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According to The Aberdeen Group companies with an online community platform enjoy 31% greater return on marketing investments.
What are social media communities?
Over the last two years social media communities and groups has become a tactic used by many businesses. Businesses want to be more in touch with their audience, to show their human side and to build stronger relationships.
Why do social groups use social media?
New communication routines have been woven into group life. The action at associations and informal groups occurs in social media areas such as Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and mobile phone texting. Not only are groups using social media to communicate and mobilise members, but also the members themselves tend to be active in utilising social media to associate with the team and evangelise to your group along with other people.
Why use social media communities and groups?
This is easier than ever, as platforms, such as Facebook, encourage human interaction more and more and this is the reason why they started improving their group functionality, by making it more responsive and helping businesses build a community around it.
It is important to outline that, recently, people started to value more authentic interactions over pushy sales tactics, therefore, social media communities and groups are a great opportunity to interact with your audience, to understand their needs, their values and to get some valuable insights about your audience. Moreover, 33% of businesses reported that their community changed product design and another 33% said that it changed the company’s marketing strategy.
What are the different types of social groups?
Four basic types of groups have traditionally been recognised:
- Primary groups
- Secondary groups
- Collective groups
✔️ You can raise brand awareness
✔️ Build a strong community
✔️ It’s free, so you can do it in-house. Facebook and LinkedIn are two platforms that work best when it comes to building social media communities
❌ It might take some time to monitor conversations and to participate in discussions
❌ You can’t always be in control of topics and what people discuss about
❌ It can get overwhelming for users that join your community if there will be a large volume of messages
How to build a community on social media?
- To build an engaging social media community you have to think about your audience. This aspect is important, as your audience will influence the whole process. Understand their needs, their problems, how can you help them, where they spend their time, etc.
- Having a strategy is important at this stage. Therefore, you should plan some discussion topics, write some content to start with and think about what problems you will try to solve.
- Now choose the right platform where to start a community. Facebook is everyone's favourite so you might consider starting a group on this platform.
- Now that you have a group take some time to explore the functionalities of the group and take advantage of each and one of them to maximise your efforts.
- Promote the group to your audience and ask them to join.
- Communicate with the members of the group and be a conversation starter.
How do social media communities affect your sales funnel?
From a more specialised advertising standpoint, social media communities can form a kind of digital net at the base of your sales funnel. By joining your group, an individual goes beyond the early awareness phase and progresses to contemplating your offering with potential intent to buy. This process will naturally be summed up as they receive notifications about the steady flow of content from you and your team members.
Provided you have a high-quality and diverse brand offering; there is no actual reason for a user to leave your community. Effectively keeping them as long-term brand advocates and possible repeat customers.
When a member makes a purchase, they are very likely to wish to share it with the rest of the group as it provides them a different way to interact with other members. This offers an effective fast-track from the funnel's buy stage to brand loyalty and advocacy levels, made all the more effective from the general public atmosphere, with its captive and already-interested audience.
How to assess if building a social media community is right for your business?
If you're confident in your product and offering, and there is a vital interest that combines your customer, then the solution is yes. If you are busy on social networking, you possibly have an everyday brand community. You simply have to provide them with a place to link.
Finding a collective fascination to unify your customers is likely more straightforward than you might imagine. Think about the significant pain points that attract your customers and what they enjoy. If you market laundry, then make a time-saving appreciation culture. If you're a regional commercial realtor, you can create a "Small businesses of Dublin" forum where your clients can talk about concerns.
Do not forget that your team members or social networking community are not necessarily your customers. It is important not to exclude anybody by restricting the group.
What content is appropriate to be posted in a group?
While the subject of each group's articles will be different, their primary, unifying function shouldn't. Here are some concepts your group ought to be covering:
Uplifting articles: Give your members a reason to feel great, from #mondaymotivation quotations to client success stories or decent news articles. It is your choice to set up a positive tone for your group's atmosphere.
Personal content: Groups split down the barriers between consumer and brand. Make the most of the more personal setting by offering more profound insights into business life and your group's remarks.
Exclusive offerings: These users are the brand's greatest fans. You need to reward them.
Product/sales articles: These are in the base for a motive. While they're crucial to mention frequently, regular sales-focused articles are very likely to disillusion social networking communities. Bear in mind; they have joined because they would like to join, not simply to meet your monthly revenue targets (although ideally, they will finally do this also).
That is by no way a comprehensive list. Since your membership grows, you will have the ability to use the in-depth engagement metrics accessible to determine which content works best. The attractiveness of social networking communities is they are collaborative environments. Listen to what your members need to say, then respond, react and reevaluate your strategy to match them.
Is it necessary to moderate the community?
Short answer - Yes.
Prospective members need to ask to join the group, and also an admin should grant that access. Facebook provides an exceptionally customisable gatekeeping system that lets you ask specific questions of potential 'party-goers.' You may also make them agree to some list of principles of behaviour before linking. If some undesirable eggs do occur to creep in, admins have the power to block, eliminate or report users that are behaving disruptively.
However, you ought to interact with more reasons than to prevent bad behaviour. Letting your neighborhood get to know specific (prepared) staff members will demonstrate your brand cares about the person and not merely revenue amounts. If you'd like members to participate in conversations, you want to have a dynamic voice and join too. The relationships you build with community members will develop their faith in your brand and unlock invaluable marketing insights.
What lies ahead for communities and groups?
With more people connecting and participating on social media every single day, brands have never been closer to their customers. How can you connect with yours?
The attractiveness of social networking communities is that, like the planet, their environment is continually evolving.
Just take the brand-new Facebook Messenger "Rooms" set purpose. Brands have the choice to curate exotic, collaborative live streams and provide their followers with a possible lifeline during isolating lockdown conditions. Who knows what might be next?