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Who says social is dead? Social media communities have been on the rise for a while now and they will continue to grow and expand throughout this year.

Ever since social media came into our lives, niche communities popped up all over the place. Anywhere from support groups, to task groups and review groups.

There are even medical support communities where patients take on the role of creating online support groups.

Due to the high audience engagement of social communities, they present a golden opportunity for companies to showcase their brands and promote their products. Many of these independent communities do not allow direct advertising. Reviews and suggestions, however, can be left in the comments section of most posts.

However your company can build its own branded community.

Vanilla Forums recently shared some strong statistics on how social communities can benefit brands.

  • 21% increase in engagement rates via online communities
  • 66% of branded communities report an impact on customer retention
  • 68% of branded communities report an increase in new leads
  • 55% of branded communities report an increase in sales
  • 57% of branded communities report in an increase in brand SEO
  • 72% of branded communities report an increase to web traffic

Image via Online Marketing Institute

What Are the Options of Brands?

There are two primary ways to participate in social media communities.

  • Participate in existing independent communities by becoming an active member
  • Create a branded community tied to your social media, with a primary focus on education (value-added content) and engagement

How Can These Communities Help?

Social media communities are on the rise because they help alleviate some of the biggest challenges brands are facing such as engagement and educating the audience to the benefits of their products and services.

What is the Best Way to Build a Social Media Community?

In 2020 join the rising trend of social media communities. When you are ready to create your online branded community keep the following points in mind.

1.    Solve Problems

Although it is tempting to keep shouting with every post “buy my product” use your community to solve problems and watch how fast your community will grow.

2.    Use User-Generated Content (UGC)

Engage your audience to post content. Of course here you need to have some guidelines in place and moderate what is happening to prevent any trouble.

Image via Tintup

3.    Listen to Your Audience

Since this community is here to solve problems and push engagement rates higher make sure you are listening to your audience. Take suggestions on what they want to see more of, and answer the questions.

Encourage your followers to share content on how your products have helped them and reward them for doing so by offering discounts or freebies.

What Are Some Examples of Successful Social Media Communities?

1.    Tiny Buddha

These guys launch their 4 million+  follower community 10 years ago. They had enough time to build to be very successful.

Image via Facebook

What is their approach?

  • They allow readers to submit their personal stories
  • Their community is very active and it offers peer-to-peer advice
  • The community owner promoted immediate inclusivity

2.    Lego Ideas

Lego created their branded online social community and connected it to all their social media platforms. It is highly successful because not only it pushes their audience to engage and use their imagination, it also offers rewards.

Image via Facebook

Like most successful online branded communities Lego Ideas has its website as well.

What is their approach?

  • Allows its members to participate in the creation of new Lego products
  • Members can submit their designs and participate in competitions
  • Designs and creations with the most votes get to become real products, supported by Lego, while the creator gets compensated

Are you ready to build your community in 2020?