The way a brand communicates with its customers has drastically changed over time. It is no longer just about optimising for user needs but also the value-added in their lives. Brands have been incorporating strategies to build long-term relationship with their customers. This in turn helps them increase retention convert more customers through word of mouth.
By building a community, you make your brand more human, more approachable. Customers feel like they belong and that they are a part of the bigger picture. For an individual, communities are an incredible way of not just connecting with not just the brand vision but also with like-minded people.
With information becoming more and more accessible, customers now tend to choose brands that they can trust. Building a strong and reliable community is a great way to win the trust of your customer. In fact, a study reports that around 74% of internet users were involved in some community in 2020. Clearly, it is an investment that only compounds.
Here are 5 reasons why building a community will play a vital role in building your brand -
1. Improve Brand Awareness and Visibility
What is better than customers loving your brand and talking about it organically? Building a community can help you do that.
Back in 2019 when Figma was still in the beta phase, the founders took a plunge and created a community on Slack called Friends of Figma. Over time this community became their go-to place for not just customer feedback on the product. The team topped it up by adding immense value to the users through workshops, AMAs, networking sessions and member-led events. They incentivised active members making a community so loved that people couldn’t stop themselves from talking about it.
The result? If you simply search “Friends of Figma” on Twitter you will find multiple tweets praising the community and of course the brand! All of it without the heavy spending on paid ads. You can read more about how Figma’s community helped it become a $10 billion company here.
2. Improved Customer Experience
Fostering relationships beyond just the product can go a long way in customer retention. When you support your members in their journey, you strike a sense of camaraderie like no other. Using your resources to bring ease and accessibility to the lives of members makes your brand more welcoming.
Gumroad a marketplace for creators not just provides users with a seamless product but also helps them with everything they need to grow their business. They have curated several resources covering all bases - from basic ‘how to sell’ guides to how to grow a sustainable business. Their community is a great place for like-minded people to hang out! Here’s how the community enriches the experience of the customers. 👇
3. Great Place for Customer Feedback
Working on a product feature and not sure if your audience will like it? Ask it in your community! You can find the most honest and valuable feedback from the right people if you have an engaged community.
Let’s take the example of Appsmith. It was vital to be engaged with the users (developers) to get their feedback and learn from them on how they could improvise their product. To achieve this, they started a Discord server to brainstorm ideas, learn from their users and support them better. Through several events and office hours, they were able to engage right away with their core customers.
Community members had access to their beta product and could - give feedback on early design concepts and prototypes, participate in research sessions and chat directly with the product designers. The result?
Appsmith @theappsmithOne of our contributors 'Green Flux' has written a really informative blog on how to save API response data to Google Sheets using Appsmith! 🙌🏾 🙌🏾 Learn more here: https://t.co/eOjWtxc2mu
4. Content Repository for the Users by the Users
One of the many challenges that brands face while creating content for the users in understanding their needs. While you can run experiments and measure what’s working or not, there is nothing better than simply asking your users.
Engaging the community to share their content will help make your brand more reliable. To top it off, you have multiple ideas to build your next content set! Incentivising the activity of members will help you generate this user-generated content.
Take the example of Miro. Every time a member interacts in the community they get certain points based on their action. On being an active member you can collect multiple badges. There is also a leaderboard that ranks the top 1000 community members based on how much they interact. Way to build an interactive community!
5. Finding the Right Brand Advocates
Your online community can be your best bet on finding the right advocates for your product. Since your community is focused on a niche, the quality of people interacting is extremely high. When starting small with a limited budget, finding people to start the dialogue about the brand organically can help you scale faster.
Whether it is about finding the right hire for the perfect fit of an upcoming campaign, diving deep into the engagement metrics of your community can help you hit the goldmine of talent!
Building a community can help you consolidate your brand presence and making it more accessible. You also get a closer look at the interests and choices of your customers helping you improve everywhere you can. The engagement with customers and more consistent interaction provided by a community boosts retention, due to the personal relationship you are able to cultivate with each one of your customers.