What makes a community? Can a community consist of just 10 members, or does it need to have thousands of people to be defined as one? At a basic level, a community could just be you and me, because communities are built on one of the basic human needs – relationships.
We were born to connect with each other and that connection is further strengthened by common interests. These shared interests fuel the fire in community interactions as people build connections and engage with each other. As a business, building and managing your community can help you to build more authentic relationships with your customers, fans and followers. Engaging communities where your members can connect, share and grow together can definitely boost your business, build brand loyalty and increase conversions and sales.
As a community manager, what are some steps you can take to bring your community together and promote engagement within your members? The 3 BIG C’s of Community Management is a great place to start understanding and building your business community.
The 3 BIG Cs of community starts with the word, CARE. How should we care? Do we only care when someone is having a hard time? How can we show our caring as a business? One way to start is with understanding that while we may not be able to solve all problems, we can still offer a listening ear. We all want to be heard, and in a community that consists of so many different voices, the caring starts not by solving but by first listening and offering support.
The 2nd BIG C of the community is to COMMIT. When we are committed to our loved ones, we put their needs above all else. We spend our time, energy and sometimes even money for that purpose. Managing a community requires that same commitment. A community, like any relationship, needs time to grow, nurture and build. You need to commit the hours to receive community queries, deal with complains and both positive/negative feedback, and engage with your customers. Committing to your community also means providing support and service when it is needed. A daily conscious effort to engage with your community will boost customer interactions, conversations and sales.
COMMUNICATE is ultimately the most important of all the Cs here. No one, especially your customers, want to be left in the dark, ignored or cast aside. Always communicate what’s needed and be mindful of the sentiments around. Obtain feedback and gather ideas from your customers and audience members through real conversations. Learn about your customers and what they want, expect, and need in terms of content, products, services, and support.