How to Build an Online Community to Increase People’s Interest in Your Brand
When you build an online community, there are important things you need to consider gathering the number of people you target, such as planning and marketing the group. Online communities are people’s support networks to express their thoughts and learn from others. Being part of an online community also allows people to follow a positive direction in life.
If these benefits are what you aim for your customers, building an online community from scratch is what you need. However, it can be overwhelming to start the community if you do not know where and how to do it. To help you out, we will show you how to create your group, the types of online communities, and the tools and resources in building a community online.
What Are the Types of Online Communities?
For many brands, online communities are not considered mainstream business tools. Analyst Firm Demand Metric revealed that two-thirds of companies use various types of online communities.
Given the ubiquity of online communities, many brands are wondering if they have the right ones in place. Let us examine five of the most common types of online communities:
1. Interest Communities
These communities concentrate on a certain brand, hobby, or passion. Interest communities usually are more fun than the other types because the content is commonly entertaining, which encourages engagement.
If you are considering creating an interest community, it is recommended that you upload fun and entertaining images and videos. Doing so will keep your members entertained and encourage them to engage with the other members.
2. Communities Based on a Particular Circumstance
These communities are created for people who share a certain situation such as drug addiction or motherhood. Members in these communities want information and professional advice on how to deal with situations or tips to make their situation better.
If you will dedicate your community to help people in a particular situation, be prepared to curate a lot of content and encourage experienced members to share their experiences.
3. Professional Communities
These communities are for professionals who do similar work and share experience and advice. If your target is professionals, make sure that new members are warmly welcomed and they feel they belong to your community.
Your content should be professional and informative or advanced enough to interest both new and old members.
4. Local Communities
These communities focus on smaller areas. They can serve as a channel to neighbours to exchange information or news.
Because many members usually know each other, ensure to keep topics interesting and educational, and do not allow members to discuss nudity, violence, or any disturbing topics. It is also important to limit ads from your members, so you have full control over unrelated advertising.
5. Action Communities
These communities aim to promote social change as members are united for a shared value. Your major challenge for these communities, however, is to keep the interest of members even if the change you aim is slow to happen.
Ensure to update your members even with small victories about your action, so they are encouraged to keep doing what they are already doing.
Things to Consider in Building an Online Community
Before you build an online community website, get your planning off to a superb start by asking yourself the following key questions:
- What do you like to offer in the group?
- What do you want to receive from your members?
- What types of platforms will your members be connected through (social media, text chat, voice or video calls, etc.)?
- How frequent do you want to interact with your community members (daily, weekly, twice a week, etc.)
- What are your brand’s values and how do they align with your community?
- What are your goals or purpose in building your online community?
- What is the common interest for your online community?
Answering the questions above can give you a better insight into the kind of community you want to create and the steps you can take to ensure its success and longevity.
What Are the Types of Communication Channels You Can Use for Your Online Community?
Apart from identifying the most apt online community to build, it is also crucial to identify the communication channels you can use to engage with your members.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of online platforms available at your disposal. As a rule of thumb, pick a platform that has intuitive functions to make contact easy and straightforward.
Below are some of the communication platforms you can look into:
- Google Hangouts
- Google Group
- Message Boards
How Did Innzone Hosting Build an Online Community?
We at Innzone Hosting recently launched our Facebook group called The Web and SEO Forum. We created this online community to help people build and run their websites effortlessly and help them address the likely challenges they will encounter while marketing their brands online.
We also provided lots of valuable and helpful insights such as installing WordPress correctly, the ins and outs of search engine optimisation (SEO), and various ways to market businesses effectively.
Creating our Facebook group also entailed concrete planning, dedication, and commitment, and we were more than happy to go all out. We also promoted our group on our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn), so our followers can join the community we built just for them.
To give more value to our members, we also provide useful content on a weekly basis, so everyone is up to date when it comes to the latest marketing and website-building trends.
In line with launching our Facebook group, we wrote and created an eBook called A Beginner’s Guide to Building a B2B or B2C WordPress Website: WordPress Installation, Tips, and Interesting Facts. It aims to help beginners create a WordPress website properly in an extremely easy way, without the need for coding.
Interested in getting the eBook? Join our Facebook group now and get the eBook FREE of charge!
When you build an online community, it is important to know the interest you want to focus on, the type of community you will create, and which communication channels to use for your group. This way, you get to create a concrete plan for building your online community, allow more people to join your group, and keep members more interested in your topics.
You can also post more images, infographics, or videos to keep your content attractive and engaging. So, start conceptualizing your online group now and build an online community that helps people and promotes your brand effectively!