Online communities are an incredible resource for marketers. They can amplify the strength of any marketing campaigns you enact and increase your reach. They’re also not limited by location. Your followers could be all around the world, increasing your exposure.
Growing your community should be one of your first objectives as a marketer. Without them, you’re gambling with the company’s future. Here are a few lesser known was to develop an engaged and loyal community.
- Quality Over Quantity
There is power in how much you put out on a daily basis. Daily posts and videos ensure that you’re always at the forefront of their minds. However, this can backfire. They can suffer from marketing fatigue and end up tuning you out. If you find that bombarding people with content isn’t working, you can go the other way and focus on quality over quantity.
Instead of going the daily route, you can opt to post something once a week or even once every two weeks. The trade-off is whatever you post must be amazing, something they can really sink their teeth into. In-between posts you should promote what you’ve posted. Reach out to influencers in your industry and get them to spread the word.
- Purchase Leads
Sometimes, the simplest answer is also a correct one — the best way to expand your reach and develop a community is to advertise. Purchasing leads does have some negative connotations with it and, depending on the platform, can look like spam. Of course, that’s a matter of adjusting the ad itself and not the method. Done correctly, it can get you as many people as networking through your existing community can, if not more.
One of the primary benefits of an online community is the amplification of your message. Each person represents another potential share or re-post, which results in increased reach and exposure. To increase the odds of your community spreading the good word, you need to attract enthusiasts.
You’re looking for people who’re hungry for content, for things to share. They can be content curators or just excitable — whatever they are, you want them in your community. How you do that will depend largely on your industry.
- Get Communities Involved in the Product
If you want an engaged community, you’ll have to give them a reason to be engaged. Fortunately, that can be as simple as getting them involved in the company’s development process. Ask them for their opinions. Show them different versions of the product and put it up to a poll.
This effectively turns your followers into beta testers. Not only does this make them more invested in the company’s success, improving loyalty, it also gets you helpful feedback. This will help you simultaneously develop your online community as well as aid in product development.
- Offer Engagement Tiers
The best way to grow and engage your online community as an entrepreneur is to incentivize their participation. It’s more than replying to comments over Twitter or Facebook. Reward the right behavior and you’ll see more of it.
That means offering engagement tiers. For example, you could offer a special tour of the office if enough people subscribe to your page or retweet a specific message. It increases your exposure, gets more people into the community, and tells them you’re paying attention to what they do.
- Send Personalized Messages of Thanks
One of the best ways you can generate customer loyalty as a marketer is to show your appreciation in a personalized manner. How you do it is up to you. Hand-written notes, a shout-out in a blog post — the sky’s the limit. The more you show your appreciation, the more engaged your community will be.
- Position the Company as an Authority
Anyone can put up anything online. That’s the magic of the Internet. Unfortunately, this has understandably made people more careful. They’re going to be wary of you — unless you position the company as an authority. They’ll find it easier to commit to your company if they trust your opinions and posts.
Marketing online is a difficult but not impossible task. If you gather a loyal community, you essentially have half the work done for you already. People are listening to your message. You just need to keep nurturing them by showing your appreciation and getting them involved in product development process. Get that done, and you’re on the way to success.