In the world of digital marketing, it has no right or wrong. But best practices count.
Everybody knows that. But that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want in there. There are many best practices, excellent use-cases and success stories you can based on as guidelines prior to execution. You can take advantage and learn from these people’s mistakes, make sure you avoid those while implementing your own strategy. That’s why reading and observation are very important if you’re serious on your digital journey. You just need to read and observe to understand the underlying concept of all the related how-to on the subject. Else, you can always ask someone to manage it for you.
Building your very own community is critical for your brand’s success. This is one key fundamental you got to know when you’re onto the bandwagon of community building. It is also one of the very few things in digital marketing that you need to do it right in your first attempt. Once you did it right, the rest will take care of itself. On the other hand if you screw this part up bad, the quality of the entire community will go down the drain. You do not want this to happen as it will negatively impact a great brand you’re about to build.
Community is a group of people who are your fans, avid followers and paid customers. They believe in you, in your entrepreneurship journey, your vision, products and the future of your brand. They will be there for you, and defend you when you or your brand are under ‘attack’ by haters. These are the people who keep coming back to you as regular customers for your advice, products and services. Some are willing to become your brand’s advocate, donating you their Likes and comments as well as doing the advocating work on your behalf for free. Believe me, there will be several of them in your community soon. Again, to build your community the right way, you got to do it right in your first attempt. You got to identify in detail who your target audiences are, and categorise them very carefully. Then only you find them where are they hanging out at.
When I established NSE as a content company powered by freelancers a few years ago, I identified NSE’s target market very delicately. Solopreneurs, small business owners, Marketing department within small medium enterprises and digital team members in large corporations are my target customers. At the same time, I am also searching for independent or part-time bloggers, graphic designers, website developers, SEO experts, social media junkies, copywriters, editors and proofreaders, animators and video editors as well as cartoonist to be part of NSE’s list of strong creative team members.
Where do I find them then? Now this is getting interesting. I know that these people are all professionals. Even those who are independent or part-time freelancers are employees somewhere. I found them hanging out in LinkedIn, the largest social networking platform in the world for professionals. I know that if I were to search these people in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Path or any other channels, I wouldn’t be able to find my target market accurately. I play are pretty much B2B game here and not quite a B2C. All my team’s creative services help feed these organisations’ social media, website and blogs to market their offering out.
The game plan was laid to work within LinkedIn’s capability. Everyone knows that LinkedIn has a functionality that allows individual to be easily identified by full name, their designations, the company’s name, roles in the company they’re attaching to, countries they are at and a few others. Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn is perfect for B2B brands like mine. From then on, I began to expand my LinkedIn network and focus only on one battleground at a time until I establish my authority in there.
Keep yourself interesting, ensure your company’s LinkedIn Page alive with vibrant and interesting content, actively interact with your audience, comments on other people’s posts, reply comments on your own posts and publish your own thoughts via articles are very, very important when building a community. With the right momentum, you will find yourself several potential opportunities began to come in and inquiries after inquiries began to arrive at your direct message box. From then on, you should be able to handle these yourself. This positive outcome only comes when your community is made of right mix of people and there is no two way about it. Should you do not have the right audience in your community, the cycle of getting inquiry or opportunities may be long delayed or may not come after all.
Strong, large and quality community is pretty much equivalent to regular sales. Remember that.