Developing a voice of brand by engaging the community


When we look to judge the value of the social media marketing, the first quality that comes to mind is the ability to engage and nurture a specific group of people, who may be accumulatively called community. That attachment will be all at heart, without which you are left with a loudspeaker and no one to listening to you. But if you maintain that attachment, you will be in a position to communicate with all types of customers – even those who are at the lower tip of the panel. If the consumers have some quarries on specific issues related to the company, with this facility one will have the provision of responding immediately.

Apart from the responsive type of communication, business corporation and brands utilise this platform to build a positive relation with customers which cannot happen in case of normal transaction. These helps to build a loyalty in business along this relationship that play a vital role in the retention of the customers. Finally, those effective buyers or customer starts becoming your advocates and starts transmitting the presence of the brand, and you will start getting fruitful returns.

This is also one of the most renowned places for engaging place for people of your community, which finally plays a significant role in the building of the authentic resources of the niche of your brand. This will help you to build resources and trust that can come to your rescue when you face challenges. Finally, you may also end up stretching your hands to the competitors in that space. All the brands have similar starting points, but the outcome is directly proportional to the efforts you give. One of the recent examples here is REI; apart from being an outdoor gear selling company is portal for providing the tips for hiking of the zombie, snowshoeing and a whole lot of other outdoor centred activities.


Juggling between like, love and defend  

The feeling towards your brand may vary from adoration to resentment among the members. We’ll later move towards the topic of negativity, at the present situation we are shifting our focus on the simple liking of the customers turning into the defense shown by them towards your brand.

The first instance that you can take towards getting the motion of the people moving towards is by making them like on Facebook with the words of the mouth. The reason behind this liking might be constant meeting of the expectation. There is nothing wrong in the feeling that, this meets a minimum level of engagement.

Like in the case of relationship, forming a proper bond with your brand and the person you are interacting with will take you into the higher level. These bonds are forms with benefits of both the parties. (One cannot confirm that bonds can’t be formed where there is adversity, but it is better to know how your product is malfunctioning than having a say with Twitter exchange and helping someone.) Even sharing of the experiences brings delight and a positive brand voice. For an instance, when Kotex started the Pinterest account, they sent unique set of packages based on their Pinterest board to only 50 selected females. Apart from being surprised and overwhelmed the women too shared this story across the social media.

Then we move on the final stage where the relationship grows even get denser. When the customer starts defending your brand that confirms that you have really outclassed yourself. This final stage of the customer’s willingness to defend the brand is often called as the stage of social nirvana also. This is a stage where the members of the community not engaging themselves but are recommending and are also standing up to advocate the works of the brand in front of dictators of the brand.

In the community, no one can expect to handle 100% of your customer service and solve various question and other related issues. Not that it is their job; it is just because they are not well equipped. After the stage of initiation you can expect some of the members of the community to stand up and help whenever they can. (Now, this is the appropriate time to search for ways to recognize the members, and even passes on the rewards to the most diligent participants). As a result, this will start piling up and will encourage the efforts of the community engagement. As you might have thought; an advocate raising a voice to defend the brand is valued much higher than a brand defending to retain its value. There is authentic value that is also built with the network of communication that accumulates to from the interactions with the customers.


It is more than just marketing  

Right from the HR to the product team and the other sections of the company are benefitted from the efforts of the community engagement programs on the social media. And if you engage more colleagues to this, this will lighten your load of work. To add more value to your program you can emphasize on the areas.


Content creation

Your on-site engagements, efforts of the social listening, and the presence in the social media can help to determine and create a content that fulfil the needs by using the data for the search traffic. (Not forgetting to mention it is also a strategy by which the content available is shared.) The topics of the content mainly fall under one of the three broader buckets:


Improve and learn

By utilising your product (education of the features and etc.) you are looking to make the life of the users better, and even offer assistance. The main motto of the content should be to build the authority, increase the level of engagement and drive connections.


Discover and explore

Creative and fresh content are the need of the art, when you are looking for brand development. These contents are the only weapon in your hand that will breed a community and so proper seriousness has to shown while building the content for them which will help foster these relationships for building a better community.


Answers to questions

To meet the supporting needs of the customers this type of content is developed. Customers too seek for a solution, when something has not gone in the right direction. This can range from resolving the technical aspects to simple question answer format on how to pave the path for the return of the product. Your main motto is to drive answers to questions.

The point of the generation of the content within the community is not something which can be overlooked. You can even have amazing user-generated contents like gifts. The users will write what they find useful, interesting, and relevant. The possibilities here are limitless.

Using analytical tools like True Social Metrics, SimplyMeasures can help you measuring the conversations on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and even on Youtube for the ideas of the content creation. The big take away point here: The members of the community are publicly in talk about what do they want? In order to extract the optimum value out of the conversation, try to listen to conversations more carefully. This will make the process of derivation to a conclusion very easy, if you are looking into the right places.


Development of the product

Access to the customers was not so easy, at it is in the present stages of the business, and this is perhaps the reason which development of the products. When people often are found at an unimpressive situation, they often don’t precisely know about what to have? And then people find the inputs of the media to be a curse otherwise, it might be a blessing also.

It will be a mistake if all the words or the inputs of the customers are treated as gospel. Feedback is an essential part, but that feedback should be taken with respect to the context of everything else, if one knows about the brand and its products. A few complains are also necessary to be kept in the user base to justify the authenticity. You can employ several tactics to make sure that you get the apt benefit from this customer feedback without the determination of the artificial weight.

Creating Tester communities: There are a couple of ways for doing this. At first you will have to make a list of the active users across the social media or even dynamic bloggers, and many more. Then, connect them with the help of any social mechanism like email, Facebook group or any other related ways. You may even restrict the users to a forum-based section, where these active users can engage, to the network and even converse on the topic you generate. This access will bring reward to the community members and lead you into the useful penetration of your brand in particular.

Listen to your competitors: Apart from getting the mere feedback, try analysing the sentiments of the users to look for problems in the specific genre and listen to what the broader community is saying about the competitors. The conversation about the competitor products helps you to attain the endless amount of improvements that you can make with own efforts.

Measuring: Just as one can obtain the perception about the product by shifting the focus to the web analytics, and the performance of the social channels. Do the posts about the product often outperform the related post about the other? This is the point that the customers like, and will bring to limelight.


Human Resource

Social is one of the tools which play a significant role in HR as well by encouraging the employee engagement, connecting and finding new recruits and even helping the efforts of retention.


Words about governance:

Depending on the cultural habits that are practiced in the organization, your HR section might have to take up the plan of implementing the social media. Regardless of cultural practices, getting buy-in is indeed a valuable idea. To avoid risks while empowering its employees, a proper policy of social media and governance will help to provide the development of the HR professionals. Getting in touch with the professionals before asking them to joint into the efforts where it is advisable to ask for permission rather than forgiveness.

Beyond the arena of the governance, social media can be one of the most impressive tools for HR professionals. Yet there are other areas which the HR has to grow may include:



New applicants are most aptly reached with the help of social channels. Why don’t reach at a point where the people might spend some time? People go online, for various works and one section among them go online to search for jobs, and there are ample chances that they may also like you. Given that it has interest, your community will also be the right platform to share the related openings with these networks.


Social network internally

There are number of internal social networks that are entirely used by the employees inside the company only; like Yammer, Basecamp, Jive and Chatter and many more. Whatever be the flavour, the internally used social networks can be incredible for the knowledgeable from the grounds of sharing, cross-functional collaborations and helps to builds a sense of camaraderie.

Ideally, the involvement of the entire organisation is demanded. And it is also important to step up the voice of the brand from time to time.