How to Harness the Power of Online Communities.
Don’t be fooled by this word, I don’t mean spamming your followers with endless posts, I mean be present, add value, have a dialogue. Engaging is about answering peoples’ questions and queries, helping to solve their problems, providing insights and advice.
What I don’t mean is constantly selling, whether than be products or services.
Relationships are built on trust, you achieve this by demonstrating credibility and value up-front. Consumers are looking for their brands to engage with them beyond a transaction. They want an experience, by engaging with customers you’ll build confidence in your brand.
Your online community can be one of your biggest assets when it comes to getting valuable feedback and sparking innovation.
They offer a forum to throw thoughts around and test ideas. Communities give you access to audiences that are ready and willing to tell you what they think, and they expect to be listened to in return. Give and take.
The brands that evolve and grow with and through community interaction are the ones that remain relevant, because they’re adapting to their customers’ changing needs, interests and values.
So, what have we learnt from the above?
Communities are not about short-term lead generation but long-term relationships based on honesty, transparency and mutual trust. Community activation leads to:
- More authentic engagement with prospects and customers.
- Long-term, deeper relationships based on give-and-take, mutual trust and understanding.
- And, most importantly ongoing advocacy of your brand within the community but also to wider audiences too.
– david alston –
‘Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.’
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