It’s not enough to just have a Facebook page and Twitter account for your enterprise. It’s not enough that you have fans.
What you want are the types of fans who actually care enough to discuss your brand with others. What you want is a community.
Here are 5 good reasons to build a community around your brand.
5.) To find your “haters” and convert them to advocates.
An online community offers your brand followers a place to say whatever they want. This of course, includes bad things they might have to say about your brand. This is one of the big reasons why so many entreps and managers don’t want to set up a Facebook page– much more an online community.
But the truth is, you stand to lose so much more by not getting in touch with those who have issues with your brand. An online community makes it easy to find -and solve – issues that might be affecting many of your customers.
Dissatisfied customers given a speedy resolution can become your staunchest advocates, especially when you go beyond what they expected. Sometimes, just helping them feel heard is all it takes to get them on your side.
4.) To give your fans a voice.
Speaking of helping your followers feel heard, if the events of the past generation tells us anything, it’s that people want to be heard. We don’t even particularly care if it’s about anything all that important. We need attention.
If you can give your brand’s fans official channels for expressing how they feel that can be seen by by the whole world, that in itself can already be a service.
3.) To better reward and recognize outstanding fans.
We’re not talking about the fake fans you get when you hold contests — though those things have their place. Fans and brand advocates who make significant contributions in helping increase your brand’s profile should be recognized and rewarded.
How you do that is not really up to us to say, but having an active online community makes it so much easier to recognize fans who have made special contributions, which in turn, helps show how much you value your followers while opening up new discussions at the same time.
2.) For a wider online presence.
Every time one of your followers posts a comment or otherwise interacts with someone on your community pages, that counts as content that can be crawled by search engines. And we’re not just talking about Google and Bing, though these are the major ones to do SEO optimization for.
Broadly speaking, the search functions of any site are also search engines, albeit specialized for single sites, and they look for many of the same things as Google does.
Now this isn’t as big of a thing as you coming up with new content, but it’s much better than nothing.
1.) So you don’t have to work as hard.
While crucial, creating fresh content for a site can take away a lot of time that your could use for other other important tasks in your enterprise. A community that is involved with your brand can take away some — but never all — of the effort that comes with having to update your site regularly.
An active online community can also take much of the guesswork out of product research. While you should never rely on just online comments to draw critical data from, discussions online can point you towards the right direction with regards to what the market needs and what issues they might be currently experiencing.
What do you think? Tell us in the comments below!