So the other day I was reading about “Community” and all sort of questions I could ask around it like Why community? What for? etc. If you’re into social media, marketing, public relations or any other field/profession where you are required to build up a community and if not build up, then demands your presence, you’d know why I wasn’t just wasting my time reading about it on the internet.
Because after spending ample amount of time on it and talking to some good brains who could impart their knowledge and share their experience with me on the same, one thing is confirmed, it was worth the time. Why? Because what I got as a conclusion is- Community is the next big thing in the market!
Before we proceed, let’s spare few lines on what Community is. As David Spinks, Founder of CMX puts it, “A community is a group of people who interact with each other and have a common sense of belonging and identity.”So what is it that makes it the next big thing, you ask? There’s a reason why Mark Zuckerberg always emphasizes on community building!
You don’t need radioactive eyes to see that new ideas are coming into the market everyday. New techniques are being thought of to market their product, build their company, be something huge and then retain their position. Digital marketing is the new age brick to build your company’s future with. So where does the community fit in?
1. Relationship With The Audience
It comes when you want to build the relationship with your audience. You should know that audience is not to be confused with a community. A community is not an audience. An audience is a number of people listening to a single person or group. But in community, everything happens *between* and *with* the members.
2. Place For People-Alike
People are using social media tools and several other community based platforms/websites to bring like-minded people under a single shed. Most common example of community through social media is Facebook Groups.Today, when startups and entrepreneurship are rising fast, you can find many groups related to them where similar brains come together and discuss, debate, answer queries/question and support each other. For instance, Startup Delhi is one such group on Facebook which consists of founders, startup enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, budding innovators etc.
But how community can help you in business?
As per David, Community drives business value in five main areas. FACTS: Feedback, Acquisition, Contributions, Team, Support. And I agree.
3. Feedback Leads To Improvement:
If you build interactive community with active participation of members, it can help you get their genuine feedback to improve your product into better form. You can do behavior study and mold your strategies around it.
4. Support Brings Mutual Growth:
Their support can help you and themselves by answering questions for each other, solving problems, formulating new ideas and giving suggestions. Since community involves like-minded people, it helps in mutual growth for everyone.
Take for instance, if any member of Startup Delhi group needs help in getting his company’s logo designed and he posts about it on the group that he is looking for logo designers and suggestions, other members or designers will come forward and help him by recommending logo designers, and giving suggestions of the best logo designs etc. Thus an artist gets the work, the other person gets the logo.
5. Community Contributes In Your Success:
Some of the famous companies today whose valuation crosses over billions are community based. Their community is their product, built for them and because of them. Facebook, Duolingo, Instagram, Airbnb etc. are few examples. It is the contribution of the community that has taken them this far.
Startup Delhi was formed with just a vision to gather similar people under a Today it has reached to 47K+ members coming from different cities, held many events - both offline and online to help its community, and making an impact in startup ecosystem. It is one of the most sought after active group on Facebook dedicated to startups and its community.
6. Community can drive acquisition/marketing through ambassador programs, referral programs and WOM.
7. Community Drives Force: You form a give-and-take relationship with the members. You give them importance, find interest in their opinions, and provide them with diverse space where people can share diverse opinions, have fruitful discussions and find inspiration. This space might be as simple as a hashtag that serves to unite community members.
“As long as people feel open to communicating, you’ll find them more willing to participate. What follows will be a greater connection between community members and both you and your brand” an article was quoted on Hootsuite.
Community engagement is a much more active method of implementing change than the more static method of standard marketing techniques.
8. Growing Part Of Marketing:
Community is becoming the new Marketing in many ways. It can be said that it’s a growing part of marketing today, though the differences lie in open. They are, however, connected. For instance, your community can contribute content or stories that you can use for marketing. Or maybe,you can find ambassadors from within your community to participate in an ambassador campaign, getting more people in the door. Discussions might beget some really interesting ideas too. Don’t forget Word of Mouth.
There’s a lot you can do to set up a community for success to last long term. You can learn how to gain members, their attention, engagement or active participation, use community as a tool to market your product etc. We can tell you a lot more and share with you some more insights.
So if you liked this article or have any opinions to share, or want us to come up with the second installment of this article, do let us know in the comment section below and we will be back.