It is often not very clear how community building is properly defined, which is why the great potential behind it is rarely recognized. Community building can contribute significantly more to the company’s success and sales of a product than the traditional click & buy relationship with a customer. Because community building can be reflected in many shapes and colors. From the communicative group, the open forum and special member programs to events outside the online world, everything is possible. Community building is as diverse as its users, but always pursues the same goal: building a long-term customer relationship.
Accordingly, community building is not necessarily part of traditional marketing, which is primarily about winning new customers. Instead, community building is often referred to as relationship management. At the same time, however, it is usually also comparatively much more complex and time-consuming. However, there are a couple of really good reasons to put up with this very effort.
Why community building can pay off for you
In addition to a good atmosphere, a strong community and often significantly higher sales figures, community building also offers other advantages that definitely justify the great effort.
Reason 1: closer to the customer
Gaining the long-term trust of a customer is no longer as easy as it was a few years ago. Instead, users are much more volatile and distrust is often high. For companies and operators of web projects, it is therefore all the more important to establish proximity to the customer and to strengthen the mutual relationship in the long term. This goal can be achieved through community building. Because with a strong community, a high degree of loyalty often comes into play and customers are more inclined to hold onto a company for the long term. Community building also gives customers the opportunity to participate in the creation of campaigns themselves and to actively shape the product, which further reinforces trust.
Reason 2: stronger lead generation
Recommendation and positive word of mouth are the driving force behind successful products. But even if this form of advertising can be bought, honest advertising measures taken primarily on the customer’s own initiative are not only more credible, they are also more impressive and have a greater reach. Because in a strong community, the customer is not just a kind of member of the company, but a real fan and often voluntarily takes the initiative to convince others of the product or brand as well. As a result, new customers often feel that they have been picked up and trust more in the recommendation of another customer than the advertising slogans of the brand itself. This often means that significantly more leads can be generated.
Reason 3: better market research
Ultimately, the open exchange within the community also leads to significantly more and far more truthful statements and information from customers. This data can in turn be used for improved market research. Companies and web project operators should therefore promote feedback, dialogue and evaluations within the community and convey transparency. As a result, products can be tailored even better to the customer and his needs in the future, which can ultimately result in a steadily increasing corporate success.
Community building is associated with a lot of effort, as it takes a long time to build up. Nevertheless, there are great opportunities here, from stronger customer loyalty, increased lead generation to better market research, community building offers great potential for companies and web project operators. In particular, the social media area can be used effectively to form a strong online community. But open forums, member campaigns or offline events can also provide sustainable support for community building.
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