Cultivate your online community

Your brand grows both online and offline if a strong and loyal community of people gather around it to care and support. The good news is that, thanks to Social Media, it is easier than ever to create and keep alive ‘n kicking an online community. The bad news is that it is just as easy to alienate it if you don’t follow the Social Media „rules of engagement”.

online communityKeep in mind that there is a difference between customers and community. Your customers are the ones who are willing to pay for your products and services. On the other hand, your community comprises people who value and admire your brand enough to be willing to spend time with it online. This is excellent brand advocacy and word-of-mouth marketing.

Cherish your community! Even if they aren’t spending their money on your business now, they keep your brand animated and relevant to the world. Online communities can help you find out more about the people who use your products or services and how you can improve them.

Being a member of a community is equally important. Like pages and groups on Facebook and post considerate comments, join Twitter conversations, make comments on like-minded blogs. But don’t turn it into an aggressive selling line, because it is regarded as spam. Be positive, engaging, funny and useful, and soon enough people will appreciate you for it.

When communicating online, don’t say the same thing on every Social Media channel, otherwise you run the risk of becoming redundant. Instead, try to modulate your message to address differently each type of community.

Here’s an adaptive marketing communication model that focuses differently on each social network.

 Social Media Mix

 

Let’s say you run an online furniture shop. This is how your Social Media mix could look like:

  • Blog: home decoration trends, furniture design news, space organising ideas
  • Facebook: pictures of new articles, best sold product of the month, special discount coupons
  • Twitter: announcing sales days, new furniture lines
  • LinkedIn: vacancies announcements
  • Google+: design news, home deco expert presenting their vision to your community.

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