Virtual events are a promising way of creating virtual communities. A virtual community is one of the greatest opportunities to reach out to your target audience to drive sales, boost awareness, and build your brand image. A community is created after a lot of efforts and when you have a significant number of members, nurturing them to stay loyal to your community is an important task that you must take upon.
Community building is no joke, and it takes months to get a few hundred members sometimes. So if you are a community builder who has a great pool of audience, then don’t let them go away. Nurturing is the next important step that you must just not start, instead create strategies and plan your content and events calendar.
Strategies you write down must focus on your customers’ interests and market needs. People love to be part of communities online as they get to engage with fellow members and interact and share knowledge. While you plan on creating various contents for your community, keep a priority on enabling user-generated content. Let members talk with each other, post content, share knowledge and experiences, pictures, and videos.
And once you have a happy and thriving community, all you get is brand recognition, more website traffic, reviews, sales, and potential customers!
How to build your community online?
It is not as easy as the heading, but a few of the tips listed below can help you start creating a virtual community effectively.
- Social media platform selection: Every business has realized the importance of social media platforms, but the one aspect that you must observe before jumping on to create a community is ‘which platform does your customer hangout on?’
Understand if your audience is on Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram, or Pinterest, or others. Create your community initially on platforms where your target audience is highest.
You can always broaden your community building experiences to different platforms once you have a firm hold of the matter.
- Community managers: When you are planning to build a community, empowering your brand with a community manager with wide experience in the field is important.
Hire an expert if you think that maintaining a growing community is too much task for you!
- Welcome the new members: When people onboard your community, introduce them to the group and give them enough windows to get themselves acquainted. Send interactive content through emails and nurture them.
- Community culture: Communities are all about the members and the managers. Creating a good culture is important, but maintaining the grove is a task. Make the members feel responsible and a part of the community so they become the moderators of the community.
- Right content: Your community will fall apart if your content is not of their interest. Research more about the topics and community trends, ask your community members of exciting topics they might love to get their eyes hooked on, and do some competitor analysis.
- KPIs: Community engagement is an important KPI to analyse and identify when building a community. Measure the number of posts in a day to the number of likes, comments and engagements.
- Influencers: People love to hear from their favorite influencers, and it is a great way to get more eyeballs on your budding community. Organize events within the community and the influencer and send across some traffic to joining the group.
- Community discussions: Communities are meant for discussions and you must initiate this trend in your community too. Encourage members to speak freely, share feedback, and interact with each other as they would do offline.
- Tech tools: It is important that you empower your community managers with great tech tools for managing and publishing content. They can conduct events online to interact with the members and you can empower them with Goldcast, a simple and sales-accelerated tool to create engaging events.
- Support: Personalizing your support system leaves a good impression on your community members. Answer and be available to your group as much as possible.
- Long-term growth: Unlike marketing campaigns, the opportunity to grow your community is huge. Until you think long term, you will not be able to come up with great ideas to engage. Maintain authenticity and grow progressively.
How to nurture your community online?
When you are building your community, eventually you understand ways to nurture your community, too. But just to make your work simpler, we bring to you certain tips below to nurture and engage better with your community to grow in sales and numbers.
- Content: Community manager with great content ideas is all you want for your community. You ask why? Because the content they ideate will lead to conversations in the group and green-tick the KPI bucket.
- Participation: Your level of participation in the community activities must be high. Even though community managers are doing a great job, don’t be an occasional guest.
- Give value: Value your community members and express your emotions from time to time. Ask them for continuous feedback and reviews, and make them feel important.
- Notifications: Enable notifications in your community, so when anybody posts anything, everybody is notified.
- Benefits: Joining a community brings expectations. Make sure that you fulfil their expectations by providing them some benefits or gifts. And also, don’t forget to promote these happy moments on social media platforms!
- Engagement types: People often get bored with monotony. While you are doing your best with regular contents, make sure to try something different. Conduct webinars, conferences, and workshops.
Keep these events open to the non-community people as well, but make it free or discounted for the community members.
- Gratitude: You wouldn’t have cracked so many deals, or given an example to your potential client without these members. Be grateful and show that gratitude to them always.
Keep yourself motivated and give them a reason to be there in your community!
- Track: Yes, you must track and measure the KPIs even when you are nurturing your community. Afterall, how will you ever know if your community is really happy until you track?
Research about the key indicators and keep a track of the KPIs from time-to-time.
- Keep learning: Now that you know how to build and nurture a community, don’t just give up thinking you know too much. Any amount of knowledge you acquire is not enough.
So, always keep learning, create content to help others learn your strategies, and ideate to create a business out of your knowledge.
Growing and nurturing a virtual community needs efforts, time, dedication, and experimentation. While these are the important ingredients for creating a thrilling community, add these to the tips mentioned above and you can see your community skyrocketing.