The human race has been fond of tribes since the very beginning. It can be seen in our innate need to gather & be in groups. Tribes meant being safe, it has been everything for us. The business ecosystem is no different. Gone are the days when businesses relied on product & funding, it’s time to focus on building a dedicated audience. Community building is becoming a crucial part of any business & people are focusing on it more than anything.
If you’re a founder or community manager, & you’re responsible for the growth of the userbase, this post is for you.
Quick precap of what you’ll find in this post so that you can skim through it:
- The future of marketing
- Why building a community is important for any business?
- Best practices for community building
- How to automate community building?
- Frequently asked questions
The future of marketing
We’re at the doorstep of web3.0. The world is shifting towards metaverse. The easiest template you can use for a successful business is creating a product/service & building a community around it. This community will act as customers, advocates & brands. The community helps your audience with a sense of connection & belonging.
Check out this post on the importance of community for marketing from Forbes when Web 2.0 was just starting out more than a decade ago. The best part of this post is that the fundamentals are still relevant even today & will always be relevant, even if we’re into Web x.0.
Community is the new currency for judging the worth of a business.
The power of community building in marketing
While we’re speaking of the currency of a business of 2022 & beyond, here are some reasons why building community is important for your business.
#1 Building a community is cost-effective
Social media is getting saturated. There are several evidences where brands have stopped spending on ads and are growing organically. Focusing on the community is all about helping up all your community members with progress in their life goals.
Conducting webinars for your community is a great way to keep them engaged & educate them. You can choose to make an upsell in the webinar or simply have guests take the podium of the webinar.
The core reason why building a community is cost-effective is the fact that you can truly create a sales funnel, hardcore fans who can & will buy the stuff you make for them. This can be courses, products, ebooks, merch, and whatnot.
In a world where the value of money is decreasing, it’s not right to spend money on things that don’t have ROI effective enough. Instead of adding more to the already existing noise of ads, silently create value by nurturing your community. Lastly, the cost-effectiveness of having a well-grown community is seen when you have sustainable growth or your business & effective customer support.
#2 Engagement in your community
Social media has changed the demographic of the internet. At the core of web 2.0, social media has been transforming the landscape of businesses. Binance CEO has been extremely active on Twitter building a community around the business he’s in.
The point of being active on social media is to establish a connection with the audience directly. From a user’s perspective, imagine interacting with a CEO of the company you admire.
If you notice how Elon Musk has more followers than all of his companies combined, the same goes with Bill Gates or any other brands with public-facing executives on social media.
That’s why engaging with the community you build is important, no matter where you engage. It can be social media, it can be email newsletters or webinars.
#3 Community help your brand with innovation
The whole point of marketing a new brand is to spread awareness about it amongst people who’re most likely to spend money on your products/services.
Every dollar that’s spent on marketing, be it organic or paid is for that exposure that will get the ROI & make the business successful.
Neilsen’s study shows that 92% of people believe friends & family for suggestions of products/services. Now imagine, these “friends & family” being a part of your community.
Word of mouth will help you with innovation within the company & beyond the company as well. While ad prices are increasing, it’s very crucial to create a system where you can market your brand without worrying about the expenses, because you have invested time & money in the community once, and that will take care of everything. All you have to do is nurture the community.
#4 Managing community helps with customer service
Continuing where it was left in the previous section. Having a community helps you with great customer service. Our Facebook community that we have built over the years has helped us welcome & nurture the newcomers in the community & market our product without even asking for it.
Also, the group is all about sharing experiences and hiccups our customers have while using our product. That’s where the community comes into play. We don’t have to (and can’t) address all the questions posted in this group, and the members who have answers, stand up and help other members of the community. Doing this will help themselves with credibility & in return help your brand as well.
Best practices of building a community
Owning a community, no matter how small or big it is, is a very sensitive task. You not only have an influence over their opinion, but you also control their decisions and behavior.
Here are some community-building best practices to help you grow & maintain the community responsibly.
#1 Conduct an audit regularly
As your community grows into a giant tree, it will attract a lot of uneven weeds around it. You will have to keep cleaning regularly like you have to do with that fish tank of your or even the pet dog.
As part of auditing, iterate your vision, mission & goals of the community regularly for the new members so that there’s no communication gap & the culture of the community stays intact.
#2 Understand what value your community provides
Community is all about creating values. You have to keep in mind that your community is nailing a dent in the universe. It is bringing a change, like it or not. So why not know it in advance?
Knowing the value your community is creating in advance will help you measure it and make changes if things go off track. This further helps you set a benchmark in any industry you’re in.
#3 Clearly define engagement & KPIs
When you’re growing a community, especially in such times, it’s very easy to get blindsided by vanity metrics like number of members in the groups, number of daily posts, revenue, engagement, and whatnot.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping track of such numbers, but make sure you don’t get carried away with those numbers. Remember I told you to audit the community, do that for yourself as well. See if the number is influencing your decision-making skills while you keep track of the KPIs.
#4 Don’t divide people, divide the topics amongst them
While creating personas for your target audience, it’s very easy to fall trap to divide people based on personas & not the topic they’re most interested in. Think of it this way, just because You & I are interested in Growth Marketing, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get notified about content/events about email marketing or sales for that matter.
The idea is to serve everything to your audience and leave the decision to them of what to consume. Don’t mistake this with personalization. Personalization can be taken care of when you’re interacting with your audience via emails or DMs. Personalization can’t be carried out for the masses, in public in this case, with the content for the community.
#5 Keep the community public
I know, the incentives of keeping the community private are pretty high. Though there are exceptions, in most cases, keeping your community private will not help, at least not for the community where the audience first interacts with you.
Gated communities are highly targeted to a specific set of audiences to cater to very specific needs. Unless you have such need, don’t do it.
#6 Have clear CTA & goal for the community
Although your community will end up being a home to people from several walks of life. This means all of those people will have different expectations and different goals as well.
However, it is your responsibility to have a clear CTA & goals for your community. What people benefit from your community is your responsibility, what they use it for their call. Having clear goals & CTA will keep you on track with growing & scaling your community.
#7 Humanize the whole experience
We have talked about this earlier, the whole point of starting a community is to make a difference. You can’t make a difference if your content and approach are not optimized for humans.
Not just the content, but the overall experience of being a member of your community should be optimized for humans. Unlike blogs that are being polluted with keyword-stuffed and overly optimized for search engines that lack the human touch, the community has no point in being that ‘robot’.
#8 Treat the community members more than an email list
An email list is the gold standard of digital marketing. It’s never getting old & is immortal. However, treating the community simply as an email list will make you look like just another creator owning a community. Don’t be that guy.
There’s nothing wrong with creating an email list, that’s the most priceless thing you will ever build for yourself, but the sole purpose of the community shouldn’t be getting their email. If you somehow manage to get their emails without creating value in the community, the audience is definitely not going to acknowledge your emails as well. Karma! they say.
Now that you’re aware of the knity-gritty of having a community, let me share how to grow online communities with our automation tools.
Automate the process community building
In this section, I will share some handpicked automations from our directory that are created to help creators like you to help you with growing your community.
I will categorize based on the platforms where you host your community. This is for ease of access and understanding.
Growing community on social media
Here I have compiled a list of automation that can help you grow your community on social media. This community can be to promote your business, get sales or simply monetize the community itself. Let’s check out the automations I have complied for you.
Instagram has over 1 billion people on the platform. There’s an audience for pretty much all industries. Auto liking posts of creators will bring attention to your profile & doing this on a large scale will help you grow your community inch by inch.
The most used feature of Instagram is stories. Over 500 million people watch Instagram stories on daily basis. Automatically watching stories of your audience will again bring attention to your profile.
Unlike auto liking posts, watching stories is much more appealing to people than liking posts. Since stories last only for 24 hours, it feels more special.
Auto-following your audience on Instagram will take care of increasing profile visitors. The whole game of growing the community online is improving the conversion rate of profile visitors into followers. This automation will help you exactly that.
Facebook groups are keeping the platform alive. The organic reach of all the posts on the feed is officially dead, thanks to over 2.2 billion users. Extracting posts from a Facebook group will give you a list of people you can get in touch with and invite them to join your community or
If scraping posts from the Facebook group is helpful, why not scrape the people who post & engage in the group as well? This automation does exactly that.
When you have a list of people from a Facebook group that houses your target audience, you’re halfway through the process of building a community. You can either add them to your friend’s list, get in touch with them or simply engage with their content on Facebook to bring their attention to your community.
Linkedin being the powerhouse of leads makes it more relevant than ever for lead generation. Hence scraping your Linkedin profile visitors is the best place to begin growing your community.
Linkedin event attendees is yet another gold mine you can explore to find laser-sharp targetted audience for your community. We have created this automation to help you extract the attendees of any event listed on Linkedin.
Building community via email newsletters
In this section, I have compiled the automation to help you grow your email newsletters.
#1 Enrich data using Dropcontact
If you’re looking for EU based audience, dropcontact is second to none. The UI & response is blazing fast. If you have a dropcontact account, you can integrate that with TexAu and create a workflow that dropcontact is a part of.
If you’re a B2B business owner, chances are, your potential customers already have a website. Getting in touch with them is the best thing you can do to find sales. This automation will help you find emails from the website domains you input.
As the front door of lead generation, don’t you think cold emailing prospects you discover on Linkedin will be helpful? This automation helps you do exactly that.
Snov.io is an email finding & verifying service. If you have a snov account, you can integrate with TexAu to create workflows similar to dropcontact.
Final thoughts on building a community
Community building is very crucial for any business that is operating at a shoestring budget. The community is the biggest asset the business can build. The community plays the role of the sales funnel, the markets, the customers, and whatnot.
We’re heading towards a community-centric world where everything we will do will be for a specific community. The world knows that a business cannot (and shouldn’t) target everyone. Every business will have its own tribe, even the competitors will create an ecosystem of community and co-exist with each other.
Since we’re already a part of a fast-moving world, automating redundant steps would simply mean buying more time for things that can’t be automated. TexAu is for you & for your business for such explicit cases.
Feel free to check out the TexAu automation store & find 180+ automation to help you make time for the more important stuff.