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8 Elements of Building Successful Community on Facebook

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Facebook has been the hot bed of social media networking and has served several purposes for the marketers. One of these is building communities loyal to their brands. Some do it right & some don’t approach it rightly. Community building on Facebook involves some specific measures as discussed below:

Photo Credit "jjelenbaas"

#1. Define the Objectives

Trying to build an online community without any real objectives is like building a house without laying any foundation. So, define your objectives – Why do you want to create the community in the first place? Your objective can be to offer more value to your customers, build & increase the brand awareness and ultimately increase the sales of your products.

#2. Define your Target Group

Most certainly as a company, you must have defined your target group. If you haven’t, do it. Now your job is to approach those targets on online mediums. Some of them maybe on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or any other place of their choice. You have to reach out and encourage them to participate. For the targets on Facebook, you can use Facebook Adverts to reach out.

#3. Open or Closed?

Communities can be of 2 kinds: Open or Closed. Open communities on Facebook can be in the form of open group or Facebook page (which is open by default) and Closed communities are in the form of closed group. Depending upon your objectives, you can choose any of these. For instance we have a closed group of  Digital Vidya’s alumni network which is meant for our social media workshop participants.

#4. Simplicity

Simplicity works best when you are starting out. Don’t clutter your page with too much iFrame or FBML tabs unless it is really necessary. For instance, it is fine to have a single iFrame tab as a welcome page (from where you can run the contest too). Also the content which you plan to update your page with shouldn’t make it look cluttered.

#5. Define the Guidelines

It is important to clearly mention the important guideline to maintain the effectiveness of the community and avoid any trouble makers. In the ‘About’ section of your facebook page, you can state that anyone found posting abusive content will be banned from the page. There are no such tabs or sections in the groups but they can remind the members time to time regarding the ethics of the group on the group wall.

#6. Allow the Posts by Fans

Some page admins block the wall post access to their fans which according to me is not a right approach. Instead encourage your fans to share their side of story & post their opinion on the wall of the page. Same holds true for the groups.

#7. Participate till the End

Whether you start the discussion or any of your fans or members have started it, you should make it a religious duty on your part to respond to the conversation of your fans & drive them further till they end on their own. Ching’s Secret is perhaps one brand in India who do this very well and now have a massive community nearing 8,00,000 fans!

#8. Numbers Game

Lastly, facebook community building is not about numbers. Numbers are very important for sure but not at the cost of engagement & communication. If you are engaging and driving the communication, everything else will fall in place including numbers.

Following is the slide of my colleague Pradeep Chopra on the right strategies for building community on Facebook:

[slideshare id=8518702&doc=pradeepchopracolumn-110706001924-phpapp02&type=d]

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