As small business owners, we’d all love an engaged and loyal customer base who came back to us to buy our products and services time and time again, and having an actual community of followers is the Holy Grail. Building a community around your business is not something you can do overnight, but it’s well worth the effort if you’re in it for the long haul.
But how do we go about building a community around a brand and how do we ensure that our following remains engaged and loyal? Here are five tips for creating a community around your brand.
Support Your Customers
Think about your ideal client and what they come to you for, then find a common issue and start a Facebook group. Start small, adding a few people at a time and invite those people to add like-minded others. Make the group a place for chat and advice and your group will start to grow organically. Don’t make your posts salesy and people will feel like they’re engaging with an ethos rather than a salesperson.
Offer Added Value
Once you’ve created a group and you’ve got people’s attention, you’ll want them to feel as though they’re actually getting something out of being in the group. This means adding value by sharing quality content through your social media channels. This doesn’t have to consist entirely of content you’ve created yourself, it can be shares from other pages, as long as it keeps you in people’s news feeds.
In terms of added value, customers love nothing more than a discount of a freebie and it’s one of the things which is most likely to keep people loyal to your brand. Running giveaway campaigns and giving out coupon codes to renew subscriptions at a discounted price are great ways to reward your customers. Feature a customer of the week or month – someone who has truly helped you grow your business on your website, social media, or in your next email.
With the internet at our fingertips, there’s always a temptation to cast the net as widely as you can, but there may be bigger opportunities for a thriving community more locally to you. Set up events and meetings for people in the local area and you could end up with a tribe of customers who remain loyal to you forever.
Don’t Make it All About You
If you want to create a true community feel, don’t make it all about you. It’s easy to forget that the world doesn’t revolve around your company, particularly when you’re working to build brand identity and awareness. The fact is, though, if you come across as a pushy salesperson all the time, no one will want to stay in your group for very long. Get your community talking to each other, too – eventually, people will become conversation starters in their own right, which will give your community a more vibrant and well-paced feel.
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