Every business owner desires increased productivity and a higher ROI. But that’s not something you get so quickly by applying the usual marketing practices. Common approaches only give typical results.
You must integrate unconventional yet effective marketing strategies such as community building to increase your company's profits and invest less capital for more returns.
In this article, you will learn about community building and how to use community platforms to boost your annual business productivity.
What Are Community Platforms?
First off, you should know that community building means bringing together a group of individuals with similar interests to share resources, relay crucial information, promote products, and foster connections.
To set up a community, you need platforms with adequate infrastructure capable of holding a certain number of people and tools sufficient for seamlessly integrating your proposed community plans. This is where community platforms come in.
These digital spaces act as psychological links between several people, primarily strangers or work colleagues, of common interest and help to build a virtual relationship that is often business related.
Some online community platforms come as open-source software like Discourse, widely known social media apps like Facebook, or a WordPress plugin like BuddyBoss.
5 Ways To Use Community Platforms To Increase Your Business Productivity
The lifeline of every organization is productivity, which translates to how much your business can increasingly achieve without burning more fuel or employing new hands. The same amount of work but better results
With community platforms, you can connect on a deeper level with your customers and do so many other things that positively affect your productivity. To build a result-oriented community that will boost your business output, let’s explore the following options:
1. Engaging Community Members With Personalized Content
Community platforms offer the best stage if you are looking for a place to gather your customers, business partners, and potential leads. Several platforms like Circle and Discord feature multiple tabs, which allow you to segment your members into different groups. This means you can send personalized content, such as posts, updates, and many other essential resources, to the right people.
Let’s say you want to create a community on Facebook. First, understand the type of people you want on board.
For example, “The Copywriting Club Facebook Community" was solely created for copywriters and content creators to educate and share essential insights. Moreso, this group is entrance-limited and can only be joined via invitation. Unless you have some good standing as a copywriter, you won’t receive an invite. This factor eliminates dummy members and ensures the messages you pass are relevant.
With an active community in place, you can easily promote your products and generate more sales. The process for doing that is further explained below. Meanwhile, engaging your members with value-filled content will help you turn them into advocates for your business.
Say your community is made up of past clients or potential customers. Constantly engaging them with value-filled resources helps build their trust in your brand. In fact, creating a group for your customers means you have them in mind. And this will lead to a positive customer experience. To top it off, a recent study showed that 42% of customers would pay more if offered a good CX.
Create a community for your customers, business partners, or potential leads.
Entertain their presence with relevant and personalized, not sale-sy, content.
Show you care and build their trust in your brand.
“One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” – Jim Rohn.
2. Seamlessly Create And Promote Your Online Course
Community platforms are not just for engaging your customers and business partners. A few of them, like Passion.io and Circle, were built with tools that allow you to showcase and process payments for your online course(s). If you’re a course creator, you can create a community with two categories - a general tab for those yet to purchase your course and a paid community for those who already have a copy.
Many people are making money from selling online courses, and having an online checking account is a great way to easily keep track of your incomes. You can quickly access all of the transactions made, helping you to keep better tabs on all incoming payments. And because most people have multiple digital income sources these days, staying organized and having everything in one central place makes it easier to calculate your earnings at the end of the month.
Say you decide to draw leads from Facebook. You might decide to create a general community where you drop valuable excerpts of your online course and nurture your members until they are ready for the real deal. Afterward, you can move them into your paid community for a continuous upsell. Most small business owners utilize this strategy for selling their products.
If you’re using Circle, there are tools in place to help you engage each paid student on a personal level. This ensures you stay in touch with your course customers instead of doing a one-time sale and dashing off to find a new lead. Moreso, you are able to use your online course community members to create word-of-mouth publicity and generate more sales effortlessly.
Gamification is another feature which will be discussed below. You can integrate a system that draws out maximum participation of your existing students inside a community. From there, it becomes easy to grow a healthy fanbase of people really enthusiastic about your services and would do anything to get your brand out there for more people to see.
3. Use Communities To Generate Referrals And Gather Testimonials
As mentioned earlier, your community members can become advocates for whatever product or course you sell. However, most members won't do that unless you give them the little push they need.
So after creating your community, you don’t just dump stuff daily on the post section or personal tabs. You must engage each member individually, if possible, or create a personalized message that encourages your members to advocate for your brand.
Need a statistical fact? Do you know most people are four times more likely to purchase a product if referred by friends?
What about a case-study? AirBnB and Dropbox are one of the giant companies with a successful referral program. AirBnB generated twice their annual ROI to about $25 billion while Dropbox got almost 2 million referrals.
Now to recommendations. Having all your existing and previous customers in one community is fantastic. You can jointly ask them to create a short post that features your product on their social media.
Another interesting way to get things done faster is to introduce incentives in the form of coupon codes or super deals to bolster the zeal of your members in bringing new people to the community. More leads, especially those gotten through referrals, mean more sales or conversions.
4. Gamify Community Activities
How do you think your community members - supposedly your customers or clients - would feel if there was a system in place to reward their effort? Remember that a reward isn’t about giving money or cash-convertibles only. You can create badges that pop up anytime a member of your community reaches a certain engagement level.
Reward systems can also work as point and achievement systems. When your members receive acknowledgement for their contribution, they tend to show up more and do better compared to those who are unrewarded.
Gamification creates a healthy competitive environment for your members and even among employees. As a result, you earn yourself an active community, trusted advocates, and fired-up workers, all of which contribute to an increased business productivity.
A perfect case-study on gamification is demonstrated by Nike, a top fashion and sports brand. By gamifying several interactional activities, they got an increased productivity both in marketing and sales.
5. Collaborate With Team Members To Share Growth-Oriented Ideas
One of the crucial ways that community platforms boost business productivity is by providing a stage for you to engage your employees while sharing essential updates at the same time.
Let’s say you created a space on Discord and added your organizational or team members. Whenever there are new updates or ideas to discuss, you can easily share them on a general tab, where they are open for deliberation by other members. This type of community is private and can be used to discuss crucial matters, especially product releases or crisis communications.
Some community platforms allow you to plan events, collaborate on some work plans, and report execution progress without the need for a third-party tool. That reduces the hassle of moving from one collaboration tool to another and helps to concentrate your resources efficiently. This, in turn, reduces your capital investment and increases your productivity ratio.
Community platforms are goldmines for business productivity. These platforms enable you to create a space for your customers or potential leads and nurture them with valuable resources. Some other platforms allow you to orchestrate an healthy but competitive environment through gamification and reward systems.
By leveraging your well-built fanbase, you can create enthusiastic advocates that will promote your brand to more people. And since word-of-mouth does more magic than a fully blown marketing, you should know just how much profit your business stands to gain from this.