Behind every great business, there’s a great community. The support systems you build for your business are imperative. A loyal and active customer base can do this. That’s why I put together the Benchmark 5: Tips for Community Building.

  • Provide great, sharable content. If your blog posts and social media content is something your readers, followers and customers enjoy, they are likely to share it. Then their friends will retweet it, like it, etc. Think about a site like Buzzfeed. You know you see a Buzzfeed post on a near daily basis in your Twitter and Facebook feeds. Fun, sharable content can help build a loyal, avid following.
  • Be a fair and understanding moderator. If you’re doing something right with your community, that means there will be a conversation going on about your company both online and off it. However, this can also attract negative commentary. You can’t just ignore it or delete it. You have to address it, same as you would the good. Be fair, open and honest.
  • In forums, a lot of times fellow users will answer others’ questions. Let this happen and ever reward users for doing so. Give them power user status if they answer a certain amount of questions.
  • Sometimes, communities thrive when they’re small, but cannot grow. The old members don’t play nice with the new ones or the systems supporting the community crumble. Plan ahead for this.
  • Many companies create loyalty programs for their customers that stay with them for the long haul. That means discounts, prizes and more. Let them know you’re thankful for being a loyal customer.