Business owners can gain a lot of advantages by building a community around their brands. But what exactly is a brand community? It is basically a group of people who share an interest about a brand, who are enthusiastic about talking and discussing the brand, and who usually want to improve the brand for their benefit as well as the company’s. Most of the time, it’s not even the business owners who have to create the community – when there are enough people who are truly interested in your brand, they will actually be the one to form a community around it.
The people who form your brand community share common passions, desires and values. These are people are truly the active consumers of your products or services, and they enjoy their relationship with your brand as well as with each other.
So what does it take to build a wonderful community around your brand, one that actively participates in discussions and interacts with each other? Here are some useful tips to help you.
1. Focus on quality, not quantity
It’s actually not that hard to get people to sign up and become members of your community, but the difficult part is engaging them and getting them to really participate. So don’t concentrate on the quantity of people, as that may mean just a meaningless number. What you need to focus on is the quality of member participation. You have to ask yourself, “Why do people want to form a community around your brand? What is their common purpose or goal?”
2. Encourage interaction and collaboration among members
Members of a brand community have a need to connect with other users and consumers. So the platform you use should encourage communication and interaction between the members, allowing them to share information, express their personality, and validate with other members about their choice of the brand.
3. Don’t control everything – give your members freedom
Some brands have strict rules about their communities, controlling everything and making sure that the members are forbidden to talk about anything other than the brand. But the problem with this is the fact that it can actually be detrimental for the members to form relationships with each other, diminishing their enjoyment and participation in the brand community.
The better thing to do is to give your members a bit more freedom – let their personalities shine and let them enjoy the community to the fullest. This usually results in increased visitors to the site because people enjoy the social interaction and emotional connection they have with fellow consumers.
It’s also a good idea to give your members the freedom to criticize and really express their opinion about your brand. If you censor them, you may actually lose some valuable insights about your brand.
4. Give recognition to special members
Gone are the days when people enjoy hiding in anonymity. Today, people enjoy being recognized for their contributions, so it’s definitely a good idea to recognize and show your appreciation to your brand advocates and evangelists. These people are willing to go the extra mile for your brand, so you should make sure they feel appreciated.
Creating a great brand community can be tricky, but remember, as long as you offer an excellent service or product that people want to talk and rave about, then you already have a good start with your community. When you effectively manage the community with these tips, then you can have a wonderful platform that engages your consumers and encourages their consumption of your brand.chg