When a brand manages to build a community around its products or services, you may call it successful.
MAC Cosmetics, for example, has a thriving community on Facebook. Over 19 million people follow the brand on that platform. But it’s not just about the number of followers. It’s about their activity. You’ll see them posting videos and photos of the products. You’ll see them asking questions and getting into discussions. You’ll see them sharing impressions and supporting each other to choose the right product.
If we stick to the world of cosmetics, we’ll find another brilliant example: Sephora’s Beauty Insider Community. It’s a special section of the official website, where the real beauty talks happen. The members can ask questions, post answers, and simply become part of the conversations.
That’s what a true community is all about. That’s what true branding is all about, too.
So how do you do it?
Tips: How to Build a Community around Your Brand
1. Show how it is on the inside
Thanks to Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, and Facebook Live Video Streaming, you can share insider information with your customers. They can see how a day in the office goes by and how your team is doing everything to make the audience happy.
If someone wants to spend a day in the office and get a package of free products, they can apply on your social media pages. Then, you’ll share those moments with the community.
This is a nice way to attract people and showcase the real vibe of your brand.
2. Make it all About Them
You always try to make it about the audience. You use ‘you’ in your blog posts, and that’s the tone you maintain on social media, too. You’re trying to deliver solutions through your content, and that’s all fine. But you’re still promoting your brand, and that’s the evident fact no matter how useful your content is.
There are people on the other side of the screen, and they want to interact! So ask them real questions and initiate useful conversations among the members of your audience.
You can do that on social media. For example, you may share intriguing thoughts through an Instagram caption and invite your followers to share their opinion. Seb Lester, an artist and designer with over 1 million followers on Instagram, is a successful example of a personal brand. In this post, he talks to his audience about online teaching. It’s not a one-sided message. The Instagram caption is written in a way that triggers the response of the community.
3. Bring your followers together in a private facebook group
When you make a group private and you invite people to join, it will become a safer place for conversations. They won’t be under the eyes of their followers, so they can loosen up and share whatever they think.
The Wanderlust Virtual Yoga Studio is a nice example of that strategy. The members share photos of their own practice, as well as info on their progress. Since it’s a closed group, they have a strong sense of community.
4. Emphasize the values
The audience will connect with your brand only if they share its values. MAC Cosmetics, for example, values diversity and that’s the factor it builds its community around. You have to make your own values stand out.
When you share content, whether it’s a blog post, image, or behind-the-scenes video, make sure it aligns with the values your brand stands for. Yes; this approach limits you to a narrower target audience. However, it also helps you build stronger connections that resonate with understanding. That’s the kind of audience that will promote your brand in the best way possible.
5. Develop a loyalty program
“Congratulations on your purchase! If you like what you get and you want more, you’ll get 10% off on your second purchase. We’ll keep increasing the discounts since you’re now part of our loyalty program!”
Who wouldn’t love to get such a message when they purchase a product? The loyalty discount program keeps customers coming back. But it’s not only about boosting sales. It’s also about creating a community.
When you attract returning users, they become loyal to your brand. At that point, it’s easier to get them to participate in online discussions and share their experiences with other members of the tribe. They will be open to surveys and various competitions. Since they already love your brand, it’s easy to engage them.
The Community Makes You Stronger
The branding process is not just about getting your brand name known. It’s about people identifying themselves with the brand’s values and the community that surrounds it. Hopefully, you’ll achieve that level if you follow the above-listed tips.