According to recent studies having a branded community can help  businesses grow faster. In fact, having a community can reduce customer costs by up to 25 percent, increased customer retention and get feedback on new ideas and products. So if your brand hasn’t decided to build its community yet then it might just be the missing key to your brand’s success.

 

Why brands need a community?

If you look at the success of major brands there is a group of loyal followers. The best example of this is Apple. Apple started building it loyal customers long before building community became fashion. Whenever Apple launched its product there were a group of people waiting eagerly to buy its product. Today people buy Apple because it has become part of who they are. There is no doubt that it is the community of followers that has made Apple successful.

Building a community for a brand is like providing a platform where your customers can talk about your products and spread the ideas. It is also the place where you can reach out to customers and get their feedback. It is not necessary that you have to be a billion-dollar brand to have the community. Even small companies can start with community building. As Seth Godin says that you only need 1000 people to build your tribe.

So let’s get started:

 

1.    Be clear how you will use your platform

A community is not a place where you sell your products or services. It is where customers connect with you, ask questions, solve problems and share their ideas. So the important thing to consider is to empower your community. For example, Starbucks uses its community to ask it, loyal customers, what kind of flavors they would prefer. The community can be made more engaging by hosting contests and giving awards to loyal customers.

 

2.    Choose the right platform

With the rise of social media platforms, small businesses can conveniently form their community there. The important thing to consider in hosting the platform is where does your audience reside. Similarly, depending on your product, you can decide what would work best like Instagram or Facebook community. Another way to grow your community is to build an engaging email list.

 

3.    Deliver value and engage

The brands have to also consider the value they will bring to the community. The audience must have a reason to join their community. Like sharing exclusive tips or giving them discounts. Or you can let the community have their own discussion on the platform. For example, HR Block provides its communities immediate access to a tax professional through a social media campaign. This helped companies generate 1.5 million unique visitors and 15% increase in revenue.

 

4.    Reward loyal followers

Rewarding your customer and regularly engaging with them is a great way to show that you care. Most importantly it will help you win their loyalty and encourage others to join your community. Few ways to do this is like running giveaway campaigns or subscription at a discounted price and or even a simple gesture like mentioning a user in one of your posts.

 

Finally….

A brand community requires a lot of work but it is all worth the time. The key is to bring value to your community. Once your community is engaged they will themselves promote your brand and products bringing in more sales and people thereby helping you in growing your business