Mackenzie Fogelson is the founder of Mack Web Solutions and has been in the SEO and web design industry for 10 years. She’s passionate about integrity, user experience, and building community. We’ve been talking a lot about community on RedCert this week – and the value of communities as a tool for business owners is undeniable. WIth this in mind, I asked Mack the real key benefits to building a community for your customers.
The full version of the piece below is available on Moz.com and on Mack’s own website – see the links panel below for details.
There are lots of benefits to building a community around your company, but if I had to choose a few, here are my top five:
- It will help you weather Google’s algorithms
Building an online community is one of the best ways to weather Google’s algorithms. If you’re continually chasing the algorithm, you’re putting all of your power in what Google’s going to do next. If you’re building a community around your business, you’re putting the focus where it belongs: on your business. Building a strong company and brand isn’t something that Google can take away.
- It will add equity and value to your business
When you build online community, you have to do a bunch of stuff to better serve your customers like creating quality content and resources, enhancing your product or services, and improving your systems and processes. Doing these things adds equity and value to your business and attracts the right customers to your community.
- It will help you have purpose
There’s a lot of effort involved in building a community around your brand, and it’s not just about creating content or being on social media just because everyone else is doing it. When you’re strategic about community building, it forces you to identify goals and put a solid purpose behind your efforts.
- It will help you stand out
If you’re committed to the process of building a community, you are going to be doing a great deal of self-discovery (which often times can be pretty uncomfortable). During this process you’ll determine what you’re all about, what you love to do, and what it’s going to take to help you stand out among the competition.
- It will put the focus on goals, not tools
Building an online community isn’t a bunch of fluffy stuff. It’s the seamless integration of tools like SEO, social media, content marketing, email marketing, and all kinds of other important stuff (like hard work and passion). But in order for the tools to be effective, they’ve got to be driven by a strategy that is rooted in the goals of your whole business.
In the last year, Mack Web has been working on building our own community (and helping our clients to build theirs). What we’ve found (through a whole lot of trial and error, joy and pain, sunshine and, well, you get the point) is that building community means building a better business. It’s a necessary online component for growth as it forges and fosters relationships that are essential to building a business online as you would in person.
A present for you
For the past several months, I have been writing a lot about community. How to build it with value, how to identify it, and how to attract customers to it. And now, lucky for you, I’d like to share our process for how to build an online community for your business.
What follows is a super awesome infographic and the play-by-play breakdown of each step in the process. I’m thinking it might come in handy (you can even listen to my webinar for the full effect).
Whether you’re building a community from scratch, or you’re working to grow an existing one, you can use this process to get your community rolling or optimize and leverage what you already have.
The order in which you attack this may differ depending on the size of your organization, your goals, and the stage you’re in as a company. I encourage you to take this process and meld it into what works best for you.
Here we go!
An infographic on How to Build an Online Community by the team at Mack Web Solutions