users that you are taking care of your community and they are important to you. You are not only maintaining a professional relationship (seller and buyer). It is also a good way to grow your visibility as if the present is well-chosen the people who are signed up will speak about it to their circle. Ideally, the welcome present is offered when someone signs up for the business’s newsletter. It could be a reduction of a certain percentage on your products, to an e-book that becomes free to your community, to sending goodies, and much more.
2. How to interact with your community?
a. Be active on social media
Being present on social media is not sufficient to maintain a good customer relationship, you need to share content regularly and interact with your followers. This will allow you to increase your audience and federate a community. Furthermore, when you publish a post on social media, your followers could like, comment, save or even share it. If you are consistent, this will allow you to show your followers that you care about them and that you want to give them all the information that they are looking for. To enhance the engagement rate, you can also interact with your audience by publishing stories with Q&As, quizzes, and surveys.
“71% of users having had a good experience on social media recommend the brand to their circle.” (Reference: netoffensive.blog)
We advise you to create your own hashtag. For example, the name of your business (if it is unique) or a hashtag for a specific campaign. At this moment, you will be able to bring in users who use your product or the campaign participants could use this hashtag under their posts.
b. Organize game contests
One of the best ways to make members of your community interact is to participate in game contests. This allows you to retain your community all by rewarding them. There are many types of competitions:
- Classic game contests
These game contests can take place on social media such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The business publishes a post under which they comment on the terms to be the potential winner. For example, by following the account, liking the post, and tagging three friends in the comments. This will allow you to interact with your followers, but also gain followers and so broaden your community. Furthermore, the members of the community will be happy to have had the opportunity to win a product from your company.
- Photo game contests
Make your audience participate by creating a contest in which they must post a photo on Instagram or Facebook. This is an easy advertising tool, as your followers will be promoting you on social media. Moreover, the fact that there is a prize for the winner will generate more willingness for your community to get more invested in the picture.
- Partnership with influencers
Ideally for your notoriety to grow, you should put partnerships in place with influencers so that they can create a contest by highlighting your products. This way is efficient as influencers already have an engaged community this will allow users to interact with them and you.
c. Create a discussion forum
Companies don’t think about this often, but creating a discussion forum and integrating it on your website is very important in a communication strategy. Indeed, the creation of this one allows your community to ask questions and answer other members. It is a good way to make members of your community interact between themselves. Furthermore, the business can also intervene and interact with them by answering specific questions for example. Results? You make your brand more accessible and dramatically increase the emotional connection with your audience. In fact, the company will give the impression that they understand the client, so the forum allows you to show your empathy. In short, a forum will humanize a business in the eyes of your community, but also in everybody else’s eyes.
To conclude, federating a company takes time and energy. You need to be an expert in client relationships. Indeed, you need to know how to determine a good communication strategy, according to the predefined objectives. Before trying to attract people into your communication circle, you will need to invite your inner circle and encourage them to recommend and talk about your products or services to other people. We will never say it enough, but a blog is very important for a business, but also, to create a community. For all business who wishes to develop their audience, they must be present on social media and be active to interact with their followers. Finally, you can congratulate the new members with a welcome gift.
“66% of clients use henceforth more than 3 different channels to interact with businesses” (Reference: dimelo.com)
It is not sufficient to just build a community; you should also maintain a good relationship with them and interact as often as possible with them. For this, you can organize a contest on social media or integrate a forum on your website. We hope that this article pleased you and was instructive. Don’t hesitate to share with us what you have done to create your community. Also, write to us if you wish to receive more personal advice or need a community manager who is an expert in the management of a community. We would be overjoyed to answer your questions, give you recommendations or accompany you in your project.