BUILDING COMMUNITY: HOW IT HELPS BRANDS GROW
The term ‘community’ floats around a lot when topics of brand and identity come into play. But when we actually try to break it down, what does community really mean?
At its core, community is a place to share ideas and relate to people with similar interests. But, like anything, it’s also about the humanity behind it: a network of people whose alignment with a brand makes them keen to follow it. They are like-minded people from whom you might find support, opinions, collaboration opportunities, guidance, and sometimes even offline friendship.
As a business, it’s important to consider how your community factors into your online presence. Relating to your audience is paramount to establishing your brand’s online presence and voice. If you see many brands whose community seems full of like-minded people, that’s because the brand’s efforts are intentional. The best ones know exactly to whom they are speaking, what they like, don’t like, and how to speak to them in language that interests and engages them. Too many businesses struggle with their voice because of one reason: they haven’t outlined their ideal community, and so the brand isn’t built for anyone in particular.
Your community defines your brand. When engaged and presented with content that they are eager to see, share, and discuss, they are what make up your audience and what establish brand authenticity and trust. As a result, the community of dedicated listeners will expand with your online presence. In short, the community dictates who you are as a brand by responding to the story, voice, and content, and sharing their thoughts, in turn shaping the brand into something cohesive.
But are brands utilizing this technique enough? Certainly, the top brands in the world got where they are today because of engagement with their community and partnering with influencers who can vouch for them and promote their messaging. But left behind are the brands who haven’t taken off because they don’t know who they are speaking to. It’s an exciting time to be part of this digital community movement, but only if you can keep up.
Brands that have found their tribe, who provide thoughtful, authentic, and honest engagement with their audiences are the ones who rise above the crowds. Without it, they’re only selling something, without taking the time to introduce themselves and establish mutual relationships with their audience.
The bottom line: without a community, a brand can’t expect to grow. Without providing a space where your ideal audience can meet, bond, and become involved in the story, the brand will suffer. And while an engaged community isn’t the only part of turning over sales, it’s one of the most important parts of your brand’s voice.
It’s like the saying goes: if you build it, they will come.
Interested in exploring how you can refine and tailor your message to your community? Take the first step by contacting our community of digital marketing experts.