Ever thought of other ways to promote your business than just using digital marketing or social media marketing? No? Well, even I haven’t. If you are someone struggling to find ways to engage or find your target audience, then this blog is the best place you’ve reached. Creating an online community for your business is one of the best ways to promote a business. You can promote your business by sitting at your home. It’s 2022, and we think everybody now knows the magic and effect of social media on businesses. Why not use it?
There are quite a few reasons why you shouldn’t be using social media as the only option for promoting your business. Using basic social media marketing tips and tricks may work. Although, do not invest too much in it. The competition is high, and due to that, your growth will be slowed.
Building an online community is not expensive; you can create a community just by buying a hosting web package. Applying for back-to-back ads and promotions on social media platforms will only drain your marketing budget. Is it too confusing to begin with? Do not worry; we will simplify it for you. For instance, let us first understand what an online community is, and after that, we will go into the deeper details.
What is an online community?
An online community is a social networking online platform that allows users to share information, ideas, and opinions with others. Although social networks started out as simple tools for communication, they have evolved into platforms that also provide businesses with an opportunity to reach customers. A social network is a platform that allows its members to interact with one another in various ways.
For example, a social networking site may offer its members the ability to upload videos or photos, send private messages to friends, post updates about what they are doing, rate other members’ posts, comment on other members’ posts, follow certain members, and view their profiles.
Communities come in many different forms. Some are open to the public, others are private. Some require an application form to join, while others will invite you if you send them a message. There are also evergreen communities, which remain active indefinitely, and time-limited ones that expire after a certain amount of time.
Positives of building an online community
- Get the opportunity to indulge in deeper interaction with your target audience/potential customers.
- You can create polls to test which product your audience enjoys the most.
- A community is active 24/7. Get instant feedback on new initiatives.
- Create a personal level connection with your audience to increase customer loyalty.
- You can use the community conversations to work on new or old products.
- Channel your business help and support conversations through the community to save on support investment.
Things to take note of before building an online community
- Be careful to organize community moderation to avoid spam.
- Do not stop creating content; it will break the chain, and your members will give you an “I am out of here”.
- Community building is cheaper. Although, there are a few packages that come with some expensive plugins.
- Be careful to choose the right plan for your business community website.
- Your community will slowly take form. Do not lose hope in the early stages of community creation.
- Do not indulge completely in your community; hire a manager or micro-manage only when necessary.
How to Build an Online Community for Your Business in 5 Easy Steps
The community-building process involves three major steps. Let us go through a detailed description of the steps that lead toward the creation of a decent community platform.
1. Create an account on WordPress
Search WordPress on google and open the website. Create an account on WordPress with your business email address. Review the website, just following our steps will not make you understand the true use of WordPress.
2. Choose the BuddyPress plugin
BuddyPress is the gold standard plugin for community creation on WordPress. It allows you to create a splendid community that offers the best add-ons and website design options available.
3. Create a default website and give it a name
We’ll move towards the flashier details later, before that create a normal website and give it a name. Keep the name related to your business to keep the audience reminded of what you are. You can even keep the name of the website as <businessname>’s community.
Also Read: 10 Tips For Starting Your WordPress Blog
4. Select a compatible theme for your community website
The theme you choose should be according to the subject of your business. For example, if you want to build an online community for your gaming cafe business it is necessary to use attractive and elegant themes. Select Reign which is the most modern and compatible WordPress as well as BuddyPress theme on the market. You can utilize all the latest plugins in Reign. Reign offers a free trial, so you don’t have to be concerned about investing or losing your money in the first place. Let your community’s site “Reign” over the entire internet.
5. Keep your community updated (technologically)
Bring regular and intelligent updates to your community. Keep your potential customers closer to your business. Get the latest community plugins bundle, it includes all the major plugins required to establish a good flow of community conversations. Keeping this option in check will increase the overall member retention rate of your business community.
Building an online community for your business – The Wrap Up
If you’re a small business owner, chances are that you already have an active social media presence. But how much of it is actually working? And what can you do to make sure that the channels you use are helping build your brand instead of hurting it?
Building an online community is a good way to promote your business without any second thoughts. You can use the community as a multi-functional platform.
- You can sell your products/services using the e-commerce integration plugin.
- You can use discussion forums to organize help and support for your business.
- You can use your community conversations to test out new products or services.
- And, of course for marketing your products or services to potential customers.