Why You Should Build Your Own Branded Community Away from Social Media

View Part 1: Forget Facebook: 5 Reasons to Build Community Away from Social Media


Hi, it’s Sam Fiorella the Chief Strategy Officer here at Bondai. In my last video, I talked about why you should not be building brand communities on social media. But today I’m going to tell you why you can and should build your own social media communities. How do you leverage the concept of social media and digital platforms to build the communities that your customers want? And that will drive bottom line revenue for you. The Temkin Group most recently found that companies that earn a billion dollars annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional 700 million within three years of investing in customer experience. Businesses that drive these value added experiences see almost 50% more retention and repeat purchases than those that don’t. But I just told you that you shouldn’t be using social media platforms, you need to be doing this on your own platforms, and here’s why.

Owning your own data. For example, when you have your own community on your own managed platform, you control the data. You can data mine, whether you’re doing it manually or through AI or machine learning, you can start to understand the nuances in people’s conversations. What drives them? What are their motivations for liking or not liking your brand? What are their motivations for advocating for you or not?

Build your own community. Not only does it allow you to expand your audience, it helps you engage them in a much more meaningful way. Why be limited by the functionality of a social media platform, or its templates, or its advertising to take their attention away from you. Think about that. Do you want to offer corporate gifting? Do you want to gamify the experience for your own purposes? Not the negative gamification that they’re offering to try and get people to come back. You want to offer loyalty rewards or integrate your loyalty program? Owning your own community allows you to create unique experiences engagement, suited to your audience based on what adds value to their lives. Not to that of the social media platform. What motivates them? 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them in a more meaningful way. That’s according to a recent Sprout social research.

Own the relationship. Not only owning the data, that’s the other point that I want to stress here. Owning your own community allows you to identify and even create advocates and influencers through meaningful engagements. Instead of hiring outside social media influencers or agencies to drive traffic and awareness. It’s about authenticity.

I mentioned in my last video that there is a lack of trust today because there is a lack of authenticity in these social media platforms. There’s no trust in what people are saying anymore. And especially this next cohort that’s becoming the largest in our workforce and soon to be the largest wealth holders, Millennials and Gen Z. They grew up at a time where they’re very familiar with digital platforms, but on the other hand, they are very distrustful of corporations, communities, or political organizations, religious organizations, and definitely big brands. There is a long-term value that you will earn in owning those relationships and building that trust with your audience in a controlled environment.

But why do you want to build that relationship? Besides that authenticity, decisions today are no longer made through loyalty points. Loyalty points are a dime a dozen today. Everybody has one, it’s a commodity. They don’t drive purchase decisions anymore. As I said, 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them in a more meaningful way.

Does this mean that you should not be investing in social media community building? No, it doesn’t. It means that your community needs to be the hub, needs to be the center of your community ecosystem, your digital community ecosystem. There’s nothing wrong with you engaging people where they are already on Twitter, on Tik Tok, on LinkedIn. Build some excitement, get their attention, but give them a place to come back to, a place where they can have those either behind the paywall or behind a password protected interface, or even publicly, depending upon what’s right for you, give them the opportunity to engage with your brand and with others. Their peers, your employees, potentially, in a place that adds value to them am on their terms. Social media could and should be connected to this ecosystem for the purposes of pulling people in and potentially pushing influencer content and advocate content out.

In fact, in their 2020 report, PWC found that the number of companies investing in omni-channel experiences today has jumped from 20% to more than 80%. So this is not a fad. We are all starting to understand and Sensei and through our Bondai platform is no exception. Through the last 10 years of experiences that we have. We understand that owning your own community pays dividends that social media engagement will never pay. So that is why you should not stop engaging on social media, but change the way you engage with your brand and its community in social media. Own your own community, build authentic relationships with your stakeholders, with your prospects, with your clients, and with your employees. In a way that adds value to them on their terms. That will show you long-term return on investment and lifetime value.

You want to know more about this? Follow us on our blog here at bondai.co, where we’re going to be sharing case studies and more information about how you can build and engage a stronger audience.

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