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A community can form in many ways. For example, this can be done through social media, offline events or by creating an online forum. In order to build a community on social media, you need to post content that will attract people who share the same interests as you. You also need to make sure the content is interesting enough to keep them coming back. But basically, you need to execute four main things to move in the right direction:
Define the core values of yourself and your community.
Go live regularly (minimum once a week).
Use the common language of your target audience (through qualitative research and conversations, you identify your audience’s pain points and needs).
Content co-creation (integrating and tagging people you’ve interviewed into your podcast and Q&A sessions, for example).
This is how I executed these four steps in order to build my community, and it will also work for your brand if you are willing to execute and answer a few questions:
Related: 3 Examples of Building a Strong Brand Community
Define the core values of yourself and your community
This first step was already difficult for me, because I was not really sure of my core values. “What is a value? ” I asked myself. I come from Germany, and being on time is also a value for many people. I thought about my existing customers and their opinion on artificial intelligence. They are all fascinated by AI and use it almost daily. A common thought I heard on my live shows was that AI is a powerful tool and it’s here to help human beings. So, I wrote this: “AI is a tool, not a human replacement.”
The other thing I thought about a lot is that I’m very focused on these tools, and I could be doing this all day — testing new tools and giving feedback regularly — but most people don’t like to test new tools. It is therefore a big problem for many companies, and CEOs find it difficult to convince their teams because they are afraid of being replaced. So, I wrote “People and training first. AI second.” It made sense for me to define this approach and ensure that our responsibility is to train people so that they can use AI in a correct and ethical way.
It is important to find your collaborators and to build a community with core values. It can be a blog, a podcast or a YouTube channel. The idea is that you build an audience of people who are interested in the same things as you. However, a community is not just a group of people who share the same interests. It’s more than that – it’s a group of people who share the same values and beliefs, which creates an emotional bond between them.
Values can be a powerful tool to drive change in your business, but they must be authentic. Values can be used to influence behavior, create meaning for employees and customers, attract talent, build trust with customers, set service or product quality standards, and achieve business goals. A company’s values should align with its mission statement and create an emotional connection between the company and its customers. Core values should clearly articulate who you are as a business or organization and what you stand for.
The clearer you are about your core values, the easier it is for you to build trust with customers. So be sure to ask yourself these questions:
What do you want to represent as a company?
What do you want to represent?
What beliefs guide your decisions?
Once you have the answers to these questions, make sure they are communicated internally and externally so that they guide every decision and action taken by everyone in the business.
Related: A Successful Online Community Needs These Key Elements
Go live regularly (once a week at least)
Regular posting is one of the essential elements of community development. You just need to make sure it’s not just about your products and services. It should go deeper than that and have real value for the people you want in your community, which builds trust. It’s a very iterative process! When I started, I spoke with my interview guests about broader topics like content marketing and sales. Then I was introduced to the world of AI-generated content and thought, “That’s really cool! I want to learn more about all these tools and their founders,” so I started a new concept and started interviewing software company CEOs.
Going live and interviewing these people helped me build strong relationships with them, and I also started working more closely with them. Some have become customers, some have become cooperation partners, and we support each other. The main point here is that uploading and creating content together is a very strong approach to building trust online.
Use the common language of your target audience
It sounds like a big step, but it’s really easy to do with a survey that you organize. I did a simple Google survey and sent it out to all my interview guests in the AI niche. They responded with quotes, concerns and struggles they have in mind. One common thing was that they didn’t have time to create content for themselves. Even when they’re CEO of AI-generating software, they couldn’t sit down for 60 minutes to go live or write a blog post. It was fascinating to me because I didn’t have that on the radar, but through this survey I was getting into the conversation in their heads and using their own words for my own content campaigns.
Related: How to Build an Online Community People Will Love
This is really where the magic happens. Content co-creation is still under the radar of many entrepreneurs. The idea is simple: people support what they create. This means that if you have questions about chat or live interaction, for example, you can create additional content from their questions. You redirect the content they produce. Always mention these people and tag those who have appeared on your show. You can upload your live show and create micro content items from the larger video. People tagged are very likely to share and like it because their name appears in this content. When you do this all the time, people feel appreciated for asking questions and showing up – that’s how you build a strong community.
The important thing to remember is that this is an iterative process. A good place to start is to get in touch with potential customers or cooperation partners and talk to them. As marketers, we should stop being too much in our own heads and start being empathetic and getting inside the heads of our customers and partners. In order to start your own community, follow these steps. and run them. The journey may not be easy, but it will be worth it.