Growth Hacks

Online Communities: Revealing The ‘Best Kept Secret’ For Brand Success

  • by Simran Grover
  • April 25, 2020

Today, no one wants to spend hours or rather even a few minutes to find solutions to their problems.

People are looking for instant solutions online, available throughout the day.

Sure, Q&A platforms like Quora and Reddit have existed, but, the demand for instant answers is so much that tons of online communities are being born. For instance, Facebook groups which are playing a tremendous role in this process.

Traditionally, just having a presence through open social media channels such as Facebook page, Instagram would suffice. But now, a large number of marketers have realised how the behaviour of consumers is changing online; it’s all about authentic information from brands, genuine connections, feedback and support. And, this gap can only be filled by online communities like Facebook Groups which are increasingly becoming a part of the marketing and user engagement stack.

Did you know that Fittr, the bootstrapped fitness brand which started with a Facebook group has now scaled to a massive revenue of 100 crores!

Online communities can work like a charm for your business too, whether you’ve just started out or are planning to take your offline business online.

But, how exactly do online communities improve engagement, build loyal customers, generate leads, and help your business grow? This article discusses all.

7 Ways Facebook Groups Guarantee Success To Brands

Although Facebook groups are one of the most underestimated marketing strategies today, the value they deliver to businesses is unimaginable! While increasing your organic reach is one thing, there are other benefits that follow. And, we’ll tell you all about them.

#1. Convert users into ‘ultimate marketing folks’

Do you know 88% of consumers place the highest level of trust in word-of-mouth recommendations from the people they know?
That’s where brand advocates come in. And, creating a Facebook group shall promise you some brand advocates or ‘volunteer marketers’ over time. As it is, happy and satisfied customers like to share their stories.
They like your product and want to help you help others. Not only do they provide a personal touch to your brand but also drive behaviours. And, they do it without any monetary compensation unlike influencers who promote your brand by signing an endorsement deal and charging a hefty sum of money.
Sure, they have their upsides like expanded reach, brand awareness but again, that’s short-lived. This ‘pay-to-play’ strategy quickly fades from the memory of the audience and can be harmful in the long run if not done wisely.
According to a Forrester Research study, 18% of consumers trust influencers while a whopping 92% trust brand advocates.

(That’s huge! )

So, you know your pick now when it comes to amplifying your brand reach, isn’t it?

Have a look below at a post by one happy and satisfied customer of Fuji in their public Facebook group.

This was a post on the Ultimate Fuji X user group with over 33000 members. It proves to be a great takeaway for people planning to purchase the camera and entices others to do the same.

#2. Knowledge Sharing of ‘Super Users’

Once you have built your online community and have a mass of engaged customers, it’s finally time to let their knowledge flow in.

These come as a part of the day-to-day engagement happening on the Facebook group or altogether new inputs from their end. They’ll help you understand things better than ever!

Baby Destination, the online parenting platform founded in 2016 by Tamanna Dhamija is one of the best examples showcasing the same. They have set up their online communities to hear directly from their customers about their experiences, the challenges they are facing, and if they have any ideas. They used the feedback of moms in communities to drive their content and community growth strategy.

This led to viral content that accelerated their organic growth and helped them reach a massive 15 million people in just one month!

The image below shows how members of the platform are engaging with each other over a challenge one of them is facing. While some of them are trying to provide relevant solutions, there are others highlighting that they have a common concern.


 
Using the above insights, they thereafter shared valuable information on fussy eating. Their content titled “Dos and Don’ts for Nutrition” reached a whopping 87,000 moms organically and around 15,000 engaged with it and shared it.

 

#3. Social Proof Around Product Experience

Have you ever watched a web series just because everyone else was going gaga over it? Or, did you ever try a new skincare product because of its wonderful results on skin that others were talking about?

Such is the case with almost everything. Humans need social proof of any product or service before trying that out.

The engagement your product/service generates is a social proof that it is worth everyone’s time, money, and effort. (It actually acts as a validation.)

And, your Facebook group is one of the best places to seek validation of your product experience.

Not more than 10% of people are willing to try new products. And, it is their influence that affects the buying decision of others.

Be it product popularity, public praise, endorsements from trusted experts, or proof of demand, all of them have a strong impact on customers.

Fittr, one of the best fitness social network and consultation platforms of today, has over 5 lakh members who actively participate and engage with the online content.

Their Facebook group claims to be a “judgement free space” and motivates everyone to share their progress and ask any questions during their transformation process. Hence, people come forward and upload their transformation posts while crediting the fitness brand for it.




#4. Product Research and Development

Yes, that’s correct! You can actually use your Facebook groups as a source of inspiration for your product research and development.

The conversations, feedback, engagement, comments, complaints from the group members are a great source of inspiration and can be best utilised to help drive adoption of the product.

Shashank Nigam, of Simpliflying.com, points out that many nontraditional businesses are employing social media and harnessing the power of their audience’s innovative insights. He said:

“Airlines, airports and hotels are increasingly seeing social media as an inexpensive and easy way to seek and incorporate customer feedback.”

And, your product R&D involves just three steps:

  1. Establishing a road map
  2. Posting relevant data and gathering insights
  3. Putting the collected data to work

If we look at Fuji Film’s Facebook group, we see that the customers are not only seeking each others’ suggestions but also are posting their concerns, if any. All of this information surely proves to be the best takeaway for them.

 

Value to members: As you can see in the above example, people are engaging with and helping each other. It makes them feel accomplished and satisfied as they are able to help fellow group members with their problem.
This makes them feel wanted and appreciated by others and this is exactly what humans strive for. We are social beings who crave appreciation and value.

P.S. Owing to these reasons, you can be rest assured of the quality of information that’s shared on your Facebook group. It will mostly be well-researched and satisfactory enough to meet the needs of everyone.

#5. Distributed Customer Support

With everyone spending a large amount of time on social channels, users only have to type in their query and they shall receive support instantly via the Facebook group they’re a part of, irrespective of the time zone.

This support can sometimes be in the form of guidance or in the form of feedback from any other customer. Either way, they get the desired help they were looking for.

For instance, Invideo community, the ultimate video creation platform, is one of the best places for its members to get answers for any queries, get great tips on video creation, and most importantly, share videos on the platform.

Invideo members are really pro-active as they upload their edited videos and reach out to the co-members for feedback. It is after that that they go ahead and upload them on the desired channel.

Besides, the members also give feedback on the features of the platform, and even guidance on integration.




#6. Brand Loyalty and Retention

According to Accenture, about two-third of customers will spend more on brands to which they are loyal.

On the other hand, Glossier, the leading skincare and beauty brand believes that 90% of its revenue comes from returning customers. Glossier started out as a beauty blog, built a massive community and then launched their skin care range. Community is their biggest Moat.

Well, we can see how loyal customers can actually build your brand. That said, it is as important to keep them engaged as your new customers.

For instance, Peloton, the digital fitness platform has been able to build a connection with its members. Although it offers online fitness streaming, the participants have been able to connect with each other just like it happens in an offline fitness center.

So, the key to brand loyalty is building an online community.

A caveat: Go beyond selling a product by providing value and support to members.

#7. Reduced “Market Research Costs”

Your Facebook group is a pathway to important customer insights like their pain points, concerns, their likes/dislikes, and others such. And, when you have these, you are able to build an awesome content strategy.

Alongside, it becomes easier to tap into your audience’s needs, adjust your strategy accordingly, and as a result, reduce your market research costs.

Yes, your Facebook group helps remove this burden off your shoulders!

It is done via ‘listening’ to your members. It is a wonderful way to evaluate how the audience is engaging with your content and how well you are performing as a brand.

A Tip: Consider your members’ pain points and suggestions and implement them in your content strategy. You will build some loyal customers!


If a number of users post this question, this insight of pushups and weight training could be used for:

  1. Creating Content – A simple graphics on “How does Pushups equate to Weight Training”
  2. An app feature where you input pushups and it gives you the time of weight training

Value to Members: While members of a Facebook group address each other’s concerns, in the process, they might discover that they feel the same way over a certain thing. It is these conversations that facilitate companionship.
For instance, people post about their concerns on Fittr’s Facebook group and other co-members come forward to help.

These are some of the ways how online communities prove to be the most wonderful asset for your business and at the same time for customers too. Some of the leading brands are making an impact with their online communities and so can you.

If you are interested to receive a detailed playbook on how to build a community in 30 days, please subscribe to Convosight.com.

You can also sign up to be eligible for a 1-1 15 min consultation on FB group growth by filling this FORM and get exclusive access to our Facebook community.

Thinking about what will drive engagement to your Facebook group? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there too. Read on and you’ll know!

5 Hacks That Drive Engagement To Your Facebook Group

Creating a Facebook group is one thing while driving engagement is another. However, it’s not as hard as it might seem.

Although there’s a plethora of information out there, we’ve highlighted the 5 best ways that will keep your customers engaged.

1. Prepare a Kickass Content Strategy

Because, CONTENT is the KING…
Your online community is nothing without content. (Correction, “great” content!)

No matter your domain, people appreciate content that’s engaging, meaningful, insightful, and most importantly, provides them value.

You customers seek answers to their concerns and queries on online communities and you must provide them with everything they need. Remember, they must not feel otherwise else all the efforts on building the community will turn futile.

It is understood if you have one topic to start with. All you need is to make sure that you use multiple content formats to convey your message.

For instance, you are into skincare and beauty products. While you have such diversified options to choose from, you initially want to create awareness of a recently launched product.

So, your content strategy MUST revolve around that product but at the same time, should not get monotonous for the members. That said, you can create multiple social posts explaining its benefits, videos and gifs of how to apply, videos of customer testimonials, conducting a poll, survey to know your audience’s thoughts on it.

Furthermore, DO make sure that you are quick and efficient in posting on your Facebook group as it increases the chances of audience engagement.

Tip: Initially, you may post around 4-5 times a day, keeping in mind the best times to post. But make sure to not overwhelm your audience!

 

2. Add a Layer of Exclusivity

Yes, exclusivity is the key to every online community’s success.
While there are some businesses who believe that keeping membership low will help them remain exclusive, there are others that believe both can exist simultaneously.
We too believe the latter.

For this, you can post high-quality content and grant access rights only to your group members.
This will instill a sense of belonging and make your audience feel special as they are the “exclusive” ones with access to your high-quality content.

If we look at Starbucks’ Facebook group, one cannot access the content until they are an approved member. It is this exclusivity that makes the existing members feel special.

 

3. Welcome New Members

It is always important to address the new members of your group as it helps you connect with them on a personal level. Welcoming them will make them comfortable and included enough that they might even start interacting from the first day itself.
People who became a part of your Facebook group in the last 7 days are the new members that need your attention.
Have a dedicated welcome post asking them to introduce themselves by sharing their photos and other such.
Below is an example of a welcome post of a pet’s group which might be useful.
 

Source: Singlegrain

4. Use Facebook Live Videos

Yes, that’s correct!
You can make use of Facebook live even in a Facebook group.
Just go to the discussion section of your group and you’ll find the “Live Video” option right beside “Write Post”. Click on it and get started.


 
A live video in a Food group admin that collaborated with a brand Biryani by Kilo on a live video on Biryani making – The video had close to 300 comments organically and over 20K views.

This is certainly a great way to increase your engagement and strengthen your relationship with your audience.

One of the best ways to go about it is to share some knowledge about a particular topic followed by answering queries of your group members.

5. Know WHAT to Measure and HOW to Measure

What’s the purpose of building an online community when you aren’t tracking its success?

There’s no one size that fits all when it comes to measuring your online community’s performance.

While every online community has a different set of KPIs that need to be mapped, we have listed the most important ones for your Facebook group. These remain constant, no matter the nature of your business.

  • Member Growth

Your online community is built to create awareness about your brand and at the same time cater to your audience’s needs, right?
So, it’s essential to keep track of both the total member count of your community and the number of members joining your community every day, week and month.

Keeping a tab on the total member increase number won’t suffice. We NEED to know the breakup, i.e. how many people are joining every month.
This is an indication of the overall health of your online community.

 

  • Engagement : Comments Per Post

Once you have an idea of the number of members in your online community, you need to see how they are engaging with your posts.
Determine what posts they are engaging with the most, what type of content do they like, etc.

Not just this, you also must check if they are participating in your group or not.

This will give you clarity on the level of interest of your members and related areas, providing you the scope of creating a valuable experience for them.
 

  • Engagement: Number of User Generated Posts

If your content strategy is good enough, you’ll not only see people engaging with your posts but also coming forward and posting by themselves.
Since, group members know they are in a safe and regulated space, they’ll be willing to initiate. So, it’s necessary to keep a tab on this number too.

If you’re looking for more information on ways to drive engagement to your Facebook group, feel free to check out our article on “13 Sureshot Ways To Keep Your Facebook Group Engaged.”

Conclusion


By now, you must have realized that Facebook groups provide your business with a free channel to increase your user base. They facilitate interaction between members which proves to be a gold mine for creating your strategies and plan the roadmap ahead

Besides, they are a sureshot way to turn your loyal customers into brand advocates and so far an excellent platform to escalate your organic reach. While all you need is some time, we believe, it’s totally WORTH IT.

Brands with a robust online community are certainly doing wonders. If you want your business to thrive, NOW is the RIGHT time to get started.

Not only because it’s effective but that’s where all the engagement is happening.

So, are you ready to take the plunge?

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