Community building – bring your most active customers and users together

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Today, companies invest large sums of money in building communities. They are a great element to understand your customers extremely deeply and to build an intense relationship.

In this article you will read how to use the development of a community in your real target group as a power channel for you, and which mistakes are to be avoided. 

What is Community Building and why do I need it?

You may have seen her before, just like I have. The hordes of people who camp in regular intervals in front of the glass shops with a bitten apple on it and wait for the newest device. For me one of the most impressive examples so far of how a community of customers has built up around a brand.

I would like to know whether every company can actively approach the development of a community, what the whole thing is supposed to serve for and how it can work.

A brand community describes like-minded customers who identify with a particular brand and share significant characteristics. They share their experiences with a brand. Some also believe that the community is the rightful owner of a brand.

The reasons for “why” are manifold. The direct line to the customers is more natural, you get constant feedback on product and marketing, recommendations come naturally …

That's what building a community is all about

Community building is a long-term measure of customer loyalty. In our day-to-day business, this is often covered by short-term measures to promote sales.

More and more companies are realising that providing a platform for exchange and moderation within the community is a sustainable investment.

Figures, data and facts about brand communities

According to a study by the University of Innsbruck (referred to by an article in Potion), almost two thirds of the companies surveyed stated that their customer community had had a positive influence on decision-making.

Nearly 90% of the Fortune 500 report that they receive more detailed information about their customers and their needs through the community.

According to Oracle’s report “Socially Driven Collaboration”, community building should not be isolated in marketing. Marketing, however, can receive an enormous boost precisely because of this.

4 mistakes to avoid when building communities

You’re not authentic, but you’re complicated instead.

If you’re not completely authentic, then the biggest differentiator is missing. It’s the same with making the whole community experience very complicated with too many rules. There’s hardly a customer who loves that.

You are not consistent

Be consistent in the frequency of how often and perhaps when you contribute to the community with news. If there is no flow recognizable, then it will quickly appear to be set up for your community.

You make it an advertisement, not a community

Especially online with the existing platforms there are so many possibilities that the whole community always stays up to date with the news from your house. But in the same breath your community can’t turn around you. Listen and perceive the questions and needs of the individuals in the community.

You just let silence happen

What do you hear when you listen to your community? If it is silence, then lack of engagement will soon spread and the community will return. Encourage your customers to participate, and come up with gamification and reward approaches.

Einordnung von Community Building in den Marketing-Zusammenhang

Community Building in the entire Marketing Funnel

Throughout the Marketing Funnel, the activities you perform to build your community are usually located between the middle and the deeper part of the funnel.

The focus here is on measures to ensure that customers understand your brand even better and build loyalty to it, so that they also appreciate the smaller elements around the product or service.

Immediate impact on sustainability

Community building does not serve the immediate acquisition of new customers and does not happen from one day to the next, but typically takes time.

The reverberation, on the other hand, is very high with this channel because the community can grow sustainably with each new customer.

Community Building im Portfolio

Classification in the channel portfolio

If you compile your portfolio of channels and actions, then the actions of brand community building will typically have the function of maturing as seeds in the minds of customers.

This channel works best in combination with the ejected nets and the targeted spears.

4 frequently underestimated tips and hacks when building customer communities

Make the community searchable

No matter how great your community is if no one knows about it and it is not found. So create multiple entry points that make it easy to join the community.

Position the community as part of the Customer Experience

Your community should be an extension of your overall value proposition. So think about how the community can act as a central feature in your customer relationship and how you can bring it to the customer.

Offer exclusive content

Customers can be encouraged to be active in the community on a regular basis if they exclusively find content or the like here that they would not find anywhere else.

Rewards for particularly active contributions

The important step is to let customers communicate with each other, because then the insights are all the more valuable later. In return, it makes sense to reward the active contributors in the community for their commitment. Be creative.

Community Building depends on these key figures

community Members

Different numbers can be measured.
– Total number
– new community members last month
– active vs. inactive members

community engagement

Especially when setting up the community on existing social networks, the following often has to be measured:
– How many new Likes were there last month?
– How many comments
– How many new posts, events and themes have been created by the members?
– How many were created by you (or the Community Manager)?

traffic

It also makes sense to measure the traffic to and from the community.
– Total number of visitors
– New visitors vs. returning visitors
– Visitors to the homepage
– Visitors on the registration page vs. new registrations

Let's go

The creation of a brand community can be your opportunity to create a structure for your customer experience that does not end with the purchase of the customer experience. Community building measures are mainly found in the middle of the funnel and at the bottom of the marketing funnel, from understanding measures to buying and loyalty building measures.

The measures taken to build communities around brands and products are not quick fix actions. They take time, but in the long run they pay off in particular through an even deeper understanding of customer needs.

And now: Take a look around and think about in which existing community you are already a member or active, what you like about it and also apply it to your own community.

What do you think?

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About Me

As a founder and entrepreneur, I experience every day how important customer focus is for companies.

Integrate the essential customer perspective into your product genesis and marketing processes. That puts PS on the street, that it runs.

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