One of the most important ways to increase customer loyalty is to build a community. Although smartphones and mobile internet connect billions of people, it is more difficult than ever to gain trust or loyalty. This is because your audience is inundated with content, including promotional messages from your competitors.
They can promote your user base, but it’s harder for them to remember you and trust you enough to buy from you. You can manage this distance by creating an emotional connection between you and your audience. And the most practical way to do that is by creating a community.
This post will show you how you can use social media to build a solid community around your brand. Companies like Lego, Harley Davidson, and many others have online communities to share ideas. These places provide a curated space for people to share their passions.
For some types of businesses, not having a community is not an option. Coaching, wellness or education companies need to build a community to share information and support their target audience.
Let’s look at how you can build your own branding community using social media. We have two main approaches based on the platforms you choose. You can:
- Create a membership page and use social media to attract more members
- Build your community with social media as your main platform
Each option has its advantages and its own set of problems. You can also use both options at the same time.
Whichever approach you choose, you need to have a clear strategy in place. Let’s begin!
Create a membership page
A membership page or portal is a gated website that your audience can access content by signing up as a member. To do this, you need member software to create unique content that members are ready to come back for.
You get more control and various benefits when you create your own membership page.
- You can build your brand image more effectively via a member portal
- You can add features such as email marketing, online courses, forums, and loyalty programs to your website
- The availability of detailed analysis
- Complete customization of your membership page
By creating a membership page, you manage your content and users in your own domain. You still have to market your membership platform, however, and social media is a powerful way to get people to your membership website. Let’s look at how you can get your audience from Facebook to your member page:
- Create a branded page and group and encourage users to follow or join them
- Use Facebook advertising to draw attention to your member page
- Run a contest or giveaway on Facebook and give them access to free content on your member page
- Write short, helpful posts on social media and let your audience know that they have exclusive access to a more in-depth post or video on your member portal
This way, you can use your social media presence to bring more people to your member area. This gives you the opportunity to build an even closer relationship with your audience.
Community building in social media
Another option you can use to build a community is through a social media platform. More precisely on Facebook, which allows you to create private and public groups. You can also create a group on LinkedIn. It is suitable for building and networking communities on a professional level. If you are in the B2C sector, Facebook makes more sense.
Here are some of the top reasons to build a community through Facebook Groups:
- Creating a group is free
- Social media is widespread and your audience is already present and active
- There are fewer steps to take to join a group while logging in and potentially adding details to join a member site
- Facebook prioritizes the display of content from groups that a person belongs to. This means a better chance that your content will stand out
At the same time, it is clear that using Facebook or other groups to build a community has disadvantages.
- There are restrictions on the features that you can add. You can’t use email marketing, create courses, create groups for subtopics, and much more
- Your branding is limited to one group. You can only change your logo and header, and you have no control over the overall appearance
- You don’t get detailed analysis like on your own website
- There is no way to collect payments or sell products within a group
Building and sharing a community, be it on a membership page or on social media, is based on consistent and ongoing efforts. You need to regularly post content, answer questions, leave comments, and ask your users to get involved.
It is also important to curate and moderate the content in your groups or on your website. Removing off-topic discussions and ensuring that all discussions see engagement and participation is a task in itself. It takes effort, but when you have a thriving and dedicated community the payoffs are substantial.
As you gain momentum in your growing community, you will find that your community may even begin to run itself. You can set up long-term members to moderate, add content, and help other members.
Another benefit of creating a branding community online is that you automatically create social evidence. When you see people invested in a brand, communicating with it, and with each other, you can’t help but feel like the business is trustworthy.
There are two important ways you can use social media to build a branding community. It can help you market your membership page and get more members to do it. Platforms like Facebook allow you to create groups where you can form a solid group that engages with your brand and each other.
You can also use the two approaches and let them complement each other. There are tools out there that you can even use to embed a Facebook group on your website.
Depending on the needs and situation of your business, you may want to focus on one platform more than the other.
We just looked through some helpful information to help you build your own branding community. Use the ideas given here and it is sure that you will find it easier to increase conversions online and get more positive engagement.