Often overlooked strategy to generate leads and build your brand presence is digital conversational leadership and community leadership. Let's start by thinking of websites that are used to find answers, solve problems, and potentially learn more about particular topics. Websites like Quora, Yahoo Answers, Reddit, and other community-focused forums provide people to share opinions, but also provide valuable answers to challenges across many industries.
These community-driven topics are an opportunity for many to explore, learn, and contribute to a bigger conversation. Here are three reasons how it could help businesses and individuals build their brand reputation online:
1. Creative a community is harder than finding one that already exists
The first step is to find an already existing community that unites a passionate group of people in an industry that you’re operating in. Become a member of that community and raise questions, engage in multiple conversations, and become a thought-leader in that space. Customers care about brands when they feel like they are a part of a bigger group, and people are more willing to follow your brand if they know and see a value in being an active contributor, supporter, as well as beneficiary of a community. Seeing our to already existing social media groups, forum conversations, or small niche communities allows you to identify your target audience as well as build brand engagement through small engages. These communities also offer an opportunity to conduct customer research necessary to any successful business and gaining insight into changing trends and mentalities in industry, customer segment, or the general public. An added perk is that by identifying, engaging, and creating grassroots movements a business will be able to decrease future conversion costs and increase community engagement, visibility, and reach. Be authentic, see these communities as two-way streets to showcase your expertise, and help as well as ask for help in the most authentic way possible. Create, join, and engage in relevant Facebook groups, Quora conversations, and Twitter threads, become a part of a community online the same way you’re a part of a professional community in the real world.
2. Community driven forums and discussion-boards are part of a research
Learning about your target audience is the first step to launching a business. Diving into conversations, questions, and concerns that your target audience already cares about is an excellent way to do free research about these individuals, their concerns, and questions, which can help you identify a market gap overlooked by your competitors. Be open to rethinking the presentation and outreach campaigns of your business to match the needs of your potential customer. It’s useful for tailoring your business strategy as well as branding goals.
3. Be the leader you want to see and engage with
Launching a brand is not just about tailoring your brand messages and business strategy but also engaging and becoming the leading voice in this space. Even if one has a proven track record of doing business in an industry, it can become meaningless in the ocean of overpromising sales pitches and slogans. Become part a part of the conversation, and provide valuable answers that help people from across the world because becoming a top-rated answerer on sites such as Quora and Yahoo Answers does not only help people but also provides an authentic way to promote yourself and your company. It builds trust beyond flashy titles and on top of that helps your answers to be ranked higher in Google ranking. Even better, attach a link to your blog post on a relevant topic and increase your visits through it. Publishing useful articles and cross-referencing them between your blog/news section, and digital communities will help Google identify your website as a trusted source, providing answers to frequently asked questions. Be the change you want to see in your professional field.
These are just a few ways how engagement online can help your business, personal brand, and ultimately SEO, but there are many others. Use your knowledge on the topic to publish articles on your personal or professional blog, include a short segment to how your company could help a situation but don’t focus only on sales. Knowledge has power and being a leader in online discussions creates trustworthiness and brand recognition in a company beyond flashy promises, visuals, photographs, and direct advertising. Be the pioneer of change you want to see in life and others will follow you and your philosophy.