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Building a digital profile: 3. How do I maintain an online community?.

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Welcome to part three of our blog on digital profile building. By this stage, if the plan you wrote in part one has been effective then your digital profile will be well underway.

The tools you selected will be in use, you will have a clear picture of the target audience that you are trying to communicate with and will have completed at least one, acquisition campaign. You will have designed and initiated an active campaign or competition and will be in a position to assess the results.

Grow your audience

Results are the key to part three of this series, always review your results. Look back at what happened, how effective was the activity?  Did the campaign achieve the desired results? If not, then it’s time to review the strategy. Use the original plan, combined with the actual results of each acquisition campaign or competition, to discover what worked what didn’t and how well or badly. If the competition on the website increased visitor traffic by 25% and the acquisition campaign on facebook only increased likes by 15% then the future direction is clear. Be guided by the results and revise the plan for future activity around them.

Respond to every comment

So what’s next, how do you maintain the momentum? Engage with the new online community as much as possible. Respond to each and every comment and use them as an opportunity to communicate with your customers. Personalise your comments and ensure that all questions and comments are responded to quickly as possible. It is also really important that all communication is consistent with the tone and personality of the brand. For larger teams this becomes more challenging, clear brand guidelines can be really helpful in this situation.

Crisis Management

What happens if there is a negative comment posted, or your brand is attacked by a troll? Just keep calm and carry on. Respond as per normal, with consideration and courtesy. If the comment is a genuine criticism of your product or service, then use the communication to showcase the excellent customer service of the organisation, as you work with the customer to resolve the issue. Mistakes happen, if handled well, negative comments can be an opportunity to turn around a negative situation. Work through the situation and don’t remove these comments from the site. Deleting or censoring negative comments can inflame the situation and potentially result in further criticism.

Conclusion

To conclude, building an online profile for your brand takes time and effort. Planning and outlining specific objectives for your digital activity is the most productive way to move forward. Once you have selected the most relevant tools for your brand, then acquisition campaigns will help you to grow your digital community. Providing value for your target audience will give your customers a reason to say engaged with your brand online. Responding to posts and comments promptly and efficiently will encourage your customers to communicate with you and provide further opportunities for engagement and building brand loyalty.

It's rare to find a combination of a website/brand focused company that can deliver results, this is where the team at Fuel thrives. Coupled up with service, makes them valuable asset to any growing business wanting to expand online.

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