Building a community: when to start?_background

More and more companies are taking an interest in community building. And the good news is that they're right: building your corporate community is a goldmine of opportunity.

Whether it's a community of customers, users, partners, suppliers, employees... Federating, animating and engaging through community building is always a good idea.
But still... What is the right time to start creating a community? Why and how to make it a priority?
In this article, MeltingSpot helps you build "the right community, at the right time" 👇

1. Why build a community?
2. How to build a community?
3. When is the best time, to build your community?

Why build a community?

Before setting up a community, it is important to know "why" to take action. There are many reasons why brands create a community. Community marketing allows to :

  • Boost the company's reputation, especially through virtual communities.
  • Facilitate the launch of a product, a service or a project.
  • Surround yourself with a group of loyal and committed members.
  • Accelerate company growth with a Community-Led Growth strategy.
  • Improve acquisition, conversion and retention, especially for customer communities.
  • Get feedback and demonstrate continuous improvement through collective intelligence.
  • Create real engagement, beyond the simple visibility and consumption of content offered by social networks.
  • Building strategy: whether it is a BtoB or BtoC actor, a small or large company, an industrial or technological sector... Building a community is accessible, relevant and recommended to all!

Here is Madeleine Milne from Customer-ization and Faustine Rohr Lacoste from Hexa(efounders) telling us why they decided to build their Communities and how they grew them.

All companies can benefit from the advantages offered by a Community

How to build a community?

Creating a community is not an easy task. To effectively and efficiently implement your community strategy, here are the 7 steps recommended by MeltingSpot:

1. Don't make the confusion between audience and online community: where the audience "follows" a brand and its publications on social networks (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), a community is fully engaged alongside the company. The community is (pro)active and in cross-functional exchange, and is not limited to a number of subscribers.

2. Work on the positioning of your community: what are the objectives, the target, the added value and the issues addressed by the community?

3. Find the right platform to create your virtual community: the creation, activation and engagement of a community is best done on a community platform, with the help of a community builder... And not on social networks.

4. Promote your community to attract members: an omnichannel communication and content strategy is essential to deploy a community through digital.

5. Facilitate the onboarding of community members: to achieve this, consider developing a relevant content marketing strategy, organizing events and facilitating horizontal exchange.

6. Activate your online community in the long term: online events are the key to animating and engaging your community all year long. All this, without geographical constraints, thanks to digital.

7. Monitor quantitative and qualitative results: to create a successful community, remember to monitor the different KPIs, but also the feedback shared by the group members.

These 7 steps will help you build your community efficiently. But to deploy your community-building strategy, you need to choose the right timing.

build a community playbook

When is the best time to build your community?

You now know why and how to build, animate and engage your community. But is there a right time to start community building? Check out MeltingSpot's advice.

Build a community after a product launch

"Let's launch our products first, then surround ourselves with a community. It will be easier": this is a common idea that often resonates in companies. On the surface, the simplicité and practicality of this approach could be confirmed. But in reality, it is not necessarily the best solution.

Indeed, it is not mandatory to wait for the launch and the validation of a product on a market, to start its Community Building strategy. By preferring to wait for the launch of a project, the company runs into several obstacles: what if the offer does not meet the expectations of customers, because they have not been asked before? What if the needs of the consumers have not been properly targeted by the product? What if the price is totally out of line with the market reality?

💡 Building a community after a product launch is to risk falling into this circle that has nothing virtuous about it. Quite often, it is even a mistake with serious consequences, both financially and morally for the company.

Build a community before a product launch

Today, the "Community First" posture is replacing the "Product First" approach. This new paradigm leads many companies to say, "Let's launch our community (of customers, users, partners, influencers, suppliers, etc.) first, then our products later. That will be more effective."

In reality, this strategy is not bad. It may even seem ideal. But still: how to build and engage a BtoB or BtoC community if the company has nothing to offer it? How to attract and retain members, in an adventure that has not yet started?

💡 Indeed, members of a community need a solid reason to commit. Promises to the future are not enough: communities want proof, in the present and without waiting. That's why MeltingSpot recommends building your community, in parallel to launching an offer.

Build a community during a product launch

Why can't brands do two things at once? When it comes to community marketing, this is the right strategy to adopt. Indeed, it is wise to build your community during your product launch: this is the "right time" to launch.

For example, it can be wise to create and federate a community of beta-testers, while developing the first version of your product, service or project. This community-building strategy allows you to collect the needs of the community, and to make the solution evolve according to the feedback.

By choosing to build a community during a product launch, the company demonstrates continuous improvement. It can also feed its community with content, organize events, and take the time to exchange with members... To facilitate the adoption of the product, and encourage "Ambassador" members to recommend it, as soon as it is officially released.

💡 Thus, creating your community while launching a product or service is a virtuous circle: the members of the group are part of the company's backstage and create a solid relationship, they have an impact on the development of the product... And finally, a co-construction approach is put in place: both to make the community emerge, as well as to prepare for the release of a product.
Ready to choose the right one?

Ready to choose the right moment to build your community?

There is no "perfect time" to build a close-knit and committed community. However, there are "recommended" moments: like during a product launch, to take advantage of a virtuous dynamic of co-construction.

Indeed, collective intelligence is a powerful lever for companies. So, let's take advantage of it, not too early, not too late... Thanks to a good Community Building strategy, deployed at the right time, and thanks to the right tool!

To discover our community platform that helps companies build their community (at any time), it's here ⬇️

community platform to build a community

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