Community Engagement + Growth

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Community…

From developer communities to brand ambassadors to enthusiastic professional user groups, a customer community is the gift that keeps on giving.

 

People go online to connect and gather. It’s what powers social. If your brand can harness these communities, build your own, or even create a movement, you’ll achieve epic word of mouth.

Our humble beginnings on the web were in community and, to this day, it’s the most powerful part of online marketing. When your customers gather online in support of your brand (and you foster this), you are unstoppable. We’ve built and been involved in worldwide customer communities - from the small business communities to developer communities to enthusiastic political movements - since 1992.

The benefits of community

Like content, community may seem like a "nice to have" or something "soft," but investing in the growth of a customer community will reduce your costs and amplify your success. There are so many benefits of a community, such as:

  • Sustained attention - what could be better than not having to go anywhere (or pay) to reach your customers...because THEY ARE RIGHT THERE.

  • Reduced attrition - A happy community breeds loyalty to the bone.

  • Increased customer lifetime value - A happy community also breeds more purchasing.

  • Built-in focus groups - paying for research is for chumps. Just ask your community.

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The stages of growing a community

STAGE 1: Find Your Tribe (community outreach)

This stage is about doing a lot of online exploration, seeking out communities of interest from all corners of the web who could become advocates or even customers. We search through Facebook Groups, LinkedIN Groups, SubReddits, forums, meet-up groups, blogs, existing online communities, and anywhere else we will find your tribe. This involves social listening as well as relationship building.

STAGE 2: Find a Parade and Get in Front of it (community engagement)

We love this phase. It’s where you start making the movement. What does that movement look like? We need to find out what is brewing and tap into it. You could lead that parade. It could be through the content, validated by the influencers we work with or it could be as simple as a hashtag or a Subreddit.

STAGE 3: Create the Coolest Clubhouse (community growth)

Having the community come to you is no easy feat, but if we take the right steps, it will happen naturally. And if you’re wondering why it isn’t just about sending them to your website to buy stuff or join up, remember that people also want the option to gather with like-minded folks for that feeling of belonging. It's what brings them in so that the sell is easier.

 

Tara Hunt