How to Build an Online Community Around Your Brand
It’s no secret that more and more consumers are looking to various options to help them really understand who a business is and what it has to offer. But despite the boom of social media, blogs and other methods of interaction, not all options are created equally, requiring a clear knowledge of each method of sharing and cultivation in order to uncover which methods are best suited for each message and objective.
Blogging: More Than Just Information
Blogs may appear to be a place where businesses, companies and people can share their thoughts, information, accomplishments and activity. But while blogs are a great way to share information and create a persona of industry authority, they can also be a great place to nurture interaction through commenting, replies and even interactions between audience members themselves. Connecting with readers is vital to building a community environment where audience members not only feel comfortable commenting, they also have a desire to interact with posts and other readers posting comments.
Asking questions of readers is just one way to promote interaction and encourage a sense of community within. Readers who never interact are merely that: readers. But readers who can share their own ideas and thoughts by answering questions and offering their opinions become tied to the blog, building a sense of community that is associated with the brand.
Making a blog or place of interaction a safe place where readers and sharers are not afraid of being ridiculed or policed by business owners and other readers alike is a vital aspect of creating a community where audience members want to return and continue sharing and growing with.
By creating an environment that promotes interaction, bloggers and social media users can utilize the information, questions and comments from their audience to continue provoking stronger relationships. By using comments and questions to create additional content, readers and social media followers feel a sense of contribution while receiving answers to questions and thoughts, sparking a sense that writers and businesses are listening to them.
Nurture Relationships Outside to Grow Community
While community members who share, read, comment and question are vital players that make a community comfortable and interactive, growing one’s online community is something that business owners and marketing managers should always aim for. One method of growing one’s online community is through sharing contributions with other communities and blogs that may be related. Swapping blog posts and sharing one another’s posts and information can help generate interest and may bring new readers who have already been established as interactive sharers that can contribute to one’s community and associated ideas.
By listening, growing, sharing and questioning ideas, businesses and brand managers can help promote a place where audience members long to share their ideas as well as thoughtfully contribute and interact, strengthening one’s brand and tying authority to products and services.