How to Create Brand Awareness through Online Communities
Though your brand may be a recognizable name, you don’t want to stop at name recognition. A well-managed online community can get you past simple logo recognition and can provide a level of brand awareness where members immediately know what it is you do and what sets you apart from the rest. Anyone can have a big name. It’s what you do with that name that makes you special.
Often times, brand awareness is created not by the brand but rather the people who use the brand. They share and recommend products, they promote viral videos, they retweet fun phrases, and they post news to their Facebook statuses. Keep your tribe posted and make it newsworthy and shareworthy. You’ll find most of the branding isn’t done by you.
To create brand awareness:
Get people talking. Do you recommend products and services to your friends and family when you feel you’re getting a good deal or you walked away with a good experience? If so, you’re helping spread the brand’s message, just the same as you hope your community hopes to share your own brand’s message.
The best way to create brand awareness is to have a product, service, website, blog, or community worth talking about. If customers are receiving something of value, whether that’s money savings or top-notch customer service (or maybe they just dig the way your product tastes or works), they’ll talk about you.
Receive feedback gracefully. Don’t sweep your feedback under the rug or roll your eyes if you don’t like something someone said about your brand. That’s valuable information right there. Every bit of negative feedback is a chance for improvement.
When someone tells you something isn’t working, you’re now armed with the information to make it right. If you’re open to feedback and willing to act on that feedback, your brand receives recognition as a trustworthy product backed by people who care.
Make sure that your customers receive more than they give. If you offer a $10 product worth $10 or less, that’s not a bargain. There’s absolutely no value in an equal exchange. However, if you offer a $20 product for $10, now your discount has value.
When you add a supportive community, caring community managers, and a product people like, you’re adding more value to the pile. You don’t want your customers to receive an equal exchange; you want them to receive something of value, and you want them to know you value their patronage and input.
Be honest. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver and own up to your mistakes. Even if you make a mistake, your community and the people who believe in your brand will appreciate your truthfulness.
Update often. The more people know, the more they share. Send them updates in the form of opt-in newsletters, tweets, blog posts, Facebook updates, forum updates, and more. If your news is interesting or fun, your community will share.