5 questions to ask yourself before launching a community – WAU
Conquering your audience and maintaining a good relationship with them is the desire of any company that seeks to be noticed in the market, regardless of its size or segment. Many of these companies feel the real need to generate frank conversations with their customers in an environment where they can debate, question and even […]
Conquering your audience and maintaining a good relationship with them is the desire of any company that seeks to be noticed in the market, regardless of its size or segment. Many of these companies feel the real need to generate frank conversations with their customers in an environment where they can debate, question and even get more involved in the daily life of the company and also of its users.
This type of interaction, without a doubt, can mean great benefits for the company’s marketing department, in addition to public satisfaction.
It is for this reason that a certain type of content is receiving more and more attention from large companies when it comes to designing their strategies: user-generated content. This strategy is the result of the collaboration of users, taking advantage of everything that is created and shared on the web voluntarily, be it videos, texts, comments on social networks or forums.
This idea is increasingly gaining ground in medium and large companies, showing how much users have a great power of expression in large communities and forums that are created precisely for these purposes.
What’s happening frequently?
Some companies are using this powerful tool in the wrong way, just launching communities and forums in an unbridled way on their networks. They usually only imagine what would be the ideal behavior of fans in these communities, thinking that, once created, people would participate actively, leveraging the company’s business all at once.
Well, it doesn’t work that way.
If your company also follows this path, it won’t be long before you realize that the expected results don’t arrive that easily and will end up leaving aside what initially seemed like a good idea. Before doing this, it is important to assess the market and some important issues before creating communities, even worrying about time and investment issues.
Anyone who really feels passionate about running a business needs to be aware of several factors that may arise, and just stray from strategy and logistics when creating an online community. If you stick to just those two factors, it won’t be long before you work with disposable ideas and crash your network once and for all, letting it become a “ghost town”.
The great truth is that many of the challenges that involve creating a virtual community can be overcome when your team works out the right strategy in that environment.
That’s why we created a list of the 5 essential questions that need to be answered before creating a community around the company you manage.
1. How can company goals help to create an online community?
When creating a community it is important that you treat it in the same way that you treat all other strategies and areas of the company, including all the strategic objectives of your business. The only difference of your online community is that it must be interpreted through a specific KPI (Performance Indicator).
For example, it is possible that your company needs these indicators to assess whether the strategy applied in your community can increase the company’s revenue or decrease support costs.
It sounds easy, but you need to be very attentive to the whole process of creating, developing and relevant the community. However, if you can answer that question right away and without much difficulty, it is likely that you are already closer to achieving success than many other companies that have not even thought of this step. In addition, this response will align your community’s work with the essential goals of your business.
Tip: One of the most common business objectives when launching an online community is regarding the scale of customer support. One of the companies that does this job very well is Skype. The brand has a large community that is a great space for users to ask questions and get help.
2. What kind of resources should you allocate in order to grow your community?
Building a community from scratch takes a long time and it’s not just about activating it and thinking that the public will see it for themselves. This great endeavor is also, in essence, about cultivating the various relationships that it will generate, in addition to promoting it strongly so that people are interested in it.
Do not think that it will be easy to leverage it from one hour to the next in the initial days that you are on the air. Of course, we must also remember that some communities take off easily due to the high demand they present. If so, you may need to consider what your scale and moderation strategy will be.
Companies that already have established online communities with a large number of active people recommend that you have at least two people to manage them, and it is possible and likely to set up a small team so as not to lose sight of it.
Your team must be prepared and know very well the products and services that your company offers, in order to be able to answer all customer doubts with as much information as possible, not letting them remain unanswered.
3. What will be your strategy and roadmap for achieving the planned goals for your community?
This question fits perfectly with the first of this article. Once you have outlined your community’s primary objective, it’s time to invest time to develop good insights that can further contribute to the strategy outlined earlier. Making a community available to your customers and the general public can make your company add much more value throughout the year, growing exponentially if your team does not neglect and manage everything with maximum efficiency.
If you are thinking of creating an online forum, wait and be patient so that it stabilizes and grows, because in the beginning it tends to appear stopped and empty, but soon it will bring great results for you and your customers.
During this time, it is also essential that you and your team are aware of the tactics to approach the users, as they also tend to change according to the different stages of growth of the community. For many managers, it is important to create a roadmap for the community to go on without too much trouble. It may be important that your company uses a great resource known as the Community Roundtable, access it here (in English) that will help you in writing a script.
Now that you know the trend is for your script to evolve over time, this small copy will provide you with an information board depicting what is really needed, without the need to get lost in the middle of various unnecessary management strategies in your community.
4. Does your company have an editorial calendar with efficient content to start a conversation with your audience?
Keep in mind that the only things that will really catch your audience’s attention within the community are good content and productive conversations. Keep in mind that in the previous steps you’ll only be sowing most of your content in the community, and there needs to be a considerable list of fresh and fresh content for your users, along with topics that will be created in real time and your choice.
Your new list of contents may include, but is not limited to:
- News specific to your company’s operating area.
- Questions to ask the community.
- News about community members.
- Blog posts and relevant articles.
And much more.
The important thing is to make this list of content always attractive and fun and / or informative to your followers. Don’t forget that your intention is to get your users to take some action on the content they read. They can read, comment and even share with others.
Tip: Avoid developing unnecessary content, without relevant information and that is full of corporate jargon. Innovate!
5. Does your company have a good promotion strategy to leverage the community?
Even more important than just creating and nurturing a community is to think about which promotion strategies you will apply to make it grow and spread across the web.
- Where are your community members coming from?
- Will you send invitations via email?
- Do you expect your active members to invite others to the community?
- Does your company already have a guaranteed audience to invite or will you need to create ads and invest in other types of promotion in your community?
What often happens is that most professionals only ask themselves this question when it is too late and the community is already active. These questions need time to be answered and require new promotion strategies. Do not fool around by investing time and spending money on the famous “get followers quickly” or tactics that offer some product or discount in your company and even trying to viralize a video about it. As great as these public relations tactics are, they will certainly be terrible for building your community.
This is due to the fact that your company may even guarantee a greater number of users in the community, but this in no way guarantees that they are your target audience or that there is any kind of interaction between you, taking away the credibility of the group.
The best way to avoid this type of setback is to invest in content known as “slimy”, one that attracts and makes users feel special and willing to interact in your company’s community. This type of content will be extremely important, as it is what will guarantee the return of users in the future, contributing to new topics.
After answering these 5 questions you will be ready to launch your company’s online community on the web, without wasting time and money. Take the time that you and your team still have to think about what your strategies will be and how you should approach your audience within it.
Bet on these ideas.
Also check out why user-generated content is important to your business and how to get to know your audience through content marketing.
Is there still any question about how to launch and engage with your community? Also visit our forum! We are ready to help you.
Want to share any tips or insights from your company’s online community with us? Feel free to comment in the field below.