Hello everyone. One common denominator among many successful companies that we have noticed is the existence of a community attached to the product or services that the company or organisation provides. In the week that Facebook gave its community of 1.23 billion users the gift of a personalised film the notion of community is very strong. It goes beyond the desire to create repeat purchases or brand loyalty. Intrinsically a sense of community is what we desire as humans – well, most of us. Companies that succeed in this respect exist in many different sectors: the Apple community has been integral to that brand’s success, the same could be said of those who feel just as fervently about Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Creating a community around your products or services if executed well can turn a small brand into a phenomenally successful one. However, it is not simply a case of working through a checklist and boom! You have a community. Below are 6 tips to help you on your way.
How do you build a community? – 6 tips
1. Content & Rules
You will need to create Content for your community on a regular basis and let your desired community members know the reasons for the community. Explain how the community can interact with you the hosts and with each other. Decide how it will be moderated and what are the best uses of the community.
Be very clear where this community is based – is it a dedicated portal with login? Is it a publicly hosted forum. Is it hosted on a third party platform: LinkedIn or Facebook being obvious examples. Note – It is preferable to have a dedicated portal that you control. Are there any offline aspects to the community? A regular meeting place for events, for example.
3. Customer Service
Deliver excellent customer service to your community but also to all of your customers and those who make enquiries. For more details on how to do this read this post – SME Owners – 10 ways to excel at customer service
4. Ability to Surprise
A good community has the ability to surprise and delight its members. This community should not be a platform used only for promotional offers. Your objective must be to deliver value to your members and to interact with them.
5. Interaction & Engagement
A key feature of any community is the amount of interaction and engagement – not just with the host but also with each other within the community. Build in flexibility to accommodate user generated features and you will reap the rewards. I was recently contacted by Quora asking me for my suggestions in this respect and it is clear this is one of the ways they are developing their platform.
6. Above and Beyond
Start with the mindset that you will go above and beyond the norm in an approach that both Napoleon Hill and Zig Ziglar famously referred to as ‘going the extra mile’ and you will give your community every chance of future success.
We hope you have found this information useful. We would be happy to discuss how creating a community around your products or services could work for you. Give us a call on +44 845 2264 247 or email us via email@example.com to start the conversation.
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