Who doesn’t love a loyal community?
Online or offline, they make your business bustle.
And being that community is the 2nd ‘C’ in the 5 Cs of Social Media, it’s super important to the fundamental success of your online marketing.
Lucky for you last week’s Ready, Set, Podcast episodes cover both community, and how to capture a community worth having.
Ep. 17: Sarah Nagel Loves A Loyal Community
If you’ve read my posts here on the blog or around the social sphere, you know I’m a loyal community member of Sprout Social.
The team at Sprout works very hard to gain, and keep, that #SproutLove.
Sarah’s tips for creating a loyal community are as follows:
- Welcome new members and help them see why your community is beneficial to them
- Use personalization; tag members by name if at all possible
- Let members know what # member they are, or how many members make up your community (social proof)
- Ask questions, and allow for open and fluid conversation
- Consistently deliver valuable content to your community to keep them coming back
- Empower your community
- Be transparent — Sprout is great at giving their communities behind-the-scenes content and helping them meet the team
By doing the above, you’ll start to see benefits that are not only qualitative, but you should see word-of-mouth and peer-to-peer marketing grow.
You will also see the emergence of brand advocates, which can be a boon for brands.
Ep. 18: Stephan Hovnanian Lays Into Landing Pages
Many loyal communities start with a simple landing page.
I know the thousands of subscribers to our Monthly Social Swag Newsletter started out on one of many landing pages we use.
As Stephan points out, you should use strategic content marketing to capture leads.
It looks something like this:
- Lead: (Lead Magnet) Free, valuable content that entices someone to sign up for your list.
- Email: The content is “free” but asks for an email address.
- Nurture Series: Smart marketers don’t just toss new subscribers into one, messy list. Instead, they use a nurture series to segment their list and better market to specific buyers.
Essentially, you’re looking for quality over quantity.
I, for instance, am REALLY happy when someone unsubscribes to one of my lists because I want a captive, ready-to-buy audience waiting for me when I send out my messages.
I also clean up my list from time-to-time with an unsubscribe campaign.
Here’s advice on cleaning up your list on MailChimp (a free but KICK ASS tool many marketers use to deliver email campaigns).
And just in case you don’t use MailChimp, here are a few tips for cleaning up subscribers on ANY list:
- Manage your bounces (remove peeps who can get your emails delivered after three attempts).
- Create two main lists (and then segment further): OLD subscribers and NEW subscribers. Use a re-engagement campaign to reactive old subscribers or remove them if they remain stagnant.
- Make sure you have text reminding subscribers why they’re on your list, and allow them to update their preferences or unsubscribe in EVERY. SINGLE. EMAIL.
Stephan also has a few awesome-sauce tools to test out for creating the best opt-in and landing pages.
And he also says stock photos are a NO-NO (something we totally agree with!).
There you have it!
How to capture and keep a loyal community — whether it’s online, owned (email list), or otherwise.
See you next Monday with more RSP golden nuggets!
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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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