Susan Gilbert
September 9, 2014

Why Community and Marketing Go Hand-In-Hand

Have you ever been confused about whether you should be marketing or building a community?

Wondered which is most beneficial for long term sales and business growth?

Building your business through marketing to generate more sales and prospects is an essential element that needs to be firmly set in place.

When it comes to attracting a community the focus then shifts to meeting the needs of your target market and customers. Without this your customer service will not thrive in an increasingly competitive market driven mainly by social media interactions.

Therefore it’s not an either or situation.  Marketing and Community Building go Hand-in-Hand; and, it’s helpful to understand the main differences between business marketing and creating a lasting community online.

Here are a few key components of each one, and how your business can effectively combine them.

1. Get focused with a well laid-out plan – In order to create a positive experience for your customers a set of focused goals and actions plans need to be in place. These can include a consistent and professional website that offers an incentive signup form, creating brand awareness with specific hashtags for products and services, communicating with and sharing helpful information on social media, and being quick to respond to any issues or concerns.

Marketing will get your clients in the door while building a community with create lasting relationships and word-of-mouth referrals. One great example of this is seen with American Air on Instagram, who openly encourage customer feedback through personal stories, travel destinations, and more. Take a look at this recent post in honor of a WWII veteran and the engagement of their target audience:

AmercianAir Instagram

Personal stories and connecting with the needs and values of your customers can go a long way in bringing both your marketing and community efforts together.

2. Be consistent with your business’s mission statement – There is nothing worse than having customers seek out a brand or business then become confused as to where to find them online. Having a matching image across the board is important for the marketing component, and then next to that is projecting a consistent message to your audience to fulfill the needs of your community building.

3. Ask for feedback – One of the best ways to generate trust and learn more about your target market is to find out what is working (or not) through questions and content. Encourage your audience to leave comments, reply to tweets and posts, and to share information. This generates word-of-mouth marketing that will pay for itself in the long-run in addition to building an interactive community.

When your business clearly defines its goals in both marketing and community your interactions online will become much more meaningful. Even if you are operating on a small scale it is not difficult to meld these two methods together, and build a strong level of trust. Create a strategy with customer satisfaction as the main goal, and be open to making changes after receiving feedback.

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Online Marketing with Focus - Let Susan Guide you to Online Success. Especially loves to help Authors, Speakers, Coaches & Entrepreneurs. Susan Gilbert uses her laser focus knowledge to coach and provide online marketing and social sharing programs. Author and publisher of several books including “The Land of I Can,” and “KLOUT SCORE: Social Media Influence,” Susan combines online marketing with strategic thinking. Follow her Digital Marketing Tips at her blog: