Here is the second phase of how to build an online community. Development of communities plays an indispensable role in establishing loyalty of the consumers towards the business. It is considered to be a perfect option to connect people with similar needs, interests, and behaviors. That is a perfect place where different consumers develop relationships with one another as well as with the brand. It helps in adding value for the consumers and retaining the potential customers. To build an online community, the first phase involves starting small. In addition to this, it is essential to add the layer of the exclusivity, ethics of helpfulness, making connections, to name a few.
As you have started speaking more about the community, it is time to add the members and work for scaling. There are different options to do the same. The effectiveness will be dependent on the kind of community, you are willing to run. There are different practices that have proved the effectiveness of the development of the community. Take a look to learn how to build an online community.
The referral program
The communities of Hunn and Quibb let the early members in inviting people for joining. The same strategy holds good for Ello. The assumption is that as the early members of the community contribute to the same in a worth mentioning manner, their friends are likely to do the same. They will only make the best of the people join the communities. Referrals are considered to be the perfect option for people to share a cool thing as they are considered to be an indispensable part of spreading the word of the specific brand. Referees are known to award the most effective referral programs. As rewards, you can offer certain features, swag, product discounts, tickets, freebies, to name a few to the referee. There are certain referral programs where the point systems are being used. Referral programs can help in the addition of the other layer of engagement and let the competition go in a healthy manner.
Newsletters are another integral option how to grow an online community. Newsletters will be much helpful in the management of a large community, spreading the word to the existing customers. It also helps them in understanding the objectives of the community, and the value they are going to add.
Every brand and its communities have tiered customers. For instance, the consumers of Tier A may be super loyal, hyper-engaged whereas the consumers of Tier B might be loyal and moderately loyal customers. As you start small, you need to invite the consumers of Tier-A in the beginning. As you have prepared the guidelines, it is now time to invite the customers of Tier B and this is how the list goes. SaaS programs such as NomNom and Intercom are useful in finding the most engaged customers.
The social audience can be effective when you think about how to build an online community. It is also useful in making engagements. As the community runs in a smooth manner and there is a tight process, it is time to unleash the hounds, indicating that it is announced to the world. The social channels help in sharing wins, highlights, and insights from a different community. Through social media, you can let your targeted audience know what they are missing exactly and the reasons for which they need to join the community. You can add a wide array of members to your community by making announcements on social media as well as on the blogs.
In case you are trying to build and develop a huge community, you need to include people outside the customer base as well. The outreach happens to be an effective strategy for the development of an online community. You require finding relevant blogs, publications, and newsletters and share the same with the community. Create a compelling and short message and let your customers know why they should be a part of the community. There are different tools for the identification of relevant outlets.
You can be available as an expert for different new media sources. It is useful in bringing more people to the community. As you create a high quality of content, you can have higher leverage while reaching out to people. Media are fond of experts on a specific subject. If you are confident about your knowledge on the specific niche on which the community is developed, appear on media as an expert. This will be helpful in growing your community in no time.
Believe it or not, but your personal network can do wonders in how to build an online community. In fact, it may help you in turning your community into the brand. If someone wants to volunteer, listen to them. Begin with a call to your personal network and keep moving.
You need to find specific sites in the niche in which you can go for guest posting. In addition to building links, it is considered to be an integral option for the development of community and bringing in new people. Being a good and quality writer of a specific medium can help you in qualifying in doing guest blogging.
Conducting live events
Most of the development of online communities involves offline connections. Though a virtual handshake can be amazing, a real-life one can do wonders. If you can manage to grab the attention of people while they are away from computers, it will do more good. Conduction of live events is considered to be an ideal option for bringing people in your niche together. In the era of the social web, you can find more people for the growth of your community in the live events.
It is another crucial option part of how to build an online community. It is useful in establishing new connections and growing the community. You need to ensure that the content of the interview is amazing and useful. It will help you in building an online community at ease.
These first and second phase tips could help you to grow online community. If you didn’t read the first part yet, you can to do this here: How to build an online community: part 1.