One of the best ways to use social media to build your business is to build an online community. You can do that with a lot of different software like Ning.com, DelphiForums.com and, very popular right now, Facebook. There are a lot of benefits to building online communities that you need to know about.
The Power Of An Online Community
An online community is a place where you can speak to others about issues affecting like-minded people. It can be a community of customers (current and future), of your peers, or even leaders and innovators. A community of influencers and visionaries is great too. The type of community you build will depend on your goals.
In order to build the right type of community, it's important to consider some issues.
- Is It Easy to Maintain? – The type of group you build needs to be simple to maintain and practically run itself. When you choose the platform that you want for your community, be sure that you understand it. Or if you don’t, that you can get help with it.
- Who Will You Invite? – If you want to build your business, start a community for potential, current and future customers. That way you can have a good mixture of satisfied customers and those who still have questions involved. When you do this you’ll discover enormous benefits from your community.
- You’ll Connect with Your Audience Faster – Building a community is the very best word-of-mouth marketing that you can get involved with today. Within just a few short months you can have a thriving community.
- Get Insight into Your Audience – Having a community consisting of your audience gives insight that you’d never get any other way. You’ll be able to know their problems and solve them like never before.
- You’ll Have Lower Customer Acquisition Costs – Once you build the community you’ll be able to turn people into customers a lot easier, which means less cost for advertising and marketing.
- You’ll Build Your Business Faster – When people get to know you and like you and trust you, they’ll be a lot more likely to want to work with you. This will help you build your business faster than ever.
- You’ll Become a Known Expert – As you expertly answer questions, people are observing and growing in trust regarding your knowledge about your niche. This will help you get more customers too.
- Beat Out Your Competition – If you can build a more vibrant community than your competition, you’ll win the most customers.
People want to buy from those that they know, like and trust. When you have a true online community, people who are in your target audience will discuss with each other issues surrounding the niche, and give you an opportunity to participate and be a fly on the wall. It's an excellent way to build a better business.