How Businesses Overcome Hesitations to Leverage Community Power

Day by day, brands are scrambling for attention. They bombard us with ads, discounts, and social media posts, but the truth is, people crave connection, not just consumption. They seek belonging and the feeling of being part of something bigger.

Recognizing this shift, businesses are increasingly turning to community building as a strategic pillar, unlocking a wealth of benefits beyond increased sales. However, many companies remain hesitant, citing concerns about resource allocation, potential negativity, and unclear ROI.

Let’s dive into the top concerns and explore how to transform them into opportunities.

Hesitation 1: Resource Allocation and Complexity

Building a thriving community can be exciting, but the initial investment of time, effort, and sometimes even finances can be daunting, especially for businesses with limited resources or competing priorities. However, it’s crucial to shift this perspective and see community building not as an “extra” expense, but as a long-term investment in your brand’s future and customer relationships.

Tip:

Yes, it takes time and effort. But start small! Begin with simple interactions, utilize readily available tools, and seek guidance from online resources and community management experts. Leverage existing platforms, partner with experts, and focus on long-term benefits like reduced customer churn and increased advocacy.

Take a look at:

Intuit ProConnect. This platform connects accountants and tax professionals, allowing them to share resources, ask questions, and collaborate on complex tasks. This reduces duplicate effort and enhances individual productivity, maximizing resources within the community.

Hesitation 2: Unclear Benefits and Alignment

Some businesses see community building as a fluffy add-on, not a strategic imperative. This is short-sighted. When aligned with your overall business strategy, a thriving community can unlock tangible benefits beyond brand awareness and customer retention. It can become a strategic driver for innovation, sales, and long-term growth.

Tip:

The value of your community won’t be readily apparent overnight. Invest in data-driven insights, clear communication, and strategic alignment to demonstrate the impactful role your community plays in achieving your business goals. Continuously refine your community strategy based on data and feedback to maximize its impact.

Take a look at:

Sephora Beauty Insider’s tiered loyalty program with exclusive perks and gamified elements fuels community engagement and incentivizes purchases, as well as providing reviews and feedback on products that increase sales.

Hesitation 3: Fear of Losing Control

No online or offline community is immune to criticism. The fear of negativity and losing control often holds businesses back. Letting this fear dictate your actions limits the immense potential of what a thriving community can offer.

Tip:

Set clear guidelines that promote respectful communication and discourage personal attacks. Encourage constructive criticism and allow space for healthy debate. Address concerns honestly and promptly, showing you value their feedback.

Take a look at:

Discord gaming communities and their way and rules for community conversations.

Hesitation 4: Unclear ROI

The intangible benefits of a thriving community are undeniable. However, showcasing its value to stakeholders often requires quantifiable evidence. Forget focusing solely on immediate sales figures. While community can positively impact sales, its value extends far beyond.

Tip:

Don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach. Align your KPIs with your specific community goals. Track website traffic, social media engagement, and brand mentions from community activity. Monitor conversions from community-specific promotions, exclusive offers, and influencer marketing within the community. Measure leads generated through community referrals, promotions, and content downloads. Count the number of new product ideas, prototypes, or features originating from community feedback and co-creation efforts.

Take a look at:

Lego Ideas allows users to submit and vote on potential Lego sets, fostering co-creation and engagement. It has generated successful products like “The Office”, Vincent van Gogh set and other, demonstrating the power of community-driven innovation and global outreach for brand awareness.

Takeaways

Building a thriving community takes effort, but the rewards are undeniable. By addressing common hesitations like resource allocation, negativity, and unclear ROI, businesses can unlock a wealth of benefits beyond sales figures.

So, are you ready to unlock the power of community for your business? Then remember these:

  • Community isn’t an “extra” expense, but a long-term investment in customer relationships and brand advocacy.
  • Start small, leverage existing resources, and utilize community tools to manage complexity efficiently.
  • Measure your community’s impact beyond sales, including engagement, retention, brand awareness, and innovation potential.
  • Embrace open communication and proactive moderation to foster a safe and healthy space for feedback and discussion.
  • Align your community goals with your business objectives and select KPIs that demonstrate its strategic value.