Jan 24, 2023
Why should you care about building a community around your project or brand? Isn’t it just another expense that requires a significant investment of resources? There are still many who aren’t doing it, often because they are unsure of the ROI of a community. In this post, I will discuss the purpose of a community, why you should care, and how you can build one.
What is a community, and why is it important to you?
The reason for asking this question is to emphasize that a community is a group of people who work together to achieve a common goal.
This is an important concept to consider, especially for companies who are developing products in a saturated market with many competitors offering similar products.
Why? Because with so many options available, customers often become overwhelmed causing businesses to struggle. And so having a community can greatly help as it allows you to engage with your customers and gain their support. This support can help you achieve your goals by having them guide you along the way.
After all, there's no better guidance than that from the very people you're trying to win over.
More reasons to care
1. Reduce support expenses
The community members themselves can help answer questions and solve problems that others might encounter, thus reducing the need for a large dedicated support team. Plus, platforms like Discord allow for direct, real-time contact with the community, effectively eliminating the costs of traditional customer hotline services and 1:1 live chat/email support. This exchange of knowledge, advice, and peer-to-peer support leads to faster problem resolution, reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction.
To make things even more efficient, you can now use tools like AwesomeQA for your communities on Discord and Telegram that learn from your team's answers and company FAQs and docs to provide fast, accurate answers to community questions.
2. Stay ahead of competitors by understanding customer needs
A community can be really helpful in keeping up a good conversation with your customers. This chat helps you understand what the customers want and need from your products.
By listening to their thoughts and ideas, you can make your product suit their needs perfectly. This helps you stand out from other companies whose products may not meet their needs as well because they don't have an easy way to hear directly from their customers.
They might have to guess what customers want or rely on broad market research that may not accurately reflect the specific details.
3. Find and fix problems quickly
When you have a community, your customers act like a full-time team that's always looking for ways to make your product better. They're using your product every day and can notice problems quickly. They can tell you about these problems right away, so you can get started on fixing them.
Without a community, you might not find these problems until a lot of customers are already affected. By then, it can take a lot of time, work, and money to make things right. So a community can make a big difference because it helps you catch and solve issues fast, which keeps your customers happy and can save you from bigger problems down the road.
4. Effective marketing for your products and services
A community around your brand can be your most powerful marketing tool. This is because satisfied customers in your community can often recommend your product to their friends, family, and followers - and people trust recommendations from those they know more than any typical ad or celebrity endorsement.
On top of that, your community can provide honest and passionate reviews about your product, offering a real-world picture of what you offer. These direct reviews can be more worthy than any money spent on other marketing efforts, as they truly resonate with potential customers.
Plus, when new people see how engaged and supportive your community is, they'll be more likely to want in on it and become customers themselves. So, in terms of marketing, a community is like having a team of spokespersons who know your product and love to share it with others.
5. Improve relationships with customers so they never leave you
Having a community can really help with brand loyalty. This is because when customers feel like they're part of something and their voices matter, they can develop a sense of connection and loyalty towards your brand. They won't just see your product as another option on the shelf - they'll be personally invested. They'll stand by you, even when you make mistakes or face challenges, and stick with your product when other new options come up. Plus, this loyalty often leads to customers actively supporting you, rather than just buying from you. They'll defend your brand to critics, help you in tough times, and stand up for you. So, in a world where people are constantly looking for the next great thing, having a community can help your brand be the one that customers keep coming back to and standing by.
How can you begin building one?
Now that I have shared some of the most important reasons with you to care about community building, let’s quickly go over how you can get started with one.
Step 1: Create an account
Start by setting up a Discord account. It's free and straightforward to do, and Discord is ideal for creating communities because it’s built for real-time interaction with features like voice chat, video meetings, and different channels for different topics.
Step 2: Set up a server
After creating your account, set up a server for your brand. Think of the server as your brand's house, and consider making different channels or rooms for different topics.
Step 3: Customize your community
Use bots like AwesomeQA, Mee6, and Dyno to automate tasks, like answering repeat questions, moderating discussions, and verifying or welcoming new members. Decorate the server with emojis and stickers related to your brand to make it feel like a fun place to hang out.
Step 4: Set rules
Make sure to set rules about what kind of behavior is acceptable to make your community a safe and pleasant place to be.
Step 5: Invite people
Start inviting people to join your server. You can begin with your existing customers, and extend to others who might be interested in what your business offers.
Step 6: Be active
Engage with your community regularly. Initiate meaningful conversations, ask for feedback, and create discussions. The more you interact, the more valuable and active your community will be.
Step 7: Promote your server
Post about your new community on social media, email newsletters, and your website to bring in more people. Make sure it’s easy to find.
Step 8: Arrange events
Host regular events like Q&A sessions, product launches, or even casual chats to build relationships with community members.
It’s all worth it
Building and growing a community around your brand is an investment. It might take time before you begin to see active participation and engagement. It's also common to face struggles along the way: managing different personalities, moderating discussions, and maintaining a positive atmosphere. There could be heated debates or disagreements. However, it’s crucial to understand that these initial challenges are part of the journey of creating a vibrant, engaged community.
Each challenge can be turned into an opportunity to understand your customers better, learn, and improve. This makes handling these struggles completely worth it, as the rewards of a dedicated community can be priceless for your brand.
You also might want to check out this post that dives in-depth into effectively managing communities and overcoming these hurdles. So make sure to check it out to equip yourself and make your community-building journey smoother and more rewarding.