When you start thinking of your customers and potential customers as a community that you want to be involved with, a lot will change in terms of your branding efforts. Branding is all about what your customers (and people who aren't customers yet) think about you.
How does seeing your logo, your content, and your face make people feel? How do you want them to feel?
Building an active, purposeful community around your audience is a great way to build your brand even further than you may have thought possible. To do that, you can get started by setting up a Facebook group, a Ning.com community, a forum on Delphiforums.com or even start your own network via mightynetworks.com. It depends on what you want to accomplish.
One thing the customer expects today is personalized and customized experiences and right now, starting a Facebook group is an easy and effective way to deliver this to them.
Gives Your Audience Access to You
When you invite your customers into your community, giving them access to you, it will make them feel very special. They're going to love getting an inside look into your business as well as finding out early about new products or services that you're launching.
Builds an Emotional Connection with your Brand
When people get to talk to you and other customers or soon-to-be customers on a regular basis, they become emotionally connected to you and your brand. This means that probably they're going to buy almost everything you put out and promote you to their friends and family too.
Builds Brand Loyalty
Once they have access and a relationship has developed, and that emotional connection has formed, brand loyalty will be built. This means they're going to keep buying from you, tell people about you, and be part of your community for a long time.
Puts the Focus on Relationship Building
When you have a community and are communicating with them on a regular basis in this personal way, the focus ends up being on relationship building rather than sales. But, sales happen anyway, and it feels good and more natural.
When you put an online community on the front burner to help you get closer to your audience, build a connection with your audience, and build brand loyalty due to the relationships you're building, it will make all the difference in the world for your branding.