Finding Customers and Building Communities

As a marketing and PR professional, one of the most popular questions that I get asked is. . . “How do I attract new customers and build a community around my brand?” This is a big one, especially for start ups and for traditional brands trying to navigate the world of social media.

As customer communities permeate the walls of traditional business, they have urged brands to include the voice of customers into their operations, strategies and product development. Don’t have anything to share? Begin by listening and sharing posts and relevant information by thought leader’s in your industry.

What else can you do to lure them in?

Identify your core customers and find out where they are sharing on social. Beauty, fitness and fashion can be found on Instagram while health and nutrition on Twitter and Instagram.  You don’t need to be everywhere, you just need to find out where your customers are having relevant conversations. Here are the 21 most important social media platforms worldwide.

Keys to Success

Determine your customer and community’s needs while keeping information short & sweet, listening closely and answering and asking questions for improved engagement.

Shortcuts to help you. . .

Find out who is already talking about you online.

Start a conversation in real time with Spot.IM

How big brands create experiences that customers love.

What Works

Inbound marketing via a dedicated blog, social media posts, landing pages and email notifications have been working well for attracting new customers. You just have to do it consistently.

Follow the Leaders

Take a look at how Adobe, a brand that has one of the largest online communities does it and Bank of America’s online small business community.

Online communities serve a variety of business goals, such as providing service and support, fostering innovation, and building brand equity.

More Community Building Tips

  • Produce and share useful content – ie. how to articles, tip sheets and reviews.
  • Prominently display your social media icons on your website, blog, email and printed material.
  • Repost your followers’ content and interactions with your brand.
  • Share promotions and brand engagement in charitable work.
  • More tips for building an online community from Inc. Magazine.

I hope you found this post useful and I invite you to share your questions with me in the comments below or via email m.johnson@themarketcouncil and on Twitter @marketcouncil