GROW YOUR ONLINE BRAND COMMUNITIES
Online communities give you the opportunity to express yourself and develop a personalized relationship with a brand.
As marketing is becoming more customer-centric, online community growth has become imperative for getting consumer insights and feedback. Mobile apps have made it much easier to actively engage members on discussion forums. Having customer support available on mobile app allows cost savings of about 49 percent. These online communities allow many firms to update customers on any new products that might be coming in or share their views regarding a particular product. The word of mouth generated by these online communities is amplified due to large number of participants. 67% of businesses use their communities for insights on new products or services and features. Highly engaged individuals become brand advocates giving sincere and earnest reviews of the products they enjoy. It shows how all consumer-facing brands can generate branded community engagement by focusing on highly engaged niches within their audiences.
These strategies should be used to increase online community growth:
- Offer sneak peaks for new products before the product is launched. This will help generate positive word of mouth for the new product. Offering discounts and gifts on special occasions to community members makes the customer experience more personalized. The features discussed by the community members will help the firm improve their new product before it hits the market.
- Answering product related queries on a forum also helps to generating word of mouth for the existing as well as new members. An example would be BeautyTalk which was created in response to the thousands of online reviews and consumer queries left on Sephora.com. An online community for beauty fans, it is now a thriving forum whereby consumers can share tips, advice and reviews – as well as merely talk to one another about whatever topic they like.
- Online forums where members can get updates on any new events or initiatives the company might be taking always generates a discussion among members. An example would be the Harley Davidson community which is more than just an online forum. In fact, the ‘online’ aspect is pretty minimal, merely serving as a way of connecting with fellow riders and enjoy benefits of joining HOG.