A social media marketing plan extends far beyond a Hootsuite posting schedule. Here is why your brand should invest in an active and engaged online community in 2018:
The days where product development and innovations happened in a silo are long gone. Some of the most successful brands today know that they need to include their target audience in their company’s most crucial developments in order to stay relevant. Online communities give you the unique opportunity to tap into the thoughts, preferences, and challenges of your ideal target audience. These insights can help your team collaborate with customers to create products that will truly make a difference in your customers’ lives and that will have the biggest impact on your bottom line.
Have you ever had to solve a problem on an Apple computer or fix a component on a Harley Davidson motorcycle? A quick Google search will show you that these customers congregate in online communities and they help each other to solve problems. Instead of investing in a massive customer service department, an online community can go a long way in disseminating the information you need for your clients.
Nobody knows who is behind a website chatbot or who the person is on the other end of a telephone line, but an online community can bring greater familiarity towards the people behind your brand. Your product developers and sales teams, for example, can contribute content or answer questions from online community members. Putting a face, a title, and a personality behind your interactions with customers will vastly up the family factor of your brand.
Once you have an online community, you need to make sure that you are frequently engaging with them. An active online community will force you to stay on top of industry news, insights, and trends. Your community members will be looking to you for thought leadership and opinions. So, staying “in the know” will become a crucial part of your marketing strategy, which can only have a positive impact on other parts of your marketing initiatives, such as social media marketing and content marketing.
Eventually, your sales numbers will improve as a result of your online community. When people regularly turn to you for information and entertainment, you will become the person who they are prepared to spend their money with when they are ready to make a purchase.