Marketing channels: Community engagement
Building and engaging a community means more than just involving customers in conversation on social media, although that certainly is a valuable part of it. Community engagement entails reaching out to customers through a variety of forums, both online and offline, to learn more about who your customers actually are, what they like, and what they need and want.
By developing relationships with your customers, you can tap into a deep and ongoing source of customer data that can help you grow your business. For example, you can learn how customers are actually using your product (or would like to). This can be important information, as they may not be using your product the way you thought they would.
In short, the more you know about your customers, the better positioned you are to not only meet their needs, but to exceed expectations.
What are some of the pros and the cons in building and maintaining community engagement?
- Is an avenue for members, especially evangelists, to engage with you and other customers (who have similar interests and needs) to explore, promote and contribute product ideas
- Is an opportunity for you to interact with customers directly and not only access a wealth of customer discovery data, but build customer relationships and loyalty
- Monitoring and maintaining high-quality online engagement (e.g., through your website or a tool such as Slack) requires ongoing vigilance (i.e., resources) to ensure discussions respect and uphold your community standards.
Can you reach your target customers through this channel?
Tactics and strategies for driving community engagement
- 500 Startups blog: Why Startups Should Care about Building Community
- Social Media Today blog: Online Community Building: Rules of the Road
- Hootsuite blog: 3 Ways to Build Your Online Community Through Offline Experiences
- HubSpot blog: The New York Times Gives Us a Lesson in Community-Building
- HubSpot blog: What the Best Social Media Community Managers Actually Do in Their Jobs
- Huffington Post blog: How to Build Your Startup’s Online Community and Why That Matters
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