Whenever possible, talk to your tribe where they hang out. And when you can, give them somewhere to hang out. Give them somewhere to talk amongst themselves about the playground of your business. This place will be somewhere you can engage with them too without being pushy.
The coolest thing will be if you can make it a real place. Barring that, make a digital space that’s inviting to your tribe. Consider Apple Support and how intrinsically tied it is to the Apple brand, it's practically run by Mac Users and merely curated by Apple.
Gymshark is one of the fastest growing fitness apparel brands in the world, and their incredible growth is largely fueled by the strong community they have built around their brand. Using their Gymshark Central blog as a hub, they make it easy for new and returning customers alike to dive into their community without having to do any heavy lifting.
Here are a few more to inspire you: 8 Best Brand Communities and why they're successful
Time Investment: 20 minutes daily/2 hours weekly/4 hours monthly
In the present age, there’s a nice euphemism we use to talk about the intellectual overlay of the market: The Conversation. At Think Digital, we like to use the term playground. That has a great many more levels to it. Either way, it means something similar. The Marketplace has a vast ecosystem of mentally engaging stuff going on in it all the time.
It behooves any business to joining the conversation, engage with the playground.
Or, with some delicacy and panache and a little daring, a brand might become a leader of conversations.
To do it, you’ll need a forum where you can engage with your tribe. We talked about something similar to this when we talked about your town square a couple blogs back. The difference here is a little subtle, but it’s dramatic when it’s done right: Community. Tribal membership. While your town square will be designed as a tool for you to get the word out, THIS idea is to give your tribe a place to hang out with each other and, sometimes, with you.
There are a lot of possible apps and tools for something like this…
Chat apps – Discord, Slack, etc.
“Groups” on social media – LinkedIn has Groups, Facebook has Groups
Many brands are beginning to corral this Tribe Energy using a blog website and its interactive add-ons.
Which you choose will depend on your brand. None will necessarily be “better” than any other. The most important factor will be choosing one that your tribe likes.
Start discussions about your industry. You won’t need to promote yourself much. It’ll have this cool effect where your tribe will start associating you with the industry, so you won’t need to talk much about your own business.
Where possible and appropriate, do community building. Host brand-appropriate virtual events, or shout out cool stuff your tribe does. The strongest marketing is community.
Engage in conversation about your industry. Something interesting happening in your playground? Get your tribe talking about it.
Crowdsource content. It can be quite powerful to put out polls or general questions to your tribe to help make decisions in your business. Makes your tribe feel like they’re part of something big, which they are, so they ought to feel like it.
HOW TO MEET YOUR OBJECTIVES
Know what’s become totally last century? Anonymous corporations.
People like feeling like there are actual human beings on the other side of the company. It’s easier to trust a person than a faceless brand.
Here's a little history lesson: There was a brief moment in time when both our Founders, Desiree Reid and Kristina Marie were working with IMAN Cosmetics. Desiree had always said "People don't buy products, they buy narratives. They eat up the story." One of Kristina's favorite things in the world (right up there with coffee and red wine) is humanizing a brand through social media. In July 2018, Vogue Arabia featured Iman on the cover. The behind-the-scenes video was a top favourite for Vogue readers. But for IMAN Cosmetics' legacy audiences in Facebook and Instagram...they loved this more:
Case in point:
People like feeling like there are actual human beings on the other side of the company
To that end, engage with the discussions on your tribe’s forum. If you feel bashful (understandable), or you’re employing a team (wise), it’s perfectly sensible to create a profile for your brand’s persona—or personae, discussed earlier. You and your team can use that account to engage in tribe discussions.
Where it makes sense to do it, engage yourself, though.
Maybe you don’t know everything. As somebody making some stuff that your tribe wants, you’re an authority in the industry. Answer questions that you know. Refer people to resources if you don’t know stuff. By dint of doing business—by sheer force of being—you are already an authority in your field. Talk like one. It makes a good impression.
Number of New Contributors
Number of Discussions with a Response
Quality of Conversations
Number of Profile Views
Number of New Connections
Identify areas your company can have a valuable and long-term impact.
Create a group powered by your company and build a team of admins.
Use a conversation starter even when sharing your own content.
Ask for opinions and provide unique insights.
Keep your content focused. Tighter focus creates broader understanding.
Manage and monitor post submissions.
Make sure you and your team show appreciation to contributors.
Promote your group to the right audiences who care about the industry topic.
Join other relevant industry groups.
Initiate and participate in group discussions daily.
ATHENA Ed.Note: Book The Content Machine - with three interactive workshops that will take you through Digital Sushi 101 - Digital Marketing in Bite-sized pieces, Building your Content Machine...AND your tribe. Two Workshop partners - Kristina Marie & Oliver Blakemore.