One of the most common blunders I find in businesses of all kinds is believing that your brand community is made up of individuals who buy your products. Therefore, knowing the way to build a brand community is crucial to businesses.
Your consumers are unquestionably a vital component of your brand’s community. After all, they’re the ones that keep your company’s lights on. However, there are many individuals that you may not perceive to be involved in your content, but who may nonetheless have an impact on your business. You’re missing out on developing a devoted following and increasing revenue if you don’t incorporate them in your communication plan.
1. What is a brand community?
In its most basic form, a brand community exemplifies brand loyalty at its finest. People in your brand community are emotionally involved; they will buy from you, consume your content, spread the word about you to their friends and family, and so on.
A brand community, on the other hand, is not the same as brand awareness. Just because someone is aware of your brand or has made a purchase from it does not guarantee they are a member of an engaged or even engageable brand community.
People that follow all of your material on social media, share your products/services and content with others, and love watching everything your business does are your brand community.
A brand community, to put it another way, is a location where individuals who have an emotional attachment to your brand may connect with each other and with your brand.
2. Why should Print on-demand businesses have to build a brand community?
Your brand community is, first and foremost, a strong business instrument. Imagine having a network of individuals you can rely on for guidance, comments, and inspiration on a daily basis. This group can free of charge assist you in making customer-driven decisions and spreading the word about your company on social media and other online channels.
These individuals should be your primary source of information and feedback. Use their feedback to test new product designs, share blog content, and gather suggestions for website improvements.
You’ll need to establish a robust and healthy online community where members are rewarded for everything they do for your business to have access to this priceless information.
Smaller businesses, especially those run by one person, will find that their work is frequently intertwined with their personal lives. Existing customers, family, friends, followers, email subscribers, website visitors you can trace, and website visitors you may not be able to identify will all be part of your brand community.
Members of your brand community can take part in one or more of the following activities:
- Like, share, and comment on your material to encourage people to interact with it.
- Freely create user-generated content (UGC) for your brand.
- Advocate for and defend your brand.
- Make a public statement about your company.
Others should know about your brand.
Why do people behave in this manner? They do it because they want to. And, best of all, they don’t expect anything in return. That’s what makes it organic marketing: these individuals are voluntarily endorsing your business. They do it at no charge, and frequently without your knowledge. Emotional connection is the difference between being aware of a brand and being emotionally involved in it.
3. How to start making a real connection to build a brand community
Each person has his or her own community. And that one person can reach out to the entire community. Make people feel welcome, and you’ll be able to reach a wider audience. Here are four things you can do to make your town feel more like home to build a brand community.
Make contact with others. It may seem self-evident, yet it works! Interacting with people may be as simple as asking consumers for feedback via email and responding, or conversing with your fans on Instagram through the comment area.
Make your online community members the center of attention. Most of us enjoy being the center of attention, so post customer-generated material that showcases your product (ask permission first!).
If someone tags you in a photo, reshare it. Even if the photo quality isn’t perfect, it’s genuine and created by your brand’s community, therefore it’s invaluable. And every now and again, one of your customers will make a genuine masterpiece.
Inquire about comments. Because an active community is doing the job for you, you can learn a lot from them. They’re revealing who they are, what they want, where they live, and their interests. Create polls and have people vote for their preferred design. You’ll be selling items that people desire to buy this way. You may also ask them for their opinions on quality, the style of your online store, and what they want to see next from your company.
4. How to build a brand community with customers
There are already fans of your brand out there. It’s now time to bring them all together and create a safe haven for them. There is no one-size-fits-all method for creating a successful brand community. However, we’ll guide you through a few key stages that will help you figure out which brand community is right for you.
4.1. Define your brand
If you want to build a brand community around your business, you must first understand it. This extends beyond what your company sells or provides.
This includes your company’s purpose, vision, voice, and personality. What is your company’s goal? Who is it attempting to assist? What does it wish to be remembered for?
Before forming a community, all of these must be defined. Because the more you demonstrate what your brand is all about, the more likely you are to attract the target audience you seek.
4.2. Choose a community platform
When you build a brand community, you have numerous alternatives. I’ll go through a couple of the more common ones, as well as some successful instances, so you can think about what would work best for your business and demographic.
A forum is a wonderful method for a much broader audience to discuss similar interests, whether or not they are directly related to the brand. Take, for example, the Spotify community. Because Spotify is such a large music streaming service with such a large audience, a forum is ideal for them.
Forums are a great way for Spotify’s brand to cultivate conversations around their industry, with their music streaming platform at the center. Whether people are talking about the music they love or sharing new artists or playlists on the platform, forums are a great way for Spotify’s brand to cultivate conversations around their industry, with their music streaming platform being right at the center.
4.2.2 Social media
To build a brand community, you may manage your social media community in two ways: by interacting through your platform or by forming a social media group. The Instagram Business Account is managed by the company’s owner, who is highly hands-on and open with her followers. She utilizes the brand’s Instagram stories to connect with her audience on a daily basis, frequently hosting Q&As and polling her fans on potential new items.
A hashtag may also be used to create communities, as the photo editing software A Color Story has done. They utilize the branded hashtag #AColorStory to highlight images on their feed, which helps to create brand loyalty and adds user-generated authenticity. That’s the way they build a brand community.
Last but not least, you may utilize social media to create a real group that your clients and community members can join and use to communicate with you. The most popular platforms for this are Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
It’s much simpler to use Facebook Groups as a successful tool to build a brand community now that companies can build and administer them.
4.2.3 Affiliate or reward schemes
Create a program that rewards your most loyal customers or referrals as another method to build a brand community. Regular consumers frequently benefit from a rewards program, and Starbucks is a fantastic example of this.
Each time a rewards member uses the Starbucks app to place an order, they collect Stars, which can be used to get free espresso shots or beverages.
Another method to reward loyal consumers and those who suggest clients to your business is through an affiliate program. You’re establishing a bigger and better community by developing a program that lets these consumers get paid for each person they recommend.
4.2.4 Platforms for third-party communities
Brands frequently select third-party platforms to assist them in facilitating a community.
4.3 Regularly engage with your brand community
Give people a reason to stay active in your community. Respond to any questions, start new dialogues with your community, and make discussion topics to build a brand community.
Sprout’s social media engagement features may enable you to never miss a single post from a member of your community, allowing you to maintain relationships with all of your most devoted consumers.
4.4 Manage community members
The true problem starts once you build a brand community. This is the difficult balancing act of determining how much to direct your new brand supporters’ relationships with one another.
Some of the most successful brand communities from large corporations have taken a hands-off approach to build a brand community, allowing the community to decide how the place you’ve built can best serve them on its own.
4.4.1 Sephora’s laissez-faire attitude
This is exemplified by Sephora. They established their Beauty Talk forum in 2010, where consumers could ask and answer beauty questions and submit photographs of themselves using products that linked to their favorite cosmetics’ product sites.
All Sephora had to do was start an online community (which was desperately needed after their social media sites were flooded with product queries) and watch as their long-time consumers helped newcomers fall in love with the brand.
You don’t have to pay influencers to discover your own brand ambassadors; they’re frequently just looking for a chance to offer their expertise.
4.4.2 Community-wide strategy with a high level of participation
On the other hand, Gymshark, a hugely successful fitness gear business, took a more hands-on approach to developing their community involvement strategy.
The brand created a comprehensive knowledge bank of workout lessons, health advice, and everything else a new client may need to enjoy their goods and fit in, aimed at novice to intermediate gym-goers.
They also put money into developing a global squad of athletes to wear and advertise their gear, as well as pop-up stores and fitness sessions for its devoted customers. This wasn’t just another “pay per post” influencer marketing stunt; these athletes stayed with Gymshark for the long haul, utilizing the platform to grow their own followings.
4.5 Promote Your Community
It’s not enough to build a brand community and hope that people will discover it on their own. You must also publicize your community and ensure that your intended audience is aware of it.
Promoting your brand community is similar to any other brand awareness campaign in that you must inform the appropriate individuals about it and why they should join.
Make a list of the advantages that people of your community will receive and how they will profit from it. Provide details on what the community is all about and what members may anticipate if they decide to join.
You can also ask popular influencers in your niche to promote your community in exchange for a brand mention. This will help spread the word and attract more individuals who are interested in your business and want to join your community.
Hopefully, you found this post helpful and will utilize it to build a brand community. If you stick to this approach, you’ll be able to build a large community of devoted consumers and followers.
Once you build a brand community, don’t forget to use it to expand your business. Your neighborhood is the ideal location to identify loyal consumers who can promote your business as brand ambassadors.