Engaging with your community: building loyalty and trust

If you want to grow your brand organically, you’ll need to build loyalty with your customers. This doesn’t happen overnight. Just like with anything, you’ll need to prove yourself. Here are some tips on how to do this.

Engaging with your community: building loyalty and trust. Sunset on the beach. Silhouettes of multiple people jumping in the air.

If you’re looking to grow a company from nothing, you’ll need to start thinking about who your target audience might be. Consider why they’d want to choose your brand. What can you bring to them? How do you differ from your competition? What makes you stand out?

Once you start thinking in this way, you’ll find you likely keep your audience in the back of your mind when making any decisions. This is the best way to operate, because they’re the ones you’re aiming to please after all.

The importance of community engagement

Your business aim shouldn’t be to be one-sided. You should start out with the idea of reaching out to your customers as much as they reach out to you. Although they’re the ones investing in you financially, you should be investing in them in other ways.

Strengthening connections is extremely important. The more you know your client’s likes and dislikes, the more you can mould your business plan. Your customers should have a feeling of community and safety with any small business.

They should know you’ll respond to them in a timely manner, that you’ll exceed their expectations and that you have their needs in mind when creating your products. This will organically build trust which is the strongest foundation of any relationship.

Understanding your community

To know what they want from you, you’ll need to be able to understand them. When you’re a small business this is much easier because you will have fewer customers. Listen to their concerns. This could be something your competition is overlooking.

Profiling your audience allows you to summarise what each group of people may need. You can then work within groups, considering what each audience might want that differs from another. This particularly helps businesses that offer variations of products.

Effective communication strategies

Be active with your listening. This is more than just a quick response to your clients. Let them know you’ve actually heard them by offering solutions or alternatives. Also, if it’s a good idea, inform them you’ve taken their ideas on board.

If it’s something you can implement, show them you’re listening by adding it to your service. It makes your consumers feel special because they feel heard and their suggestions have been used within your business plan.

A conversation should be two-way. They talk, you respond, they can reply if they wish. It shouldn’t be a simple response just to shut them up. Nor should their messages be ignored. The same method applies reversed. If you give helpful advice, they should adopt it.

Each customer has their own needs. Just because two consumers have had similar concerns, doesn’t mean you can give them the same reply. Address each customer’s individual needs and tailor your messages accordingly.

Empowerment and inclusivity

Give a voice to those who are in the minority. Instead of allowing those in the majority to take over the scene, ensure you’re including all of your consumers. Try and identify those within a minority and ensure your products or marketing is tailored towards them too.

Encourage all of your clients to participate. Let them have their say, especially when it comes to decision-making. If they feel they helped you decide the next colour or scent in your range, they’ll be more likely to purchase it.

Plus, if you’re putting it to a vote, you know the majority of your audience like that particular choice. So, it’s a win-win. You have your answer, and they feel part of the journey. Remember the often annoying saying “the customer is always right”.

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