We often hear about a brand-building community through social media, where people with similar affinities can come together and share their thoughts. When that happens, a brand receives the stamp of approval that they are doing a good job, and people are happy to talk about them. But is building a community the same as fostering a community on social media? In my opinion, they are two different approaches, a building might mean gaining followers, but fostering is all about providing usefulness and support to the community.
People should not only talk about your brand but could speak in general to each other. It creates strong emotional bonds within the community and thus helps the brand. One of the thriving communities is Sony PlayStation Community, which is mostly active on YouTube and Twitter. In these platforms, a user can easily find content created by both the brand and other users. PlayStation provides this online space for gamers to connect and find useful feedback and advice on the brand’s products.
For a platform to becomes a place for like-minded people, its members must be actively participating and generating content with their time and expertise. Highly engaged members are among the pillars of a successful brand community, while a well-designed product and a user-friendly platform are among others.
For Sony, their Social Media approach is so successful that in February 2020, the company announced that it would close all official forums worldwide. This new strategy was met with some criticism, but the company said they want users to connect through the PS blog and social media. Conclusion this step could have saved the company some dollars, but it also shows their confidence in these channels, as they moved their users to a less supervised one.
Since time unknown, we humans want to be a part of a group where we could feel safe, accepted, and share our views with people like us. Fostering a community is one such way to provide your audience with such a place where they can be themselves, and in return, you can get their loyalty and adoration.