As with every new year, countless articles have recently surfaced predicting what the sales and marketing trends for 2022 will be. At Winger Academy, we also think that many things will evolve this year and certain topics will become hot and trending. For us, one buzzword stands out: community building. In addition to expanding and fine-tuning our content marketing services, community building will also become more prominent in our offer this year.
But what exactly is community building? How is it reflected on LinkedIn? What are the benefits? And how can I build an online community for my brand? Winger will guide you along the way. Let’s answer these questions one by one.
What is community building?
We humans are social beings and feel a constant need to connect with each other. That is why we found it so difficult to keep our social contacts to a minimum during Covid. The social urge in humans is very strong, and even determines how happy and successful we feel.
Community building is based on this need. However, this term does not refer to the fact that we want to have social contact with anyone. A community is a group of people that feels connected to each other because they share a similar interest, belief or need. There are many offline communities, but especially online the number of communities is booming, because the internet makes it possible to connect with people who share our interests on a large scale. Did you know, for example, that no less than 400 million Facebook users are a member of at least one Facebook group or community?
The emergence of more and more online communities has not escaped the notice of the marketing sector, and companies are eager to hop on this trend. They do this by creating their own communities on topics that are in line with their brand. Through these groups, they can share informative content on that specific topic, while promoting their brand in a subtle and non-intrusive way.
One of the channels that brands like to use for community building is LinkedIn. Every LinkedIn Group can be seen as a community. Within these groups, professionals can connect and share their knowledge with each other.
The benefits of community building
You might now be wondering if community building via LinkedIn could be interesting to integrate in your company’s marketing strategy. The answer is simple: yes. Let’s look at some of the benefits of using LinkedIn Groups:
You build a long-term intense relationship with (potential) customers.
You reach experts within your field. These are the ideal ambassadors for your brand.
You receive continuous feedback on your company’s products and activities.
Because communication via communities is not intrusive advertising, people will be more inclined to promote your brand by word of mouth.
Communities give you the opportunity to get to know your customers, which provides you with interesting insights about their needs and requirements.
Content that is shared through communities is informative and very valuable, which often triggers a lot of interaction.
Some tips for starting your LinkedIn community
1. The quality of the members is more important than the number of members
The maximum number of members a LinkedIn Group can contain is 2 million. We can already hear you thinking: “2 million customers, where do I sign up?”. However, groups with many thousands or even millions of members are not the most successful groups, because they contain all kinds of irrelevant members. It is important that your community consists of your current customers, ideal customers and experts within your field. You should only invite or accept people who fit these profiles.
2. Draw up a content calendar
Once you have determined who your ideal community members are, you can start working on the content. It is best to plan out this content in advance, so you can offer the members of your group consistency. When drawing up a content calendar, it is best to consider what subjects your group members will find interesting or what questions these people would like to have answered. Make your content informative, but not too complex. Also make sure that you do not share ad-like content, because a community is not an advertising channel. Also ask your members for regular feedback and analyse your statistics to gain insight into the content that scored best.
3. Stimulate interaction
A golden rule for community management is: don’t post than ghost. So always interact with your community members, because successful communities aren’t based on one-way traffic. Here are some ideas on how to go after this interaction:
Always like and respond to members’ comments
Regularly post interactive content, like poll’s for example
Welcome new members and give them a chance to introduce themselves
Connect members with each other by tagging them in community conversations about their expert field
Would you like to build a community for your brand and would you like us to support you? Then feel free to contact us, we will be happy to help you.