Building a digital profile: 2. How do I develop an online community?

Building a digital profile: 2. How do I develop an online community?

This blog is part two of a three part series discussing how to create, develop and maintain the digital profile for your brand.

In part one of this series, we discussed where to start when creating a digital profile for your brand. We talked about doing the relevant research, selecting the right tools and then writing up a plan with some solid, measureable objectives. Assuming that you have now completed these tasks, then what do you do next?

The next step is to grow your audience. If you are starting from virtually nothing, maybe a few likes from sympathetic friends or your Mum, then how do you go about giving your numbers a significant boost. The strategy will of course vary, depending on the social media tool selected; however, there are some inherent guidelines that stand, regardless of the tool.

The first thing to do is to plan an acquisition campaign. Acquisition campaigns serve the following purposes:

  1. They give people a reason to like your page
  2. They provide an opportunity to introduce your company or product.
  3. They give potential customers a reason to come back.

So what is an acquisition campaign? It’s a campaign designed around the specific objective of acquiring new customers, or in this case new followers or likes. For the target public to ‘like’ a page then an incentive is required.

For example:

With the recent changes to Facebook and the increase in corporate social media marketing, people are quickly tiring of these campaigns. As a result, getting new likes and followers is becoming increasingly difficult. People are far more discerning about what they ‘like’ and are wary of bombarding friends with company pages, without very good reason.

That’s where creativity comes in. Getting together with your team members and brainstorming ideas can be very productive. Research some successful campaigns. Fresh and original campaign ideas are likely to gain more traction online, just be careful to ensure they are consistent with the strategic positioning of the brand. If not, they are less likely to be approved by the management team and you run the risk of wasting a lot of precious time. A wonderful example of creating a highly successful digital brand is 2 degrees mobile. In 19 months this company created a digital profile that went from 0 to 10,000 daily online mentions and acquired 580,000 new customers in the process.

Selecting the location of the campaign is a key decision. When building a digital profile for a brand it is important to consider the digital profile of the entire organisation. Even when the objective of the campaign is to increase the number of likes on Facebook, it is always worth directing digital traffic back to your website.

The customer could ‘Like’ the FB page and then be directed to enter the competition on your website. This approach would fulfill the objective of the campaign, increase visitor numbers to your website, successfully impact search engine optimisation (SEO) and also potentially increase sales. Website designers can design and build new pages for competitions quickly and easily. With the other added benefits it is definitely worth getting a quote.

I hope that this information will be helpful to anyone tasked with designing an acquisition campaign. The key points are to ensure that you give people a reason to like your brand or product, consider the brand positioning, use creativity to be fresh and original and be strategic about the location of the campaign, always try to direct traffic back to your website where possible. Good luck with your campaign and if we can help in anyway feel free to contact us for more information.