Is your DTC or e-commerce brand striving to create strong and engaged communities in a challenging, demanding and highly competitive market? Consistency is key, but sometimes relying on an experienced partner is the most cost-effective solution.
Having one of the longest-running and most active communities in Europe (trnd.com), we can easily summarize here the 5 steps to create and leverage a powerful consumer community.
#1 Start a conversation
Be active on social media and brand platforms and encourage active participation by featuring UGC, brand fans, and product enthusiasts on posts, stories, and live events. Organize polls, content, discussion topics, Q&A, events, and unique features. For instance, Sephora build a makeup enthusiast community integrated into the shopping experience, where members can discuss beauty products, and techniques, keep up with trends and engage with the beauty company founders. In addition, fashion and beauty brands and influencers host live events on social platforms trying and reviewing products while engaging with the audience at the same time
The aim is to make consumers connect to the brand but also to make them interact with each other. It is precisely during a conversation that the feeling of belonging that identifies a community begins.
#2 Be consistent
Consistency means presence: show up, care, listen, help, and communicate. Plan and create a content calendar, so that you do not leave a single day of your community without your mark. Use creativity to build communication that is not just about you and your products. Instead, get people to talk about them, share their experiences with the brand, and show their agreement on the values they endorse.
Also, be adaptable and prepared to react and take a stand when an event that matters to your community happens. For example, the Uber campaign “Thanks for not riding” capitalize on the pandemic and made people talk about the brand even at a time when nobody was using the service.
#3 Leverage influencers
Discover the power of Nano and Micro Influencers, personalities with high engagement and the ability to create authentic content. Their communities, although smaller than those of the Macros and Stars, are very active and attentive to what the influencers recommend.
Word-of-mouth marketing ensures incredible results because it is precisely based on the trust of peer recommendations.
Glossier knows this well. The beauty brand built a community by connecting with the consumers in a relatable and genuine way, selecting brand lovers and customers with up to 5,000 followers to review and share their skincare routine and favourite products.
#4 Activate participation
A community is distinguished from a group of ordinary people by a sense of belonging and a willingness to participate. Remember to often ask your consumers what they think about a certain topic, and listen to their opinions. Thanks to social media, this is very easy. Community management is a valuable tool to help steer people’s conversations and opinions toward safe and positive channels.
True innovations come precisely through the words of consumers. From Lego to Coca-Cola, from Ikea to P&G, the world’s most famous brands have chosen the path of co-creating products and services from the ideas of those who know them best: their consumers.
#5 Consider creating your own branded platform
Moving your social community to a dedicated platform is the final step toward creating an engaged community. Firstly because it allows you to collect valuable data and know the audience of the brand. This makes it easier to target advertising and product launches. Secondly, thanks to gamification, you can ask your consumers to validate products and services through recommendations and reviews. Third, a community of true brand lovers is the most powerful leverage to boost sales. Did you know that loyalty means starting a virtuous circle toward new acquisitions? We wrote an entire eBook on the subject!
At Territory Influence, we’ve already created white-label platforms for customers who now have the ability to launch campaigns with thousands of targeted consumers. The results they bring home can be measured and improved from every point of view.
Creating your own community of brand-loving people is a long process, requires consistency. When you choose to take a step forward and rely on a partner, for example, to build your own platform, you are investing in an instrument that brings tangible results already in the short to medium term.
Eager to learn more and build a powerful brand community?