Meta recently released their playbook for building brand communities. This 30-page document has some interesting insights for business owners, marketing teams, and even freelancers on cultivating online communities. So, with so many pages and such little time, what do you need to know?

Answering Key Questions

Meta cautions readers not to jump right in; instead, your brand needs to answer some key questions before it can begin building brand communities. After answering these questions, it’ll be much easier to build community for brands with the foundation you’ve laid out. Before going any further, take a moment and answering the following prompts:

Start with Your Brand’s “Why”

Before investing time, money, and energy into building a community, you should first understand why you need one. Meta recommends starting with your brand’s personal ‘why’ for creating brand communities before doing anything else. Where did the idea come from? Did it originate from a need within your organization?

Answering this question may take some time, and you may find that you don’t have a good reason for fostering a community. We advise taking as much time as you need on this step, coming back to it multiple times if it continues to stump you. Once you have a compelling ‘why’, you can move on to the second task.  

Objectives for Brand Communities

After you’ve clarified your motivation, you can start thinking about your general objectives for your brand community. Perhaps you want to foster an engaged, online forum of your customers. Some brands may favor a community that engages with their brand heavily using social media. Regardless of what your goals for the community are, you should take some time to think about your ideal group and how it engages with your brand.

How Does Brand Support Accomplish Business Objectives?

You’ve already created overall objectives for your community, but now you need to translate them to your business objectives. For brands hoping to boost sales, the overall aim of the community will be to drive new or repeat customers. If growing your social audience is a business objective, then you might utilize your community and grow your audience with referrals, content sharing, and earned engagement.

Do your best to link your original ‘why’ with a business objective. This step may require some altering of your previous answers but linking these steps will give you a much clearer picture of how you’ll use brand communities to support your business.  

How to Measure Success for Brand Communities

Goals are incredibly important for any brand, but goals are nothing without a way to measure them. The final (and arguably most important) step is to form measure of your success. For instance, if the goal of your community is to boost sales, then you’ll need a way to track sales originating from your brand community. For boosting social media following, you would need to establish a goal for followers, engagements, shares, etc.

Having measurable goals will clarify what’s working and what isn’t for building brand support. With these measures, you can adjust your methods and enhance your brand. After these steps are complete, you can begin your launch. Meta provides some solid tips for putting community building into practice that you can find in the playbook.

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