i3 - May/June 2018 - 45

By Scott Steinberg

Business

FO RWA R D ST R AT EG I E S

Tips to Build Community
around your Brand

 C 

all it a target market, tribe or online community: In all cases,
building an audience for your tech products, services or
solutions is key to maintaining a competitive edge. With the
amount of time that audiences spend online increasing, even as
attention spans are declining, tech leaders must find clever ways to
engage users. A few simple tips can help you create and nurture a
successful community around your brand.

Ikon Images/Getty Images

To begin, consider that online communities fill a unique space in the tech
business world. Finding ways to differentiate and add value by providing
thought leadership, demonstrating
unique or novel ways to use your solutions, or helping shoppers save time,
money and effort, is crucial to stand out.
Learning to scale is also key.
Platforms only grow when enough
people routinely use them. How do you
create enough of a critical mass to
attract a crowd and spark user-generated growth? Incentivize early adopters
into becoming evangelists by featuring
both these individuals and their
insights or creations (in the form of
online videos, photo galleries, or highlighted profiles for example), and offering rewards, prizes, and special deals or
discounts for community membership.

Social Media as a Tool Encourage
people to interact with your brand by
sharing news, opinions and feedback
on the latest trends, fostering discussion, crowdsourcing feedback, ideas or
audiovisual content, and asking questions or conducting surveys. However,
someone must monitor both community and social media platforms to
respond to breaking developments.
Customer expectations when it comes
to response times are sky high. Be prepared to stay connected and leverage
processes, platforms and people
that can help you quickly respond
to your community.
C TA . t e c h / i 3

It also helps to grow an online community around a tech brand by encouraging interaction such as live events
and programming. A key to successful
community management is proactively
cultivating grassroots connections. Like
a political campaign, the broadest message succeeds when repeated in small,
intimate pockets. Can you build event
programming, user groups, local city
and state chapters, teams or special
interest groups around your brand and
solutions? If so, it pays to host events -
in-person, online, or virtually - that
can put faces to names, and take
people behind the scenes of
your offerings.
One important step with
an online community is to
identify some simple objectives that can help define
success. Your goal could be
to get customers to galvanize around virtually any
topic, from creating better
photos and videos to coaxing the best performance
from home security or AV
systems. Or key metrics
used to determine success
might include the number
of users active in your community, the amount of time
they spend online, or the
length of their average
engagement. In any event,
all goals should be measurable and objective and set

in the form of numerical hypotheses
(get X many users, drive Y number of
new leads) that you can test.
To define your vision, ask
exploratory questions such as:

* How do you define engagement?
* How quickly do you hope to
increase engagement?

* What level of engagement is a success?
Defining a clear vision, creating a
profile of audience members you want
to attract, and adhering to meaningful
metrics will keep you focused as you
build your online platform. However,
the more you can incentivize people to
take part in a community around your
brand - whether by sharing their
thoughts, asking questions, uploading
videos or connecting with thought
leaders - the more your community
will grow. ■

MAY/JUNE 2018

45


http://cta.tech/i3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - May/June 2018

Contents
i3 - May/June 2018 - Cover1
i3 - May/June 2018 - Cover2
i3 - May/June 2018 - Contents
i3 - May/June 2018 - 2
i3 - May/June 2018 - 3
i3 - May/June 2018 - 4
i3 - May/June 2018 - 5
i3 - May/June 2018 - 6
i3 - May/June 2018 - 7
i3 - May/June 2018 - 8
i3 - May/June 2018 - 9
i3 - May/June 2018 - 10
i3 - May/June 2018 - 11
i3 - May/June 2018 - 12
i3 - May/June 2018 - 13
i3 - May/June 2018 - 14
i3 - May/June 2018 - 15
i3 - May/June 2018 - 16
i3 - May/June 2018 - 17
i3 - May/June 2018 - 18
i3 - May/June 2018 - 19
i3 - May/June 2018 - 20
i3 - May/June 2018 - 21
i3 - May/June 2018 - 22
i3 - May/June 2018 - 23
i3 - May/June 2018 - 24
i3 - May/June 2018 - 25
i3 - May/June 2018 - 26
i3 - May/June 2018 - 27
i3 - May/June 2018 - 28
i3 - May/June 2018 - 29
i3 - May/June 2018 - 30
i3 - May/June 2018 - 31
i3 - May/June 2018 - 32
i3 - May/June 2018 - 33
i3 - May/June 2018 - 34
i3 - May/June 2018 - 35
i3 - May/June 2018 - 36
i3 - May/June 2018 - 37
i3 - May/June 2018 - 38
i3 - May/June 2018 - 39
i3 - May/June 2018 - 40
i3 - May/June 2018 - 41
i3 - May/June 2018 - 42
i3 - May/June 2018 - 43
i3 - May/June 2018 - 44
i3 - May/June 2018 - 45
i3 - May/June 2018 - 46
i3 - May/June 2018 - 47
i3 - May/June 2018 - 48
i3 - May/June 2018 - 49
i3 - May/June 2018 - 50
i3 - May/June 2018 - 51
i3 - May/June 2018 - 52
i3 - May/June 2018 - Cover3
i3 - May/June 2018 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20181112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20161112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160910
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com