Outreach: Connecting With Your Audience

Why is your community important? In what ways can you effectively communicate with them to ensure they are beyond satisfied? Let’s answer the first question, According to Jennifer Sable Lopez (@Jennita) who wrote the Community: The Inbound Resource You Forgot About, your community should hold value to you because they are:  brand advocates, software supporters, members/users, product feedback specialists, content generators, link builders, critics, lovers, sharers of content, forum participators, and website uptime monitoring service. Communicating with your community and finding monetary value in its worth isn’t difficult. Look at the data. Check your analytics, Facebook insights, and pull information from your members/users by requiring them to provide useful information when they are signing up to join your community.

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Know your audience. Once you know who you are addressing, develop strategies of connection that coincide with social giving. Just because you start a community doesn’t mean it’s all about you. Since people are devoting time to your content, invest in them. Show that you genuinely care by sparking up meaningful conversations with your audience. In addition, be sure to read their content as well. Re-tweet, share, comment, and like interesting posts shared by your supporters. This not only allows them to see that you take an interest in them; it also gives you ideas for content in the future. By having a clear understanding of what your audience is into, you can easily develop new content they’ll be pleased with.

Mack Collier mentions in his 10 Things to Remember When Creating a Brand Ambassador Program connecting your brand to its advocates. In doing so, at some point community managers will have to transfer ownership. Essentially your audience makes your brand thrive, without them there be no growth, development, or expansion. Collier suggests that your ambassadors should be familiar enough with the operations of the community that some day they’ll be able to have control and achieve goals of what the community serves to do. Online communities are a never-ending circle of connections. By entrusting your most passionate advocates to be the voice of the community, they will inevitably connect with other members/users. This is an effective way of cultivating meaningful and authentic relationships with people who enjoy what you’ve created.

As a community manager do you think you’ve mastered embracing and empowering your most loyal advocates? Have you ever thought of creating a brand ambassador program? Share your story with the #cmgrclass.

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