One of the best examples of a brand community today has been created by Sephora. They’re a make-up and cosmetic company that caters primarily to women (though, that’s evolving). To help connect with their customer base, they took an old idea and revamped it into something new.
They help customers feel connected through a well-organized forum called beauty talk.
The crazy part? It took off.
Sephora customers were given an outlet where they could connect, ask questions, and talk about new products. From a business perspective, this enabled their marketing team to closely observe what was happening. They could keep tabs on trends, problems, and anything that was gaining interest. Sephora was able to understand what their customers really cared about just by paying attention and actively listening to what they were saying.
They could then take that information and use it to speak to any recurring pain points. The benefits of having this information are huge. Companies are enabled to get ahead of any upcoming problems that might be brewing. It helps you prove you’re both reliable and trustworthy. It keeps people coming back.
Here’s a quick recap of the benefits:
💸 Reduced customer support costs;⠀
💸 Increased exposure and credibility;
💸 heightened engagement;
💸 Boosts customer retention.
It’s really hard to get your first customer, but if you can get them coming back, then that’s where you start to see big gains. Having a brand community enables you to connect with the people who trust you enough to buy from you. It’s your own stage where you get to showcase your knowledge and value.
Building this is an investment of time that will pay you dividends over and over again.
When you have a real community, you have the opportunity to really listen. You get to take your customers by the hand and personally walk them through the sales funnel. It’s like you’re selling without selling!
Sounds good, right? So, how do you do it? ⠀
There are people you know in your personal life that are cheering for you and your business. Maybe that’s your mom, your dog, or your boyfriend. Your employees, contractors, and even your accountant are among some of the groups who might already be your top fans. Whoever they are, invite them to be part of your brand community.
Here’s a (very) quick start guide:
✌️Start internally with your team (and supports that you’ve hired);
✌️ Show up on social ready to answer questions, challenge norms, and provide value;
✌️Embrace a social cause that extends customer impact.
Be ready to offer your customers help when they ask for it, but you also need to use your voice. You want to share a message that will resonate and be remembered. Your brand community is where you can share your beliefs (this sounds riskier than it is) and rally around causes that are important to the group you’ve built.
What are some tactics to make this happen?
✔️ Reply to comments & questions quickly and accurately;
✔️ Tag your customers & fans in videos;
✔️ Got a group that’s driven by a social cause? Make a donation for every sale.
This doesn’t have to be a huge production. Start by setting up your social channels and get mapping out the first few posts. Think about who’s already part of your fan club. Invite them to like, comment, and share your page.