As a former tutor at a literacy charity, I wanted to build an effective social media community for our potential volunteers and students. The wide range of demographics with different questions and needs demanded solutions to the variety of challenges from step one.
We knew that we needed to build a community enticing enough to attract future students and volunteers. But we also knew that we would need to satisfy a variety of issues important in choosing the right organization to attend. It was not just a matter of public relations and quality tutoring. We needed enrollment, which for a charity means income from the government.
We were lost, we needed expertise, and we didn’t know where to begin our search. What we needed was a results-based strategy that aligned with the spectrum of goals laid out by the board of directors.
Getting Your Feet Wet
Frustration can set in when deciding on a strategy for aligning your community marketing through social media to make it correlate with the larger business goals of your company. It’s a field of study that is relatively new. At times, the results of this new research may contradict the answers to questions that used to be your starting points:
- Where will you go?
- What are your objectives?
- How will you achieve them?
- How will you measure success?
- What will it all mean when you do?
- What happens after the first set of goals are met?
Is Return on Investment (ROI) Still the Bottom Line?
Corporate executives are often concerned with the bottom line, their return on investment (ROI). The success of a company, especially when shareholders are involved, is often a black-and-white judgment of numbers.
- How much did the company profit?
- How much cash do we have on hand?
Communities can and do have a demonstrable impact on the the bottom line. The issue is that most community managers have difficulty quantifying that value into direct dollars and cents. The CMX SPACE model pushes us to consider these 5 factors which have their own ways of impacting the bottom line.
Getting Started Today
There are things you can do to immediately increase your community marketing, so that it aligns with business goals:
- Create a positive work environment where your team members feel informed, confident, and goal-oriented in their market research.
- Before releasing a product or idea, run it through your best team members in those fields. Rely on your team members to be individual experts within the team.
- Integrate your community efforts to extend other marketing strategies, including social media, and make it a reason to be in social media from the beginning. Ensure you enable tracking to show the impact of the community in extending other marketing endeavors.
- Make sure your community is seamlessly embedded in your online digital experience. It should be completely invisible to your members that they are navigating across platforms from your main marketing website, to your community and other adjacent properties.
Join our Aligning Community to Business Goals Webinar
Community marketing can be highly effective in building interest, brand loyalty, gather valuable product feedback and fuel lifetime consumers. As a relatively new field, the research is always changing but still informative. With that in mind, we’ve partnered with CMX founder, David Spinks, in discussing the best way to align business strategy with community marketing in our upcoming webinar.
David Spinks is one of the foremost experts on community marketing and is the founder of CMX, the largest conference on the community industry. With the CMX team, he spends every day working to study and advance the community industry, and to give community professionals the opportunity to thrive. So join us and learn how community can help drive an uptick in revenue and brand loyalty for your company.