Technology has made it easier than ever to build communities. Like minded people from around the world can meet in online spaces and share their interest in the most specific things. But have you thought about how online communities could benefit your business?
Encouraging your customers to meet in online spaces to discuss your products and your brand can help your business in so many ways. Unfortunately, this isn’t a priority for many business owners because they simply don’t understand the benefits. So, why are online communities so important to your business?
They Strengthen Communication With Customers
The best way to communicate with your customers is to build a community platform for them. You might be thinking, what is a community platform? A community platform is simply an online space where your customers can meet. Social media sites are community platforms and they are obviously very useful to your business. However, you will benefit more if you have your own dedicated platform. You can communicate directly with your most loyal customers and get involved with conversations about your products and what customers want from your brand.
It Helps You Understand Who Your Customers Are
Knowing your customers is absolutely essential if you want to create effective marketing campaigns. Looking at data you collect from your website and social media can give you some insight, but an online community is one of the best ways to understand your customers. You can reach them all in one place and see the kinds of things that are important to them based on their posts. Requiring them to create an account to access the platform will also give you more information on things like age, gender, location etc. All of this information can then be used to direct your marketing campaigns.
Online Communities Give You Free Marketing
Online communities aren’t built from people that think your product is pretty good, they’re built from people that love your brand and everything it represents. These are the kinds of people that sing your praises and recommend your products to everybody that they meet. Think about Harley Davidson owners, for example. Their lifestyle is built around that brand and they ride around wearing branded clothing. They’re a walking advert for the company and they haven’t been paid a penny. If you can build a passionate online community, they will do a lot of your marketing for you.
They’re Great For Testing Ideas
The best way to come up with new product ideas is to get the customer involved in the design process. If you have a strong online community to turn to, you can test out your new ideas and see what the response is. Post surveys to come up with new ideas and when you have some rough designs, see what people think of them. The customer knows what they want better than anybody else, so you’ll come up with some great ideas this way.
Building an online community is one of the best things you can do for your business, so get started today!