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October 25th , 2016

Community Technology: How to Improve Your Online Brand Communities

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In the last fifteen years, there has been a distinct paradigm shift in online customer audiences, moving focus from the individual to the community. In fact, this article by Pat Hong gives 10 examples of exceptional brand communities. We all want to improve our community technology, which is why we've compiled several ways to build a brand community. (For more on brand communities, see this Harvard Business Review article).

  • Get people to share.

The goal is to transform that solitary, individual customer into a brand champion that interacts, engages and forms relationships with other customers who are excited about your brand. Together, they build your image better and more efficiently than you could do alone.

  • Ask your online community members to share their positive consumer experiences.

Let your online customers express how your brand has impacted their lives. Get the customers to talk with each other about their positive consumer experiences. Include this invitation to engage in your call-to-action.

  • Encourage customers to give informational support to each other.

For example, provide a user forum where customers who know your product or service talk about where or how to obtain your product or service locally. This is a great way to target regions or cities and have customers educate each other about your product availability. 

  • Invite customer critique.

When you invite customer feedback, it's not always going to be positive. However, by encouraging feedback, you let the customers know that you take them seriously. In this way, your customers will find value in the fact that you continue developing your product or service based upon their needs.

  •  Encourage emotional bonding in your online community.

We all know that branding has to do with the customer finding an emotional connection with your product or service. Focus on building or expanding upon that emotional connection, and then get the customer to share that experience with a community of other like-minded individuals.

We are a community technology firm that believes a successful brand experience among customers leads to engagement, community, and ultimately empowerment. Please contact us to learn more about how we build strategic web and native app platforms that boost habitual engagement.

Build community. No one should experience your brand alone.