6 Tips for Fostering an Online Community – Part 1

If your marketing strategy includes social channels such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs you are well on your way to growing your online community. Now that you’ve captured their social interest, it’s time to boost the engagement and capitalize on their power to help your business grow in 2016.

A well-developed online community can be used to enhance your customer service, test-market products and ideas or to position you as a thought-leader by advancing conversations related to your industry.

To help build a strong community, consider the following key factors:

#1: Know Audience Needs
How does a business find out what its audience needs? Ask questions! Engage with your audience to determine what they want, need and desire from your business. This is not a once-and-done type of inventory. Audiences are comprised of dynamic individuals and with time their needs will change organically. Also, external factors applying pressure to the collective audience will cause ebbs and flows in needs.

By asking and being open to the response from the audience, your business can benefit from knowing not only generically what is needed, but you can gather insight on trends and benchmarks, potential problems or issues, research and development opportunities, product, process and service improvements, crisis communication plans and more. Above all else, your customers are feeling validated in knowing that their needs are being heard and quite possibly acted upon. That validation can unite the audience with a sense of common purpose.

Want more tips like this one?  Come back next week for part 2 in this mini-series!