How to Build Online Communities

A fantastic goal for your website is to communicate with your existing customers, so they start talking about you and increase word-of-mouth. Community-based modules and other interactive features like product ratings, forums, loyalty clubs and comments are all great ways for your customers to interact with your brand. If they are happy with you, they may become raving fans. You could even take it to the next level and add more energy to your website with podcasts, videos or interactive demos. There are so many aspects of a website to consider. The most important thing is to invest in a website which you can expand into new areas and opportunities as you progress as a business.

There are many long-term goals you may want to consider to improve your global reach and sales in the future. If you have the budget to go for this now, great, you can start to benefit from these opportunities from the beginning. However, more often than not, websites need to be done in stages and upgraded as your budget allows. It is best to get a functioning website up as quickly as possible and improve it down the track, so you can start to build your search engine traffic now and improve the functionality as you progress.

Take Advantage of Social Media

Social media has transformed the way many people build relationships today and this includes bricks and mortar businesses. If you are able to create a large list of connections through Social Media and provide interesting, meaningful information people will begin to know, like and trust you and form meaningful conversations with you. These kinds of relationships with prospects result in getting the people most likely to buy your product or service.

The success of social media is subject to three basic principles. The first is getting the attention of the appropriate audience to read your content. The second is prompting this audience to either make an inquiry or buy from you. The third (and most important) is to create raving fans that send on your information to their list of friends, which exponentially grows your reach virally.

Social Media is very different to conventional marketing methods because it involves interactivity. Instead of relying on people to come and visit your website, businesses are now ‘going out’ to the social media world to find their prospects and invite them back to their website for more information or to make an inquiry. Conventional advertising is seen as one-way communication with a target audience. Social Media, on the other hand, allows people to voluntarily view your information and respond, forming conversations. Ideally you will capture your audience details or have them connect with your business for ongoing relationship building. This is what social media is all about, interaction. With the presence of an active audience, the web is not only there to ‘sell’ but also build relationships, so when prospects are ready to buy, they think of you first. Your online content should answer the needs and wants of your customers instead of just selling the features of the services or products you are offering.


One of the most cost-efficient and popular ways now to market your business is blogging.  There are two ways to set up a blog to benefit your business website.

Create the blog as part of your website
This is the best option for most bloggers, that way your business website gets all the credit for the content within your blog.

Create the blog separately and link to your website
You can get free blogs in a variety of places online, however a lot of the credit for your articles will go to the owners of the blogging system, not you. It’s quick, cheap and your web pages will be indexed quickly.

Once you have your blog site, make sure you regularly update it with information related to your products or services. You could also tell your target market new and exciting information about your company. People interested in what you have to say will follow your blog posts, often through an RSS feed, an acronym, which stands for Really Simple Syndication. An RSS feed is basically the syndication of data, materials or information from a single page to a new one. In blogs, an RSS feed is simply a collection of posted articles or content that has been simplified in format. People can use your content via an RSS feed which will link back to you and generate traffic for your site.

While there are some 70 million blogs all over the world, only 15 million of them are known to be active. A lot of these sites are also non-commercial or personal. A great number of blog sites become inactive after just two months. To come up with the needed traction, you must work on your blog for at least six months with regular content posting and activity. If you really want to use blogging as part of your online marketing strategy, you must be dedicated to adding new posts regularly. Make sure that you have relevant and clear content that is likely to attract a great number of comments and interaction.

How to Build Online Communities
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How to Build Online Communities
Interactive features like product ratings, membership & comments are all great ways for your customers to interact with your brand & create community online.

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