Building your online customer community gets people talking about your brand, is an opportunity to turn new customers into returning loyal ones, helps build trust and respect regarding your brand and can attract new leads too.
So what strategies should businesses implement to ensure their online community continues to thrive?
To build your customer community you need to figure out where people are talking about you. Social listening plays a part in this. Find out where your business is being mentioned, what kinds of platforms are being used and make sure that you are aware of everywhere that your business is being talked about.
Of course, it could be that no one is talking about your business yet and there is no sense of community around your brand. In which case you need to create opportunities for people to connect and start talking. Make sure you pay attention to your social media accounts, and actively engage with your customers on these platforms. Encourage customers to like your pages, to follow you on social media and use these platforms to ask questions to get conversations started. Remember people like to feel part of something; they like to feel connected. So when you are starting conversations and encouraging customer communities to grow, make sure you come across as open, encouraging and honest otherwise people won’t want to open up to you, or one another.
Listen to them
The most important thing you can do as a business is listen to your customers. Don’t just wade into conversations all guns blazing. Get a feel for what people are saying about you and gain an understanding of how your business is perceived. This way when it comes to implementing strategies you can understand where you need to change perception and why.
Of course, just listening isn’t enough. Make sure that you get involved in these conversations too. It is essential however to go in with a level head. Not everyone may like what your business is doing but don’t get angry, instead ask questions you want the answers to and act on the feedback you are given so that your customers can actively see that you are listening to them and doing something to improve their experience of your brand.
Online communities are fantastic opportunities to keep abreast of how your customers are experiencing your brand, products, and services.
If you can effectively manipulate these conversations and engage with customers in the right way you can grow brand awareness, and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty at the same time. This leads to more leads and higher sales figures for you too.
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