Building Online Brand Communities - The Best Action Plan

As an entrepreneur, you'll need to build your brand's visibility steadily so you can attract attention and gain trust.

As an entrepreneur, you'll need to build your brand's visibility steadily so you can attract attention and gain trust.

Building awareness for a product, service, or solution among the target audience is one of the core focus areas of any entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, you'll need to build your brand's visibility steadily so you can attract attention and gain trusted followers. In today's online-obsessed world, social media channels can help you with all these activities. But with so many channels available, your messages can get lost, or, worse, reach a completely unrelated and uninterested set of target audience. So what's the best way to connect with your audience and build a trusted relationship with them? The answer lies in building online brand communities with a strong niche audience who can connect with your brand, follow every aspect of the brand, and turn into your trusted brand ambassadors themselves.

These communities will help you to not only engage with your audience effectively, but also gain a strong foothold in your market. Sounds interesting, right? So let's take a closer look at the world of online brand communities.

Online brand communities - advantages and examples

With ever-increasing online engagement, social media channels are exploding with online communities of people who share similar interests - in food, games, hobbies, and adventure. Brands soon realized the value of commercializing this concept and started associating with niche communities that matched their area of expertise.

This concept has spread like wildfire, with the success of established brands proving the success of the concept - from My Starbucks Idea to Lego Ideas. With incredible benefits to reap, this approach definitely influences your business outcomes positively, in terms of improved sales and extensive brand penetration. These communities also provide a perfect platform to seek honest feedback from the brand's followers. Whether public or private, communities open up opportunities to discuss opinions and ideas, often giving rise to brilliant opportunities to experiment with new concepts and improvements. The members of these communities are brilliant ambassadors of your brand, helping you spread the reach of your business through word of mouth.

With such enormous benefits, there are obviously some points you need to take care of.

Pointers for managing a successful online brand community

Managing an online brand community has lot of responsibilities and you need to be watchful of a few points. Let's look at some of them:

  1. Do not change the community into just a customer support interaction or a monologue of advertorial content. Ensure that you engage in interesting discussions, encouraging members to share their brand-related experiences.
  2. Remember to measure the effectiveness of your engagement with the community members and quantify the benefits that this interaction brings to the brand's value.
  3. Never ignore the comments from the community's members. Disregarding the sentiments of your followers can be more damaging than not having community at all.
  4. Community interaction is not just about content, it is also about interactive design that simplifies the overall experience of visiting and engaging within the community.
  5. Avoid going overboard with excessive communication since this could lead to your followers feeling overwhelmed and saturated. Hence consider seeking the support of a trusted business mentor or business coach before getting started on such a venture.
  6. In today's world almost every interaction happens through mobile phones. Hence if you are not working on also enabling a mobile-friendly look and feel, you will be missing out on a significant percentage of potential users.

Conclusion - leveraging online brand communities for expanding brands

Online brand communities are effective options to build rapport with your target audience of users. But it requires a lot of nurturing and the right attention to encourage a healthy interaction between your and your customers. Focusing on a transparent relationship building through private or open online communities can strengthen the brand commitment of your followers and expand your reach across your market. When are you getting started?

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