Community building refers to the creation of a community between individuals on the basis of common interests. This sense of community, which is created in the communities, is not only ideal for marketing products and services, but also brings with it many advantages for customer loyalty. Social media are excellently suited for community building, because they offer the opportunity to bring many people with similar interests into an exchange.
The three biggest advantages of community building:
Emotional attachment to the company
Community members usually develop a bond with the brand in question, which makes them more likely to share posts or spread positive experiences through word-of-mouth. In addition, customers are naturally more likely to turn to companies to which they have already built a bond and trust when it comes to purchase intent.
Exchanges within the community also create a constructive feedback loop. The community gives honest, purposeful feedback, through which products, services or even processes are improved or even impulses for new product ideas are given. Through the community's discussions, the needs of customers and potential customers can be identified and incorporated.
By involving oneself in the community discussions, it is possible to position oneself here as a thought leader or industry expert, and to convey expertise and seriousness to the outside world.
A digital meeting place must be created for community building. This can be a platform, a group in social media such as LinkedIn or Facebook, or a forum.But probably the most important point when it comes to community building is community management, or maintaining community relationships. Because if you have already found some people who interact with your posts, you should continuously answer them and give new input to build a connection and keep the exchange going.
We've summarized five ways to engage your community, keep the exchange and relationship going, and add value for you and your community:
- Answering questions quickly
Based on a Statista survey on response time in social communities, it can be concluded that a short response time is actually expected in online groups.
An optimal opportunity for your community members to participate themselves and at the same time take away input. It is also exciting for you and your company to see what potential customers think about certain topics.
- Stimulate exchange about industry trends and challenges
Gives users who work in similar industries or share similar interests the opportunity to share and learn.
- Personal recommendations/experiences from employees
Posts from individual employees can create a much more personal connection. In addition, customers can better identify with individuals, increasing trust.
- Thanking other members for posts with a like or comment.
Also a nice way to build a personal connection and make members feel valued and can add value as well, motivating them to contribute more.