Building a Community Around your Brand

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How important is your family to you? For most of us, family is everything. that’s what a community is like to a brand. Not only does it help and support a brand in good times, but a total community is always there for a brand even when it’s not at its best. But how do you go about building such a brand? This week on the chat, we invited the founder of Amplified Marketing and #TwitterSmarter veteran, Anh Nguyen, to tell us about the value of building a community. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Anh Nguyen
Topic: Building a community around your brand
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: Why is community important for brands on social media?

Community is important on social media because they’re the people who want to have a relationship with your brand. They’re your clients, potential clients, and well-wishers. Instead of thinking of them as followers, consider them as your community. You need them as much as they need you.

When you have a strong community that you’re consistently engaging with, it brings along newer people interested in your brand. It signals to people that you care about building and maintaining relationships with your audience.

The more you focus on your community, the stronger your brand gets. These people will become your most vocal advocates and fans.

Q2: What do you need to build and sustain a successful community on Twitter?

High-quality and genuine conversations are crucial to building and sustaining your community long-term. Show them that you’re there for them and that you care about the same things they do.

Don’t be self-promotional all the time. Instead, identify questions, topics, and concerns that your audience cares about and then cater to those requirements.

If you’re not sure how to do that, just follow Madalyn, as our guest suggested. You’ll learn a lot about engaging with your community by observing how Madalyn engages her community and the people who engage with her in return.

Q3: How helpful is the Communities feature on Twitter?

The Communities feature didn’t take off as well as Twitter probably hoped. One possible reason is that Communities is useful only if most of your audience is on Twitter. It’s a bit like Facebook groups, according to our guest.

One way to make the most of the feature is to use it as an exclusive group for your customers. Like an airline lounge. Use it to offer an experience they can’t get elsewhere.

Be wary of making your Twitter Communities a dumping site for promotional content. Use it as a space where your biggest ambassadors and fans can come together and connect with each other.

Q4: What are some ways for a brand to engage with its community?

Listen to what they’re saying, anticipate their needs, and then cater to those needs. The more you engage with your community, the more ways you’ll find to engage with them further. Ultimately, everything you do is for your community—not for yourself. When you operate from that mindset, it’ll become easier to keep your audience engaged and involved.

It’s also worth re-emphasizing that your community members should come first. This means less self-promotion and more community-oriented conversations. No one wants to be around someone who’s always talking about themselves.

Q5: Can one brand have multiple communities?

It sure can. Just look at Mars. If your brand has multiple products or sub-divisions, then each of those can have a separate fanbase and community.

That said, not every product under a brand needs a community. In Mars’ case, it’s got thriving communities for universal favorites like Skittles, M&Ms, and Snickers, but not for all its products.

If you have multiple brands, it’s important to recognize which ones need dedicated communities, so you can channel your efforts in the right direction. Our guest told us about Ben’s Original and Twix—two other communities that didn’t perform as well because they just couldn’t communicate as consistently.

Q6: Should one brand be part of another brand’s community?

Certainly. That’s what it means to humanize your brand. Join other brands’ conversations and be an active part of their communities. As long as it’s relevant to your brand and your brand’s personality, being a part of another community can only do you good.

That said, though, as Madalyn pointed out, join a community only if you want to engage genuinely. It’s not right to join a brand’s community only to try and poach their audience.

Q7: How can brands use their community to inform their marketing strategy?

Ask, listen, and observe. The more you engage with your community, the more you’ll know about their likes, challenges, and needs. Use that information to inform your marketing activities and show your audience that you value them.

Use polls, surveys, and open-ended questions to hear directly from your community members. When they share ideas and feedback, make marketing decisions accordingly.

As our friends from Advance Digital Marketing suggested, try asking your community members about a new product or feature you intend to launch. Their feedback will help you form your messaging, identify ideal promotional channels, and even inform your entire go-to-market strategy.

Q8: How can brands rebuild trust after a negative incident?

Apologize and be honest about what went wrong. That’s the first step to rebuilding trust. Seek feedback on how you can improve and regain their trust, and do everything in your power not to repeat your mistakes. People will forgive you the first time, but they likely won’t a second time.

Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading through and for more great insights from our chat with Anh, have a look at this Twitter thread. If you like this summary, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us next Thursday at 1 pm ET for #TwitterSmarter. We also have an after-chat on Twitter Spaces at 5 pm ET. See you there!

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About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—marketing stuff to pay the bills; haiku and short stories so I feel wholesome. A social media enthusiast, I hang out with the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and am always happy to take on writing gigs.

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