So you want to build a community online? An online community is the perfect way to broaden the reach of your brand. By engaging with your community, you’ll be enticing buyers, engaging with existing fans of your brand, and extending your reach to new customers. In short, an online community is both a source of revenue, an advertising platform, and a way to spread the word about you and your products or services to new customers.
If you’re ready to begin, here are a few basic tips to keep in mind that will help you get started.
- Quality – whether it’s on-site content, blog posts, videos, podcasts, or other forms of media, it doesn’t matter. People will be drawn to excellent content and return continually for more of it. Quality then is both a hook and a reason for people to come back.
- Originality – ask yourself: why should people come to my community for this content instead of going somewhere else? It’s important for you to have something unique about your brand.
- Consistency – International brands earn their reputation by delivering their specialty on a regular basis. This schedule of interactions helps foster community. If you disappear, so will your followers.
- Sharing – For your community to grow, you’ll need people to find your content/products/brand and share it with others. Sharing is easiest on social media. Make your content as easy to share as possible and make it appealing so people will want to see and share it with their friends.
- Communication – A community isn’t about broadcasting to an audience. It’s about establishing connections. Engage your community. Take time to acknowledge those who interact with you and those who have helped you along the way. If you only promote yourself, you’ll never attract a following. Post links to topics your community will find interesting. Ask questions. Make re-visiting your site and social media channels worthwhile.
Every online community is different and you’ll have to experiment with yours for maximum benefit, but by following the 5 basics above, you’ll be building a great foundation.