Are you looking for ways to grow a community around your brand?
If so, you're in luck! There are several key things you can do to foster a strong, supportive community.
Here are seven of the most important:
1. Create a clear mission and vision for your brand.
When people know what your brand is all about and what you stand for, they'll be more likely to get behind it.
Your mission and vision statement is the foundation of your brand. It's who you are, what you do, and why you do it. It's the promise you make to your customers, and it's the guiding force behind everything you do as a business.
A clear mission and vision statement will help you attract the right customers, hire the right employees, and make the right decisions to take your business where you’re wanting it to go.
But how do you create a mission and vision statement that truly reflects your brand? Start by asking yourself some key questions: Who are we? What do we do? What are our values?
What difference do we make in the world?
Once you have answers to these questions, you can start to craft a mission and vision statement that captures the essence of your brand.
Keep it simple, clear, and concise, and make sure it reflects your unique brand identity. With a strong mission and vision statement, you'll be well on your way to building a successful brand.
2. Make it easy for people to connect with you online and offline.
Whether it's through social media, your website, or in-person events, make sure it's easy for people to interact with your brand. It’s important to make it easy for people to connect with you online and offline.
The best way to do this is to have a strong online presence (and that doesn’t mean you need to be spending all of your time online). Make sure you have a professional website and social media accounts. Post regularly and interact with your followers. In addition, attend events and meetups related to your industry.
By making yourself accessible both online and offline, you'll be more likely to build lasting relationships with clients and colleagues.
An important way to do this is to find the right social media platforms for your business!
Here are a few things to consider when choosing social platforms:
Step #1 - Think about your target audience
Who are you trying to reach? Different social platforms have different demographics, so it's important to choose platforms that will reach the people you want to reach.
Consider which social platforms your target audience is using. If you're trying to reach teenagers, for example, TikTok and Instagram are going to be more effective than LinkedIn. Second, think about what kind of content you want to share on social media.
If you're looking to showcase your products or services, visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are a good bet.
Finally, make sure you have the resources in place to maintain a presence on multiple social media platforms. Managing social media can be time-consuming, so it's important to make sure you have the staff or budget to do it effectively.
Step #2 - Consider your goals
What do you want to accomplish with your social media presence? Once you know your goals, you can choose platforms that will help you achieve them.
By taking the time to assess your needs, you can ensure that you're using social media in the most effective way possible. Whether people are looking to stay connected with friends and family or want to share their interests with like-minded people, social media provides the perfect outlet.
However, what do people really want to find when they log onto social media sites?
Generally speaking, most people want to find a sense of community. They want to feel like they belong somewhere and that they are part of something bigger. Social platforms provide the perfect opportunity for people to connect with others who share similar interests.
In addition, social media also allows users to easily stay up-to-date on what is happening in the world. For many people, social media is the first place they turn to for news and information.
Step #3 - Take a look at your resources
Do you have the time and manpower to maintain a presence on multiple social platforms? If not, it's probably best to focus on one or two platforms that you can really keep up with.
Yes, social media can be a great way to have some fun and escape from the everyday grind. Although some social platforms can be used for serious purposes, such as networking or building a personal brand, others are simply meant for entertainment.
Whether it's watching funny videos, scrolling through funny memes, or playing casual games, social media offers users a chance to relax and have a good time. Whether people are looking for connection, information, or just a way to unwind, social platforms provide them with a place to do that.
Taking the time to consider your audience, goals, and resources will help you choose the best platform (or platforms) for you.
No single platform will be the perfect option for everyone.
So to help you figure out the right platform for you, we created this simple, easy-to-follow Discover Your Avatar worksheet.
3. Be authentic and genuine.
In today's world, it's easy to get caught up in the online persona that we create for ourselves. We carefully select photos and carefully craft our posts to project a certain image to the world. While there's nothing wrong with wanting to put your best foot forward, it's important to remember to be authentic and genuine.
Why? Because people can tell when you're just trying to fake it, so always stay true to yourself and your values.
The people who will appreciate you the most are the ones who see the real you, not just the version that you've created for social media.
So don't be afraid to let your guard down and show the world who you really are. It may not be perfect, but it will be real, and that's what counts.
4. Create engaging content and foster a sense of conversation.
The internet has created a whole new playing field when it comes to marketing. No longer are businesses limited to print ads and TV commercials; they can now reach directly into people's homes and engage with them on a personal level.
However, this new form of marketing comes with its own set of challenges.
In order to be successful, businesses need to create content that is both engaging and fosters a sense of conversation. One way to do this is by creating blogs or social media accounts that allow customers to interact with the company on a more personal level. This way, businesses can build relationships with their customers and create an engaged community.
Another way to create engaging content is by using videos or podcasts. These mediums allow businesses to connect with their customers in a more personal way and help to create a sense of conversation.
By using these strategies, businesses can build relationships with their customers and create a more engaged community.
5. Respond to comments and questions in a timely manner.
In the age of social media, it's more important than ever to respond promptly to comments and questions from customers. Ignoring or deleting negative comments will only make customers angrier, and it can damage your company's reputation (there are always exceptions, ask about those in the comments).
On the other hand, responding quickly and effectively to customer concerns shows that you're attentive and care about providing good customer service.
In addition, timely responses can help to diffuse difficult situations and prevent them from escalating.
By making it a priority to answer customer inquiries quickly, you can improve your relationships with customers and build a positive image for your business.
6. Reward your followers for their loyalty and engagement.
There are many benefits to engaging with your social media followers on a regular basis. Not only does it build brand awareness and loyalty, but it can also lead to increased sales and ROI.
One of the best ways to encourage engagement is to offer rewards for loyalty and participation. For example, you could offer discounts or freebies to followers who share your content or give away prizes for contest winners. You could even create a VIP group for your most active followers, where they can enjoy exclusive content and access to special events.
This is something you often see with email lists. “Subscribe to my newsletter and be the first to know about new products or releases.” Not only does this help foster community around your business, but it also grows your email list while you’re at it!
Additionally, by offering rewards, you’ll not only increase engagement, but you’ll also show your followers that you value their loyalty and support.
7. Keep an open mind and be flexible with your approach.
One of the most important things to remember when trying to be successful in anything is to keep an open mind.
Be willing to try new things and approaches, even if they seem a little bit strange at first. It's easy to get set in your ways and to only want to do things the way that you're used to, but if you're not open to change then you'll never grow or improve.
Being flexible with your approach also means being willing to adjust your goals based on new information.
If something isn't working out the way that you thought it would, don't be afraid to scrap your original plan and start over. The ability to be flexible is key to finding success.
Bonus #8 - Show gratitude towards your community members.
At its core, community is about connection.
It's about creating a sense of belonging and finding common ground with others. In the business world, community can be a powerful tool for building brand loyalty, driving word-of-mouth marketing, and creating valuable connections.
Recognize your community’s contributions and let them know how much you appreciate them.
Why? Because customers want to feel like they're part of something larger than just a purchase, and a close-knit community can give them that. It's also a great way to build brand loyalty and keep customers coming back.
For businesses, community can take many forms. It could be an online forum or Facebook group where customers can interact with each other and with the business. It could be an Instagram hashtag that everyone in the community uses to support one another. Or it could be something offline like events or meetups. Whatever form it takes, community should be a central part of any business strategy.
There are many businesses that have thriving communities, but we’re going to share two that are excelling in that area.
One example is the fitness apparel brand GymShark. GymShark has positioned itself as its members’ go-to source for anything health and fitness related. They also have a huge social media following with hand-picked athletes who represent the brand and each work to create a strong community online. The best part is that GymShark’s customers are given the opportunity to continue to engage with the brand, which creates more trust and loyalty, turning into more sales for the company.
Another example of a business that has a thriving community is Starbucks. And it’s all thanks to how they created their brand. When you walk into any Starbucks store, you’re greeted by Starbucks partners (this is what they call their baristas). Starbucks is very active on social media, and they have the Starbucks Reward Program. Starbucks has even created a volunteer matching service to help engage partners and community members, as well as help those outside the community that needs assistance. Plus, they even hold some very cool holiday cup contests each year.
These businesses are just two examples of how by putting emphasis on your community, you can be successful.
If you can create a community that is invested in your success just as much as you are theirs, you’ll be able to achieve great things. It takes time and effort to build a successful community, but the payoff is worth it.
Keep these seven keys in mind as you work to cultivate a thriving community around your brand.
What have been your biggest successes (and failures) when it comes to growing a community around your brand?