Trying to build an online community to generate more buzz around your brand? Great idea!
Building a sense of community among customers has been shown to significantly boost customer loyalty, engagement and number of purchases - as well as dramatically increasing consumer trust and encouraging word-of-mouth recommendations.
However, creating a strong online community isn’t quite as simple as sending out a weekly newsletter, racking up a few followers on Twitter or creating an online forum for your customers.
In fact, the success of your community building is best measured not by numbers, but by how your customers feel about your brand.
Ask yourself: Are your followers genuinely involved with your company? Are they regularly engaging with you online? And if yes, are you listening to what they have to say?
Essentially, to build a community that your customers are truly invested in, you have to start speaking to them on a more personal level.
How can voice technology help?
At Telbee, we believe that voice technology is the key to making the internet more human.
By giving customers the option to express themselves in a way that is far quicker, more emotive and more natural to them than typing, voice messaging can help transform your community into a space for vibrant, authentic and personal interaction.
Let's take a closer look at how you can use voice tech to add that human touch to your brand:
#1 Allow your followers to share feedback with you in their own words
A key part of building a successful online community is ensuring that your customers always feel heard.
Members of any community want to feel that the opinions they share will shape the way a company grows - and what it will look like in the future.
By allowing your customers to leave you a voice message on your website, sharing their thoughts on how your product, service or even your community might be improved, you're giving them a chance to feel that they’re playing an active part in your business’ development.
In doing this, you’ll also be gaining buckets of valuable feedback and a deeper insight into your customers' needs, which you can then use to continue improving your product or brand.
Extra brownie points if you take a few seconds to thank your customers for their feedback by sending them a personalised voice reply!
#2 Gather content to share with your community
While email newsletters are a great way to keep your customers informed about company news, share valuable advice and keep your brand at the forefront of your customers’ minds, they should also be used to help your followers feel more directly involved with your brand.
In fact, switching the focus from you to your customers by regularly incorporating user-generated audio content into your updates can make all the difference when it comes to boosting customer engagement rates.
To quickly and easily get hold of a whole range of shareable content, encourage your followers to record and send in their own news, stories, opinions or even product reviews.
When you start receiving these voice messages, you’ll be able to find out more about your target audience, engage with them in a more meaningful way and connect your customers to one another through sharing their submissions with the rest of your community.
By encouraging your followers to send in their stories, comments, poems, jokes and testimonials, you’re effectively building up an inventory of rich, authentic and emotional content that will go a long way in making your newsletters feel more personal.
Plus, we’re certain that both you and your audience will find that your followers’ anecdotes become a lot funnier, their poetry becomes a lot more powerful and their kind words become a lot more touching when you hear them spoken aloud.
#3 Encourage members of your community to share their music with you
In an era of podcasts, audiobooks and music on demand, it’s become crystal clear that people love to listen - but not just to spoken words!
Get creative with your use of voice technology on your platforms by encouraging customers to send in recordings of their own songs, music and remixed sounds.
Allowing music lovers to send in clips of them playing their original compositions on their instruments at home, singing along to their favourite songs or speaking aloud the lyrics they’ve written can create an exciting space where your followers feel free to get creative and be themselves.
To encourage this kind of creativity, why not host a competition asking your followers to send you a voice message of a potential new theme song for the podcast you’re developing?
Or maybe you’d like to gather recordings of their music to feature in your next social media post?
#4 Feature your customers in podcasts and Q&As
What else can the rise in popularity of audiobooks, podcasts and AI voice tech teach us? That customers want to speak and listen on the go.
That’s why we always recommend businesses to take an omnichannel approach to marketing; engaging and communicating with customers not just visually through emails and social posts, but via podcasts and audio clips as well.
When you’re creating this engaging extra content, we recommend you invite your audience to be part of the action.
Interviews and Q&As are widely loved formats for podcasts and audio clips, as people love to listen to stimulating conversations, but why not get your customers and followers involved in the dialogue by asking them to send in their stories, opinions or questions to be featured in the show?
On a practical level, having your audience send in pre-recorded 'voxes' (voice messages) before Q&A sessions - as opposed to having people dial in live - can help you screen which questions are going to spark the most interesting conversations (or even help you prepare your answers in advance!).
#5 Create a safe space for your community members
Last, but definitely not least, voice technology can help you prioritise the emotional safety and boundaries of your customers.
With Telbee's new voice messaging platform Vox, for example, customers can choose whether they would like to submit feedback to you anonymously - without leaving a name, email address or phone number.
Giving your followers the option to share their thoughts completely anonymously - either with their fellow community members or just with you - is a great way of showing them that you respect their privacy just as much as you value their need to be heard.
Time to start building your community!
Ultimately, your goal in building a successful online community should be to create a safe space where your customers can feel valued, heard and connected to one another. Your aim should be to create new avenues for conversation between your customers; encouraging them to speak their minds, be their most natural selves and listen to all that each other has to say.
So why not start your business’ journey with voice technology today?
You’ll be amazed by the power that speech has to bring people together.
To find out how our voice messaging platform can supplement your business' existing marketing and customer support channels, get in touch with Telbee today!