Are you thinking about building an online community for your business? There are a number of ways you can create an online community. For instance, you can use your company blog, create a forum, or start a Facebook Group.
Recently, our team at WPBeginner created a Facebook group called WPBeginner Engage, a WordPress group for non-techies.
But, building an online community for your brand takes time and effort. Is it really worth it?
The answer is a resounding yes.
Here are 5 benefits of building an online community for your business.
1. Build Social Proof
Imagine creating a Facebook group for your brand and getting 20,000 members. This makes your business look awesome. When other people see that your company is amazing enough to have an online community with so many active members, they’ll want to join and become a customer too. That’s social proof in action.
You can promote your online community on your website and let visitors to your domain know how many members your group has, similar to how blogger Helene in Between does it below by promoting the number of email subscribers she has.
This shows your website visitors that your online community is worth joining and your company is worthy of their business.
As you can see, social proof will not only help you grow your online community even more, but it can also skyrocket conversions for your business.
2. Gather Valuable Feedback
Having an online community lets you interact directly with your audience and customers. With this kind of close relationship and interaction, you can find out exactly what your audience thinks and get valuable customer feedback.
Asking for feedback from your customers and audience will make them feel like important members of your community. Plus, you can use that feedback to make your product/service even better and grow your business.
For example, this radio station created a Facebook poll to find out if their listeners wanted to hear Christmas music in November.
With an active online community, it’s easy to get feedback from your audience. And with that valuable feedback, you can give your audience exactly what they want.
3. Learn More About Your Audience
Asking your customers for feedback is a great way to improve your business. But, you don’t always need to ask your customers what they think. Sometimes you can sit back and just watch the interactions in your online community.
Knowing your audience inside and out is necessary if you want to build a relationship with them, create marketing messages that resonate with them, and encourage them to buy from you. And your online community is the perfect opportunity to learn more about your audience.
Pay attention to the conversations your members have with other and the type of content they share in the group. This will help you discover the interests and pain points of your audience. You can then use that information to create content that’s more relevant to them.
4. Increase Customer Loyalty
Creating an online community provides a feeling of exclusivity for your customers. They’ll feel like they’re a part of something special, which will make them feel more connected to your company. And when your customers feel connected to your business and to the other members of your online community, they’ll be more loyal to your company.
Plus, being a part of an online community takes a little bit of dedication; users have to put in some effort to join the community (even if it’s just providing their email address or clicking a button) and they spend time interacting in the community, sometimes checking in every day. Because of this dedication, your customers will be less likely to shop around or leave you for a competitor.
5. Create Brand Advocates
Not only does having an online community increase customer loyalty, but it can actually help you create brand advocates too. Brand advocates are a step above loyal customers. Brand advocates will shout from the rooftops about how much they love your product/service and promote your business for you.
Think about Starbucks. Their customers love their products so much they often post about them on social media.
The kind of word-of-mouth promotion and user-generated content you get from brand advocates will help your business attract a ton of new customers. After all, 92% of consumers say they trust word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.
Over to You
Aside from these 5 benefits, there are many more benefits to creating an online community for your business like driving more traffic to your site, getting more user-generated content, boosting new customer acquisition, and more. So, what are you waiting for? Start building an online community for your business today.