Community Building Hacks For SMEs

If you want to get more from your audience, it’s time to start treating them like they are special. Community building can be a great way to do this, by making people feel more involved and part of something. We’re going to take a look at a few things you need to start doing to build a community around your business. Read on to find out more!

 

Express your values

One of the easiest ways to start attracting people to your business is by underlining your values. Ask yourself what you stand for and make sure it is a strong part of your message. You might be on a mission to improve the environment, for example. Or, you might pride yourself on the healthy workplace you offer your employees. You can go the other way, too.

The craft beer company Brewdog, for example, built their community by being obnoxious and rebellious. The point is if you appeal to a certain section of society you will be able to create a stronger sense of community.

 

Listen

If you want people to engage with you, it’s vital that you listen to what they are saying. As an SME this is a definite advantage in your favour over the bigger, multinational companies. Consider how you communicate with you customers and improve things across the board.

Be consistent across all your marketing channels, too. Use customer suggestions to make improvements – and thank them for their ideas. Pretty soon you will have an audience that is emotionally invested in what it is you are doing.

 

Make people feel part of something

People are always looking for like-minded others, and you can act as a facilitator for this process. Make them feel special and part of something bigger than a product or service. Invite them to join in a little more and offer something in return.

You don’t have to go wild. Something like these Dynamic gift membership key tags or a wristband will suffice. The point is memberships help drive customer loyalty both ways. You can reward them for their custom, while they keep coming back for more.

 

Train your employees

Make sure that you give your employees the tools they need to help you build a community. Your staff and workforce are one of the biggest parts of your company culture. And, with the right customer service training, they will help you spread your community message near and far.

If you employees can be consistent, helpful and friendly at all times, it will attract people to your business. And, every sale can be an opportunity to bring more customers into your community.

 

Embrace other businesses

Are you in a business network right now? If not, you should be. Contacting complementary businesses to yours should be a priority if you want to start creating a community.  It can help in many different ways.

Most of all, it widens your market. If you don’t sell a particular item, then you can just send customers to a business on your network that does, and vice versa. It’s this kind of camaraderie and helpfulness that people respond to – and it will increase the size of your community.

 

Featured image via – Flickr

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