5 ways to build an online community

- June 30, 2024 3 MIN READ
online community

Building an online community or a group of dedicated fans is the dream for any budding marketer or small business owner. Harry Lowes Head of Mid Market at Meta shares 5 ways you can tap into your community for business growth.

Recent research shows that when people interact within a brand community, like a social media page, they feel more connected to the brand by seeing it as similar to themselves. This connection often leads to more loyalty, higher satisfaction, and positive word-of-mouth.

However, in today’s digital landscape, creating a community of loyal brand fans requires more than just an online presence – it demands a strategic, engaging, and authentic approach. It’s not as hard, or overwhelming, as it sounds.

Here are 5 ways to help you build your online community

1. Know who you are – and believe in it

Before you can build a community, you must first understand who you are as a brand. This means clearly defining your brand voice, values, and personality. Your brand identity should be consistent across all platforms and touchpoints, reflecting your business’s core essence.

Establishing a well-defined, consistent brand identity not only helps in keeping the right audience but also ensures that your message is clear and recognisable. You say what you do and you mean what you say. By letting your audience know what to expect from you, every time they see or hear you, you can more easily build trust and loyalty.

Take the bodycare social cult success Sundae Body for example. Their vibrant and playful branding is a familiar feel across their social media feeds, as well as their website and newsletter content, creating a seamless experience across all touchpoints. They know who they are and they’ve stuck to it which has helped them create a cult-following.

2. Create compelling content

Creating content that adds value to your audience is the essence of successful community building. Whether it’s through humour, entertainment, or reassurance, your content should engage and relate to your audience on a personal level by making them feel they have gotten something out of the content. This approach not only builds a stronger relationship with your brand but also ensures that your audience feels seen and valued.

A great example to take inspiration from is the duo behind sustainable Australian brand  Lucent Globe. The brand founders focus on creating educational yet entertaining content, telling the story of their eco-friendly detergent product while engaging their community. Lucent Globe often uses viral experiment videos putting their products to the test or share behind the scenes stories. Have you considered a content series on unexpected uses for your product, or a behind-the-scenes video showing the unique ways your product is created?

3. Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content is a powerful tool for building a strong online community. It not only extends your brand’s reach but also makes your audience feel like they are a part of your brand.

Encouraging your followers to share their own experiences and perspectives through UGC is a great way to foster a sense of belonging and loyalty. When people see their contributions being valued and showcased, it strengthens their connection to your brand. For example, Budgy Smuggler features photos and stories from their customers wearing their swimwear every week, sometimes daily, creating a vibrant community of fans.

4. Foster genuine engagement

Engagement is more than just likes and comments; it also includes building real relationships with your audience. Being present, responsive, and authentic in your interactions helps to create a sense of community and mutual respect. By actively engaging with your followers, you show that you value their input and care about their experiences.

This two-way communication can transform your customers into passionate advocates for your brand. For instance, can you create videos responding to customer inquiries to make the responses feel more personal? Another idea could be hosting live Q&A sessions to directly address your audience’s questions and feedback.

5. Celebrate wins and acknowledge challenges

Like a sports team with its fans, your brand should celebrate successes and navigate challenges alongside your community. Transparency and honesty are key ingredients to foster trust and loyalty.

Sharing your milestones and achievements with your audience is key to making them feel involved in your journey, while acknowledging and addressing challenges you might face openly shows integrity and commitment to improving their experience as a customer.

For example, the team behind Conserving Beauty regularly shares brand wins on social media with celebration posts acknowledging the community behind their successes, which is one of the many ways they are building a tight and cult-following community.

This post first appeared on Kochie’s Business Builders. You can read it here.

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    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

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