Whether you are a retailer, publication, school, city, or the like, you have a community. As a business, you have a network of consumers that have engaged with your brand through purchasing a product, reading a blog post, attending your events, or sharing on social media. After that initial engagement, how are you ensuring that your customers are staying loyal or remain active? More importantly, do you and your team even understand why consistent engagement and community have such a significant impact on your brand? Creating a mobile community of loyal customers and followers establishes you as more than just a destination, it’s a personal connection between you and them. An engaging community turns customers into brand advocates that remain interested in your product(s), brand, organization, and company.
Let’s dive into how to identify your social community. “Advocates” are those that engage with your brand through their different social media networks, and they are the most valuable customers a business can accrue. There are different layers of engagement that transform customers into advocates:
- Social interaction: Meeting or event attendance, retweets, shares, feedback, surveys, likes, etc.
- Consistent social interaction: Customers returning to your blog or social accounts, continuing to share your brand through their own social networks, recommending products to their close friends, and repeat event attendance and participation.
- Private community participation: This can be done through a social campaign, private social group, small meetups, or even better – through a designated online or mobile community for your customers.
When these customers are engaging with your brand, you are providing them a platform to connect with you. Better yet, you are giving them a platform to connect with each other. Through your social networks, you are giving your customers another layer of connectivity beyond purchasing a product or reading a blog post. The challenge is getting those customers to stick, continuing to engage.
The next layer of engagement beyond interaction on social media is providing an online or mobile community where customers can have consistent interaction with other advocates and employees of your company. Providing your advocates with a voice and rewarding them for their engagement is an invaluable practice. Take R.E.I., for example. Last year they launched an extremely successful user-generated social campaign when they announced that their stores would be closed on Black Friday. The goal was to urge customers to spend the day outside and share their outdoor adventures on their social using the hashtag, #optoutside.
The campaign was wildly successful, with nearly half a million of their customer advocates participating and sharing their #optoutside experience with their followers and fans alike during the campaign. REI even put out a video encouraging customers and brand advocates to continue the #optoutside challenge.
What if a company could create an online or mobile community that encourages this type of engagement on a daily basis and not just through a social campaign? That’s what we’ve built at Waysay.
Connect with us over an e-coffee for a free demo, and we’ll show you how to turn your best social campaigns into a community your advocates can contribute to everyday.
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