What Senior Executives Can Learn From Community-Building Efforts In The Crypto Space What Senior Executives Can Learn From Community-Building Efforts In The Crypto Space Photo: Pixabay

Every business needs to have a loyal customer base willing to go the extra mile to push the business forward. Apple, for example, has built such a large following and loyal community that many even queue outside their stores when new products are released; just so they can get their hands on it first.

The working model that Apple employed to create such a loyal fanbase has been replicated hundreds of times over with varying degrees of success. However, Apple’s fanbase has dwindled somewhat in the past few years, partly due to a lack of innovation from listening to their customers and community feedback.

There are other companies that have seen this, and whilst they’ve adopted a similar approach, they a 2014 market-report-online-community-trends get-satisfaction re constantly evolving, adapting and enhancing their community engagements to create a loyal community of followers that feel valued.

For example, Julian Hosp, CEO and Co-Founder of Cake Defi , a crypto company that generates cash flow for you, sees community building as a long-term measure of customer loyalty. Hosp says “In our day-to-day business, this is often covered by short-term measures to promote sales. In the long run though, doing this helps to increase sales and customer loyalty.” Inversofts’s research  u nderscores that, and concludes that 77% of companies believe that an online community significantly improves brand exposure, awareness, and credibility.

According to research, almost half of Americans feel isolated. This means creating enabling environments for like-minded customers to connect will always be favored over places where they can’t easily engage and share their experiences. And as senior executives, there’s a lot to learn from community-building efforts, which directly translates into cost savings, keeping the community active, growing the community, and giving these customers value.

Community Building Saves Costs

It is only normal that when you have a loyal community around your brand, you spend less. The main reason for this is the willingness of most customers to voluntarily provide crucial information at little or no cost. Take your marketing budget, for example; studies show that 71%  of companies use customer collaborations for market research. or in other words: most companies save nearly three quarters of their marketing budget if they collaborate with the community. .

The benefits of these existing customers extend even further than that. “Our whole marketing strategy is supercharged by our community platforms”, said Hosp. “A whole team of marketers dedicated solely to content creation can’t achieve what our online community can do for just a fraction of the cost”, Hosp continued.

This practice has been enhanced and perfected by startups, which typically have to stretch their dollar to be more effective. On the other side of the spectrum are big multinational corporations, industry behemoths, that don’t have to shy away from paying huge sums of money to research firms in order to get vital information about the market.

Some of these incumbents are too big to fail and in some cases, simply don’t have the same worries about the balance sheet impact these community engaging measures have. Their internal processes are so slow that they haven't yet been able to put a price tag on tapping into their customers' valuable knowledge base. This may change with new technologies being adopted and ultimately causing a paradigm shift, which is certainly needed.

Another aspect well worth considering addresses the validity of the empirical findings of these research companies. Their findings are not always as valid as they would be from social media or online forums. This can, in part, be attributed to the fact that respondents often suffer from the Hawthorne effect , a social science phenomenon whereby they alter their behaviors knowing that they’re being researched.

So, communities have become a powerful weapon in which senior executives and members of companies at large can leverage to produce favorable results and save cost.

Community Building Helps Improve SEO

You might not see how directly, but community building does improve your search ranking. When you can create engagement with your already existing customers on your online platforms, and you get them to tell other people about your business, it’s like a snowball effect, automatically improving your search ranking.

The attention from communities on your brand drives traffic to your website, which signals to Google’s algorithm that you may have valuable contents on your website. And in the long run, it increases your SEO and brand awareness.

And we know that the higher the brand awareness, the higher you enjoy the most powerful form of marketing: word-of-mouth. And studies  have shown that buyers are 84% more likely to trust a referral or recommendation if it comes from a friend, meaning the importance of community is at an all-time high.

Customers Want to Be Involved in the Production Process

Building a community is easy if you’re willing to involve your customers in the production process. You can do this by incorporating feedback into your products. When you do this, your customers will be happy to help you craft products that best suit their needs. This direct engagement process not only fosters brand awareness but it also greatly reduces the likelihood of products becoming shelf warmers.

They can even go as far as helping you change your marketing strategy and product design. In a survey conducted, 33%  of business owners reported that their community changed the product design and another 33% said that it changed the company’s marketing strategy, based on community feedback.

Cake Defi does this successfully using its Twitter and Telegram accounts. Even the company CEO, Julian Hosp isn’t afraid to get stuck in and engage with members of the group. With their questions and giveaways, they always find a way to engage their customers, which in turn gets them the necessary information they need about particular products. This same strategy is leveraged by the likes of McDonald’s, Slack and even Netflix. The goal here is to keep your customers engaged.

Leverage User-Generated Content

In today’s marketing space, content is so crucial to getting customers and keeping them interested in your brand. But with all the content being pushed out by companies, content now seems to have lost its uniqueness. It has become more routine, making it more difficult to keep readers focused on what you have written.

But this is not the case with User-Generated Content (UGC). UGC is more relatable, authentic, and can resonate with customers better because it is written by another customer, just like them. Forrester says that almost half of customers (48%) claim that user-generated content is an excellent method for discovering new products.

So, how do you leverage UGC? First off, on your website, make sure to display ratings and reviews on the product page as this creates confidence for your product. You can also try to create an avenue for customers to ask questions related to your products. Just reach out to any of your customers and get them to answer questions regarding your products.

Everyone enjoys a little recognition here and there, so you can get your customers to give you images of them using your products. And then, you can create a compilation for a campaign.

The Perks Keep Your Community Willing

If there’s no incentive, your customers will hardly stay interested. Before this, you need to offer something appealing to get them interested in the first place. It’s worth noting that these incentives don’t necessarily have to be big.

Take Starbucks, for example; they have one of the largest communities today. Their social impact initiative  has been a success. They created a platform to help people in need around their communities. And some of them include, feed the homeless, working with the youth, senior citizens, and our veterans events.

By keeping the customers involved, it creates in them a sense of belonging, which strengthens customer loyalty in the long run. And studies have shown that 53%  of Americans who are part of a social brand community are more loyal to the brand.