These days, consumers are constantly craving engaging experiences. They want businesses to provide them with quality offers, excellent customer service, and enriched client experience. Since more consumers nowadays are online, it only makes sense to invest in building a strong online community.
How a Strong Online Community Can Help Your Brand
Establishing an online community for your business can help you accomplish many goals. The following are just a few perks businesses can enjoy for creating a strong community online.
Consumers are more likely to spend more on your offers if they have an online community they can engage in. Their buying intention increases along with their tendency to refer your brand to their peers. You can even enjoy repeat sales from old clients if you provide them with an engaging community online.
Decrease Support Costs
One major benefit of online communities is that they can help businesses reduce support costs. Online communities provide users with the ability to reach the company’s support staff at a faster rate. Community members are also more active and willing to help their fellow members find answers to their questions through their own experiences.
Collect Client Feedback
Online community members can be savage when it comes to sharing experiences with your brand and products. They are more likely to share product reviews and company feedback when given a chance to join your very own community. This is the perfect opportunity to gain reviews and find better ways to improve your company.
Build Customer Loyalty
Consumers love connecting with other consumers and the brands they love. With an online community, you are making it easier for your business to retain your customers. Even if some customers have no plans of buying from your company in the near future, your community can keep them engaged, thus fostering loyalty and retention.
How Can Business Start Building an Online Community?
Know that building a community online takes time. You can’t simply launch an online community and expect most of your customers to want to be a member. You need the basics of building an online community and give it time to grow and prosper.
First, Ask the Right Questions
It can be tricky to start a thriving online community if you don’t know your purpose, business needs, and goals. Asking the right questions can help you craft the best strategies for building the community and boosting engagement. Here are some questions you ought to ask yourself.
- Why do you want an online community in the first place?
- What are the current needs of your business?
- What are the commitment levels of your customers, staff, and company support?
- Who are your key stakeholders?
Invest in the Right Technology
Just because you are trying to build an online community, your choices are limited to free community forums. Remember that more internet users these days are using their gadgets to access the internet. This means it only makes sense that you also invest in community software for the brand to create your own space for your community using their mobile.
Choose one that allows you to do more than schedule posts, organize member profiles, and have an integrated member database. Your next investment should have great analytics, moderation tools, and API & integration for optimal conversions.
Have at Least Three Key Stakeholders
You need a team that will manage your online community. They can help you create strategies that will make the community more engaging for your members. The key stakeholders every successful online community needs are the following.
The Upper Management
You need someone from your company that will oversee the operations of the community. This is usually an executive who understands your tart consumer needs. They should have the proper knowledge and experience in improving the digital experience of every member, including your other two stakeholders.
Marketing and Product Managers
These two stakeholders will take care of the external aspects of the community. They will be responsible for taking in every feedback all members will be providing. They will use such feedback to make the necessary updates and improvements on your marketing and offers.
Community Manager and Customer Support
These are your internal community stakeholders. They are usually the ones talking and engaging with your customers who are now members of your online community. They take care of the inquiries of members and resolve any conflict that can arise.
It may not be easy to establish a thriving online community. But if you want better customer engagement, boost your client retention rate, increase your revenue, and reduce support costs, then building an online community can be among your best strategies to explore. You can always use this guide if you need more ideas on why you need a community online and how you can start building one.