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Before social media, brands would rely on online forums or messenger boards to introduce their brand, target their core audiences, and build an engaged community.
Social media sites have become the go-to platforms for connecting with people with similar interests and hobbies. These sites enabled businesses to create private groups where members could come together and share information. But over the years, these sites have become crowded too. That's when micro-communities started becoming more popular.
What is a micro-community, and do you need one for your business? More importantly, how do you build one to boost your brand and attract more customers? Here are some tips:
The concept of micro-communities isn't new, but with billions of people on social media, it's hard to filter certain content amongst users. They crave an exclusive space to connect with like-minded people and discuss particular topics.
Micro-communities are private online spaces accessible only to people who signed up for them. People who sign up for a micro-community aim to connect with individuals with similar niche traits. The niche trait could be hobbies, interests, geographic location, etc. These online communities are hosted on online platforms like Discord, Slack, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger.
As for brands, micro-communities make it easier to attract more customers, build an engaged community, and strengthen their online presence organically. You see, constant algorithm changes made it hard for brands to stand out. By developing and nurturing a micro-community, you can engage with your customers and promote your business at the same time.
Business relationships with customers, that is! Having all the people who are eager or curious about your business in one group makes it easier to connect with your core audience. This lets you access information that might've taken you a long time to determine, like their pain points. Knowing the problems your target audience faces and providing solutions will cement your position as an authority in your niche market. All information you get from your micro-community can also be used for future marketing campaigns.
Apart from being an invaluable source of information that could improve your brand and boost your future marketing efforts, a micro-community will lead to more sales down the line. Imagine having a group of eager members ready to get fresh content from the community or get signups for your latest promo – all these will definitely lead to higher ROI. You can use your online community to shape how people perceive your brand, build meaningful connections, create partnerships, land collabs, and acquire unique ideas that will add more value to your business.
Being a part of a massive online community gives you a sense of being part of a group, but the feeling is nowhere near as intense as being a part of a smaller group. The connection is deeper; conversations are more meaningful. You have a safe space where people can show their authentic selves and share ideas, insights, and opinions on topics related to your business. Being a part of a smaller group lets you help each other more, so the group really does feel like a community and not so much as a marketing channel.
Step 1: Choose a topic
Your group should be based on a topic your core audience finds relevant, interesting, or helpful. It's the fuel that will keep your online community running. Your community cannot grow if people are not interested in what the group is all about.
Step 2: Find members
There is less pressure to build a community when the group is supposed to be small. Getting at least two to five people into the group is a great start. The key to finding potential members is to scour your social media sites and promote your new group. Check out your most active members at the same time and give them priority access.
Step 3: Send Out Invites
Create a short copy to invite members to your online community. Post details about your community on your blog posts and social media shoutouts to draw attention. You can even throw in an incentive to attract more memberships if starting from scratch. Use your calendar to send reminders to post these infos.
Step 4: Nurture Your Tribe
Now that you have several members in your little online community, you should look out for your members to grow the group even more. Connect with them by starting conversations, giving your insights on relevant topics, and offering opportunities they are interested in. By looking out for your members, they will look out for you too!
Here are some factors to consider before building your own micro-community:
Don't just offer an invite to as many people as you can; you have to connect to the right people. You don't want your membership dwindling because people kept leaving the group. This is inevitable if people do not find the topics being discussed exciting or relevant to their lives. To start an online community, you need to conduct in-depth market research, get to know your most active users and get the word about your online community out there.
There are many platforms that you can choose to host your online group but pick the one that your target audience is likely using. To know this, you must consider how your customers consume content online. Check your social media channels and determine where people actively engage with your brand the most. For instance, if most of your users are on Facebook, then it makes sense to use the Facebook Messenger platform to build a group. If it's Instagram, choose this social media site to create a group.
You can tell how active a community is when people are constantly sharing their own stories and experiences with their fellow members. It's essential to start the conversation and keep it flowing. Invite others to share an experience and give your own insights on relevant and current topics that will get people talking.
A micro-community is a perfect platform for meeting new people, sharing ideas, developing innovative products, and creating a strong, memorable brand. If you want to grow your business beyond your blog site, start building your own tribe today.
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