In Marketing departments across the country, executives are attempting to solve a growing problem in our increasingly digital world. How do we create a real relationship with a customer base or audience that is mainly interacting with us online? If you’re like most brands, you are mainly engaging with your audience on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat. That’s great! You should be taking advantage of the exposure that those channels can offer your brand. Many brands are finding, however, that those channels are not optimal for truly connecting with your audience.
Consumers don’t want brand relationships to be a part of their open social networks; instead they want company Websites to be more like their experiences with open social networks – Source
How can you create a relationship with your audience? One strategy you should start to consider is creating an online community. You may be thinking, “Don’t we already have an online community with our social media pages?” That may seem to be the case, but in reality, there is a very key difference between the activity in a community compared to the activity on your brand’s social media pages.
Turn Your Attention to Your Website
First, you should look at how your website can create a social branded experience for your audience. With engagement on social media dropping rapidly, use your website as a brand destination for building audience relationships. In fact, digital consumers have stated that they prefer to learn about companies and new products from the company’s website over the company’s Facebook Page.
Why Do I Need a Community?
There are very different goals and psychologies behind a community compared to your social media pages. On social media, the main goal is to share updates and content that will be seen by your audience. Hopefully, your post has a joke in it that gets a few more likes or your video gets shared a few times but that is about the extent of your interactions with your social media following. In a community, you are still posting content and updates, but the actions that you are expecting from your members is much different.
A community manager has two main jobs. First, they are responsible for increasing engagement with their brand’s content. Second, they must inspire community members to post their own content, engage with other members, and act as brand advocates within their personal networks.
Social media is a brand monologue compared to your community being a dialogue. On social media, you are talking to your audience in a one-way conversation. In your community, you are building a relationship with your audience through a two-way conversation and opening up a real dialogue between you and your customers.
Does My Community Replace My Facebook Page?
With all of that being said, your community is not a replacement for your social media pages! It is an extremely important complement to build a relationship with your audience on social media. At Memeni, we are passionate about helping brands build their own community. We feel that this is the next wave of digital marketing as brands are forced to find more creative methods for engaging their audience. I’m sure you still have plenty of questions about how this would work and if this strategy even makes sense for you. We’re happy to help clear up any questions you have as your start your journey to building your own online community.