Building A Community Around Brands


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Have a lot of brand but hardly any community? This presentation may help you foster a lively hub around your brand and increase reputation and engagement.

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Building A Community Around Brands

  1. 1. Building a Community Around Brands @LisasShare
  2. 2. So, what’s this all about again?• How to find a community for your brand and how to join the conversation• Setting up your own community from scratch• Managing communities content, engagement and updates with limited resources• Using communities to build brand reputation and acquire new customers• Integrating communities into an existing marketing campaign strategy• Leveraging your community for further growth
  3. 3. What we talk about, when we talk about a community… Community is bringing individuals together around a common interest.A community for brands takes that interest,something relevant and intrinsic to the brand, orits values, and uses it to engage, inspire andmotivate customers.
  4. 4. How to Find a Community and Take Part @LisaGoll
  5. 5. Finding existing communities• Use your site analytics to look at top referring sites• Search existing websites for instances of your brand or its associated keywords/interests• Use alerts by Google, Topsy and Social Mention to find out where your brand (or its interest area) is being mentioned
  6. 6. A lot of brand, no community• Think: if your brand was a person, where would it hangout?• Choose site(s) that best match your ideal customer profile – where do your customers hang out online?• Ideally, start your community on a site where they’ll find it without looking and your brand fits well too• Ensure you are happy to spend time working on this site. (Communities are not just for Christmas!)
  7. 7. Where your brand hangs out• Once you find the community; observe, listen and find out everything you can about how this site facilitates it• Consider how your brand’s personality could add value to the conversation without obstructing or trying to control it• If there’s common topics that emerge, start planning out the information, help or unique content that you could contribute
  8. 8. Setting up your own community from scratch @LisaGoll
  9. 9. Wait! Before you dive in…• Consult with colleagues about content creation• Have clear and measurable KPIs as to how you’re going to measure ‘success’• Write a bucket list of every piece of content you can create, beg, borrow and steal to keep your community engaged and interested• Be flexible about what you share and try out new forms of content every week• Relate back via reports so there’s internal awareness of the opportunities to be harvested
  10. 10. Walk confidently and carry lots of treats• Start small but perfectly-formed - every community started with just one member• Get staff engaged early on, have them join in and refer it to their nearest and dearest (where it makes sense)• Engage your members with the stuff they like and try to keep to the 90:10 rule (90% about them and 10% about you)• Aim to build something that is useful and authentic to your customers and the brand• Be approachable. Be transparent. Be your brand.• Make colossal mistakes, apologise and move forward with more knowledge than you had earlier
  11. 11. Managing content and updates with limited resources @LisaGoll
  12. 12. Limited resources? No worries.• Choose one person as community manager – someone able to speak for the brand, confidently and consistently• Ensure this person is well versed in the nuance of the brand’s unique personality• Avoid using the office intern (!)• Select one community you want to flourish and throw everything you can at it• Once you have proof of concept that you can create a lively community around your brand, others can be tested and rolled out
  13. 13. Quality, not Quantity• Review the profile of your members regularly – do they fit?• Review where/how each member came to join the community and remove any referrals that don’t suit• Don’t be afraid to institute a joining policy or a set of minimum requirements• Once a policy is in place; notify members and remove any that are hindering it from attracting the core customers you want• A policy also gives you a clear framework as to how to grow and where you’re wasting valuable energies
  14. 14. Updates are go!• Update your community with a post at least once a day• Ideally, do this when you have time to respond, interact and engage to their responses• If that’s challenging, plan updates a few days/weeks in advance so you’ve always got a bit of slack if you’re pressed for time• Consider what other content sources you’d be comfortable sharing – not everything posted has to be created by you• In fact, brands that share others’ content are seen as much more trust-worthy and generous to its audiences
  15. 15. But before I move on…• Don’t post exactly the same information to multiple sites at the same time.• Add unique content across each of your channels - even on the same topic - and keep it surprising• Be aware of the voice you use – imbue updates with a personality that is memorable and/or unique• Monitor what kickstarts the most discussion and what falls flat• Investigate how the workload could be shared without losing consistency. Could you have someone devising content and then others responsible for sending it out?
  16. 16. Using communities to buildreputation and new customers @LisaGoll
  17. 17. Two is better than one• Approach our existing network of vendors and partners to make them aware of your community and how it benefits your customers• Make a list of 5-10 brands that have the customers you’d like in your community and what you could offer them• Take last 3 and approach with proposal in an email – call to find the best contact first• Offer barter space on your website in exchange for highlighting your community to their customers• Ask your members to suggest blogs or websites to do an exchange, barter or cross-promotion around the community
  18. 18. The treats starts here• Offer member-only previews of new product launches• Use them as a sounding board/focus group for ideas in development• Give members exclusive rights to vote on what you do/host/offer next• Offer ‘extraordinary’ prizes i.e. impossible-to-get elsewhere items• Beware: don’t do this unless you plan to use the information openly, lip-service with no visible result will only break their trust and harm goodwill
  19. 19. Integrating into existingmarketing campaign strategy @LisaGoll
  20. 20. From A to B via CDE• Make your community a stepping stone in a suitable campaign’s mechanic• Host fundamental content; videos, entry forms, promo codes or offer details on your community pages• Make sure community is in the best shape possible to covert new members• Don’t make it to-hard-basket, time-consuming or complicated• Your community should be a hub for your competitions, not another destination
  21. 21. Leveraging your community for further growth @LisaGoll
  22. 22. If you invest in it, they will come• Keep up and explore ways to innovate within new sites• Devise sponsorship packages, ad space or exclusive barter deals and launch it to the sales teams’ arsenal• Introduce membership levels – bronze, silver, gold – with unique levels of access• Incentivise your members to recruit their own contacts• Integrate your community into another platform and expanding your reach/exposure• Devise strategy to ring-fence content for paying subscribers or members with sponsor/partner to pay for first week/month/year
  23. 23. Going global• Optimise all aspects of your community so it appeals• Host live events and bring together your members in the flesh• Networking, product launches or guest speaking events are a really good start• Start sub-communities with a starter kit providing by you• Explore content for brand stretch into other interest areas• Encourage members to connect with each other – grouping together to complete a competition or special task• Ask your members for their ideas on how you could expand
  24. 24. Thank you kindly for your attention @LisaGoll
  25. 25. Copyright, November 2012 Lisa Goll @LisasShare*All views expressed within this presentation, or its notes, are personal and do not reflect the views of my employers or any of the companies owned by them. This is all me.