As the global market tears away all of the boundaries between brands and their customers, social communities emerge as the meeting point of both worlds. The question for you is: how can I join the party?
The Rise Of Online Social Communities
One of the more common ways of gathering customer insights is to wait for your customers to leave a comment or review on your product or service. This is also the slowest and ineffective way. It’s a clear marker of a business that is not adequately dealing with customer experience.
What you need is to be proactive. You have to actively reach out to people. Offer them a platform in which they feel heard. Do this by listen to their opinions on what you should do to improve your service or product. To establish a proper line of communication with your audience, you need an online platform where you can gather your followers in one place. And, that’s where the social communities come into play.
Social communities have become the staple method for interacting with your audience. The ancient ways of marketing, like simple advertising, are no longer profitable enough to justify relying only on them.
1. Generate Leads, Word Of Mouth And Reduce Support Time
With the space that you provide your community, you empower them to communicate, exchange experiences, and spread your brand through the market. You’d normally have to spend a royal sum to achieve this kind of buzz through advertising. Social communities organically create this for you and for free.
Generating leads and boosting conversion rates is another free perk. Organized online communities affect not only the PR side, but the technical aspects of sales and marketing as well. There is no cap limiting your growth. No need to hire more managers and marketing experts and to sacrifice your personal life to micro-manage all of the aspects of audience-interaction. Social communities have mechanisms for self-regulation, which you only have to observe and adjust to from time to time.
These perks are just skimming the surface of the potential benefits. For more insight into this new age of marketing, consult Richard Millington’s Book Buzzing Communities: How to Build Bigger, Better, and More Active Online Communities.
2. Get Insights Into Your Customer’s Journey
Through the eyes of your online community, you can watch your now fledgling group flourish into a thriving community united around a common theme: your brand. As they ask questions about your product or service, you can map their trail of thought and utilize their comments to upgrade your service and business in general.
A online social community can be a place for diligent and loyal customers who will become spokespeople for your brand. They answer questions, contribute with their own content, and provide assistance to potential newcomers.
Apart from creating a hearth for your followers to gather and talk around, you diminish the work of your customers support department just by giving your target audience a voice! Read more about incentivization through gamification here. Sharing should be the soul of your community; it’s what will make it big and cozy.
3. Apply Judo: Turn Negative Feedback Into An Opportunity
Your brand and your followers are one and the same. Followers become members of the brand. While you as the business owner can now meet your customers on equal footing. Gathering feedback no longer means gathering data – it’s about genuinely listening to your customers. That alone increases your credibility and the assurance that they’ll come to you again and again. And, don’t worry – there can be no negative feedback in branded communities if your organization is operating from the right perspective.
Turn all feedback into positive, constructive tips from the best business consultant available: your audience. A win-win situation for both sides. Believe it or not, an online social community can facilitate an inspiring experience for your customers.
4. You’ll Make Your Customers Feel Special
Numerous studies have continually shown that people get easily bored and repulsed with stats-and-numbers-only marketing approaches. Hard-selling marketing will at once becomes nearly unnecessary. Your brand members already know your business as they are proactively building it themselves! Through a branded social community you can inspire them, research their sentiments and approach them with the content that resonates with them. This is regardless of whether it’ll increase your sales or not. Here is where all the beauty of a social community comes together. People ask – you answer. 100% success rate; fail-safety always on, with profit being the only possible outcome for you.
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So, why build a social community? To empower your customers with their own voice, with you cultivating trust in return. Gather precious insights upon which you can navigate the course of your business towards success. Give your customers the feeling of being special and to see how they return the favor by making your brand unique.
At CMNTY we’ve spent the last decade helping companies improve customer satisfaction through customer experience software.
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Our community platform gives you a savvy toolkit for creating an exciting online space for your customers. A space to connect with you and with each other. Have a look and by using our free trial to create a community.