Discover here some well-kept secrets to engage your communities!
Creating a solid and sustainable community: that's the ambition of many companies, who want to gather their customers, employees or even partners around a common goal. And if in theory, creating and growing a community seems obvious... On the ground, some good practices are to be known, to move forward on the right track.
So, which Community Centric companies can you draw inspiration from, to make your community grow efficiently? What are their key characteristics? MeltingSpot answers 👇
1. A solid raison d'être
The reason for being is defined by the "why". Since the essence of a business is not in its "what" (what it offers), but in its "why" (its raison d'être), the same is true for its communities.
Each community has a reason to exist and a role to play. Now, the most engaged communities are those that have identified that "why" - that ambition that vibrates at the heart of their actions.
💡 Faguo is a case in point: this mission-driven company has a strong reason for being, which has allowed it to launch a community movement called "Make Friday Green Again." Launched in 2019, this community brings together more than 700 committed partner companies. Together, they propose an alternative to Black Friday, to promote a more reasoned consumption.
This BtoB community, which brings together companies with the same vision, relies on a solid raison d'être: it is a real force, to create cohesion and committed (and engaging) collaborative projects.
2. A strong focus on co-creation
The most engaged corporate communities give absolute trust to their members. In addition to this trust, which must be transversal, the idea is to involve the community in the co-creation of projects, products or services.
For example, in 2021, the accessory brand Cabaia invited its community of customers to co-create "the perfect backpack for cycling" with it, through a newsletter. Lego gives its community of fans the opportunity to submit their creation ideas, on its dedicated platform "Lego Ideas". In BtoC as well as in BtoB, many startups decide to co-create a product or a service, thanks to the help of a community of beta-testers.
Finally, co-creation can also concern the events to be organized within the community: why not call upon your members to animate your next virtual round table? Why not invite your community of collaborators to co-construct with you the most adapted team building? There is no shortage of initiatives to engage your members in a co-creation operation, which will strengthen commitment 🤝
3. Mutual support at all levels
When a company wants to grow its BtoB or BtoC community, it is important that communication is not one-sided. Instead, we talk about encouraging "many-to-many" exchanges, to optimize cross-functional mutual aid.
To accelerate this mutual aid dynamic, some consumer communities rely on forums and collaborative spaces. This is notably the case of Sosh, with the 700,000 members of its community ready to help each other on a dedicated platform.
💡 On Darty's website, community assistance is also at the heart of the strategy, to foster cohesion between the customer community, the seller community and Internet users. Under each product sheet, a "Questions&Answers" space allows everyone to express themselves and help each other.
Finally, some companies, such as Oracle, are pushing the mutual aid dynamic with more precision. This BtoB technology company has not created one user community, but several. Based on the principle that each type of customer has different needs, the company seeks to encourage mutual aid within distinct communities, which can be found on its "Communities" portal.
4. Relevant resources within the community
To bring value to the different members, it is important that content is at the heart of a community. The formats can obviously vary: guides, blog articles, newsletters, hybrid events, virtual or physical...
To provide high value-added content, the CFO Connect BtoB community created by Spendesk relies on the complementarity of several content formats. A monthly newsletter is sent, articles and videos are broadcasted and events are organized to gather the 6,500 members. All this, to grow each member on specific topics.
🚀 Our advice: don't wait to define a content strategy, which will serve as a common thread to animate your community!
5. Regular meetings, thanks to virtual events
To gather the members of a community, it is essential to plan and organize regular events. The goal is to create a recurring appointment with your community, to build loyalty and generate engagement 💪
Many companies with successful communities rely on an event strategy. For example, Comexposium organizes every year "The World Tourism Fair", to federate its community of visitors and tourism professionals. This year, the format has been adapted to a virtual one, using our MeltingSpot tool.
Other companies also organize monthly meetings with their consumer community, weekly team meetings with their partner community... And even daily meetings, such as virtual cafés with their community of employees!
6. A gamified user experience
To increase the interest and involvement of the members of a community, gamification can be a lever to exploit. The idea is to draw inspiration from the game world (challenges, points, ranking...), to animate its internal or external community.
💡 Sephora uses this strategy successfully, within its consumer community "Beauty Talks". Members earn points in the form of hearts, when they participate in conversations or challenges. The brand has set up 38 different levels: customers who reach the most prestigious status ("SuperFans") would spend on average 10 times more than other community members, according to an interview with digital manager Bridget Dolan. In addition, community members would have an average shopping cart that is twice as large, compared to customers who do not participate in the community.
The impact of gamification and the return on investment (ROI) of a community are no longer to be proven!
7. A strong sense of belonging
"Last but not least, the feeling of belonging is an essential criterion for an engaged community. This feeling develops when members feel fully integrated and are proud to belong to their community.
This feeling can be equally strong in BtoB and BtoC communities, as well as in internal and external communities. Frequently, the members with the strongest sense of belonging even become ambassadors, publicly expressing their commitment.
For example, there is a strong sense of belonging within consumer communities such as Apple, Starbucks or Harley Davidson. In France, the same is true for the customer communities of Respire, Blissim (ex-Birchbox) or Sézane.
In the BtoB sphere, and more precisely within employee communities, this feeling of belonging is also the strength of many companies. Some startups like Germinal, Scalezia or Lemlist can count on engaged (and engaging) employees on social networks. On LinkedIn, these employees no longer hesitate to spontaneously speak out, to create content that directly or indirectly enhances their company 👀
Little by little, the Voice of Communities is starting to resonate... And their power is not finished growing!
The secrets of the most engaged corporate communities lie at the heart of these 7 key characteristics. So, to increase the engagement and power of your internal, external, BtoB or BtoC community, you now know how to take action.
Need a little help getting there? MeltingSpot's teams are here to help 👇