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Best Practices for Building Community as a Media Brand

Uncover strategies for creating a vibrant online community around your media brand. From understanding your audience to leveraging the right tools, discover the best practices for fostering loyalty and engagement.
Written by
Kerry Leech
Last updated
October 23, 2023

Building an online community for your media brand can feel tough. It takes time and effort to organically grow an online community that engages with your brand. 

You need to get to know your audience, speak their language, and provide value through your content. To do this, you need to start conversations, quickly respond to comments, and build relationships.

While it’s not easy, the rewards are worth it. An active, loyal community helps your media brand retain customers. It creates a place for your biggest fans to connect. And it provides valuable insights into what resonates with your audience.

Let’s get into it!

The importance of an online community for a media brand

For media brands in particular, online communities serve as hubs for interaction that create loyalty among customers and audiences, all while enhancing your overall brand reputation.

Here are just a few of the ways to do this:

1. Understand your target audience

To resonate with your target audience, you need to understand their interests and needs - something that becomes easier when they're actively taking part in your community. And with the right tools, you can gain insight into their interests and needs. You can then leverage this insight to tailor content, which leads to increased satisfaction.

Take popular streaming platforms where users not only consume content but also discuss shows and movies amongst themselves. This approach creates a sense of belonging within the platform's user base while providing valuable insights into viewer behavior patterns. Win-win. 

2. Nurture engagement

Beyond creating tailored content, communities offer opportunities for direct engagement between the brand and its followers. Regularly hosting interactive sessions like Q&As or live chats encourages active participation, which fosters deep connections built over time.

This increased level of engagement strengthens relationships between users and brands, leading to greater visibility across social channels as people chat about shared experiences during events, etc.

3. Improve retention

Last up, we have retention - arguably one of the most successful brand communities all strive towards achieving. Community engagement platforms, often used by companies as customer support centers or discussion forums around products/services, prove highly effective at encouraging return visits, thereby boosting both traffic figures and sales conversions in the long term.

💡Key Takeaway:

Building an online community as a media brand is about more than just creating digital spaces; it's about nurturing loyalty, resonating with your audience through tailored content, and engaging directly for deeper connections. Also, these communities can boost retention rates by encouraging return visits - all contributing to enhanced visibility and sales conversions.

With this in mind, let’s now look at some of the tools which can help you achieve all these benefits and much more… 👇

Tools for building an online community as a media brand

The digital world is teeming with thriving online communities that are expertly managed by various media brands. But to do this, they need the right tech. Here’s a quick round-up of the top platforms for media brands:

Bettermode: an all-in-one community engagement platform

Bettermode's Design Studio

Bettermode provides an ideal community engagement platform for media brands to build stronger connections with their audience. Rather than managing disjointed tools, media companies can centralize their community on Bettermode's customizable all-in-one platform.

The extensive customization options allow media brands to match the platform seamlessly to their aesthetic and voice. Brands can visually design the layout, choose fonts and colors, and select branded templates or build their own from scratch without any coding needed.

This enables media companies to create an on-brand community hub perfect for engaging their core audience. Features like embeddable widgets also allow them to integrate their community across their content for a seamless experience.

Bettermode further provides media brands with valuable analytics on their audience and community growth. The insights allow brands to optimize their engagement strategy and content.

With moderation capabilities, self-serve administration, and app integrations, Bettermode simplifies community management for media companies.

By centralizing on one trusted platform, brands can focus on quality interactions and nurturing lasting relationships with their loyal community of followers, readers, or listeners.

You can also embed the community discussion component into your existing platform where your audiences and customers consume content. This will help you easily engage the members where they already hang out. Here is a case study of how Runna did it.

Embedded community
Community embedded into an app

Circle: a community solution for creators


Among creators who value conversations and monetization Circle has found its niche. It offers an integrated platform where members can engage in meaningful dialogues while accessing exclusive content from their favorite creators.

This successful approach provides a win-win situation - the creator gets a dedicated audience base to appreciate their work; meanwhile, users gain access to unique insights unavailable elsewhere.

Gainsight Digital Hub: harnessing user-generated content

Gainsight Digital Hub
Gainsight Digital Hub (formerly inSided)

In contrast to Circle's creator-centric model, Gainsight harnesses user-generated content for businesses' benefit. They help allow companies to build knowledge bases filled with contributions directly from customers themselves.

The result? An ecosystem where users help each other solve problems or share product tips they all use - enhancing customer satisfaction levels while reducing pressure on support teams.

Khoros: building communities around brands


A prime example of gathering consumers organized around common interests and shared experiences is Khoros' strategy of developing deep interpersonal connections built within their communities. 

The social channels offered by this platform not only foster personal interaction but also encourage members towards active participation in discussions about products or services, which ultimately lead them back into the sales funnel. 

Now that you have a round-up of the top tools, let’s explore some of the key strategies for building an online community. 👇

Strategies for building an online community as a media brand

A media brand's success is tightly linked to its ability to build communities. But how do you build a community for a media brand? Let’s take a look:

1. Identify the target audience

Sounds obvious, but the first step in building an online community as a media brand involves knowing who you're trying to reach out to - your target audience. The goal here is not just about demographics but also understanding what they are passionate about, how they engage with content, or chatting within social channels.

2. Define the community's purpose and goals

Next up comes defining clear goals for your online space. This can help to shape meaningful connections among members while supporting business objectives too. Whether it's creating deep interpersonal connections built around common interests, shared experiences, or nurturing personal interaction; having clarity of purpose serves as the north star guiding all decisions related to your community.

3. Select the best platform for your audience's needs

Choosing the ideal community platform is crucial for brands to engage their audience meaningfully. The right platform aligns with the brand identity and facilitates customized, seamless interactions. Most vitally, it enables building loyal relationships with the community. Considering user preferences allows matching the platform to resonate with the target audience. The perfect platform becomes an invaluable asset to maximize audience engagement and advocacy.

4. Share valuable and meaningful content

Sharing meaningful, high-quality content is vital for media brands to build an engaged community. Content should educate, entertain and connect with the audience authentically. By understanding the audience’s needs and preferences, brands can craft content that resonates and stimulates discussions.

Making content easy to share also facilitates community participation. And responding to feedback and optimizing based on analytics further strengthens engagement. Ultimately, the focus should be on consistently providing content that the community finds value in sharing and engaging with.

5. Leverage social media and optimize for SEO

Strategic use of social media and SEO boosts discoverability and helps with community growth. To shortcut this, you can leverage community platforms with built-in sharing tools and integrations. Optimizing content for SEO also increases visibility.

A seamless community platform centralizes engagement and simplifies managing a multi-channel presence. With audience analytics, brands can further optimize social and SEO strategies. The right community platform makes it easy to maximize reach while keeping the community hub at the heart.

6. Regularly organize interactive events (Webinars, Q&A sessions, live chats)

Lastly, routinely hosting interactive events like webinars and Q&A sessions are great ways to keep users engaged. They provide a platform where they feel heard and can learn something new about the industry.

Moreover, they provide valuable content and learning opportunities, satisfying the audience’s interests. Routine interactive events give brands a platform to strengthen relationships, demonstrate expertise, and reinforce their role as an industry leader. Keeping these virtual events consistent yet fresh will nurture an engaged, loyal community over the long-term.

💡Key Takeaway:

Building a thriving online community as a media brand hinges on identifying your target audience, setting clear goals for the community, choosing platforms that cater to your audience's needs and fostering engagement through meaningful content across channels. It's about understanding passions, nurturing interactions and cultivating loyalty.

Shifting gears a bit, let’s consider a less discussed but critical aspect of community management: moderation and governance. 👇

Moderation and governance of your online community

For any online community, moderation is a key element that ensures healthy discussions while keeping the content aligned with your media brand's objectives. A well-moderated community can enhance positive interactions among members by reducing instances of spam or trolling. This creates an atmosphere where people feel secure in expressing their thoughts and experiences.

Beyond this, effective moderation also safeguards your media brand's reputation by preventing harmful content from surfacing on your platform. Plus, it creates trust within the community, as it shows that you are committed to maintaining decorum and respect amongst its members.

Strategies for effective community moderation

First up, to ensure efficient moderation, having clear guidelines is crucial. These should define acceptable behavior within the online community along with consequences for violations, which will encourage meaningful connections in a safe environment.

In addition to manual oversight, using automated tools can be beneficial too. This allows automatic flagging or removal of inappropriate posts based on pre-set criteria, saving time while ensuring consistent enforcement rules across all conversations.

Dealing with negative behavior and conflict resolution

Negative behaviors such as personal attacks or hate speech must be dealt with swiftly yet tactfully.

This involves implementing conflict resolution strategies like mediating between conflicting parties and avoiding escalation into more significant issues down the line. Moreover, providing feedback to individuals who have violated guidelines helps them understand why action was taken and improve future interactions. This all helps to build deeper connections over time through shared dialogue and interaction.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of moderation and managing negative behaviors, let’s look at how to increase positive engagement. 👇

Enhancing community engagement and participation

Positive engagement is the lifeblood of any online community. A vibrant, active forum where ideas are exchanged freely not only increases interaction but also deep interpersonal connections built over shared interests.

But to do this, you need to encourage members with the right strategies and techniques. Here’s a handful of ideas to get you started:

1. Encourage active participation: Strategies and techniques

Creating an environment that welcomes everyone is key to encouraging active participation within your community. This involves creating a culture where respect rules supreme; one that allows every member to feel at ease sharing their thoughts or even fighting industry-imposed beauty ideals without fear of judgment or backlash.

In addition, sparking discussions on topics relevant to your brand could stimulate interest among users - say if you're running a tech-focused platform - initiating conversations about the latest gadget releases or software updates might stir up engaging dialogues among enthusiasts. Note: Keep experimenting until you find what resonates best with your audience.

2. Reward engagement: Recognition systems and incentives

Rewards often serve as effective motivators for enhancing engagement levels within communities - they don't always have to involve monetary benefits either. Offering gamified recognition systems like badges, points, etc., rewarding valuable content contributions or regular discussion participation could go a long way towards incentivizing activity among members.

An alternative approach would be offering exclusive access features/information which boosts user involvement by providing them something unique in return for their contributions.

Note: All these methods require continuous tweaking based on how well they work with specific audiences, so keep refining until it fits perfectly.

3. Implement feedback mechanisms: Listening to the community

Lastly, paying attention when users voice opinions regarding operations within the platform goes far beyond just improving user experience; it makes them feel valued, strengthening loyalty towards the brand, which leads to improved retention rates.

This requires implementing the right feedback mechanisms. Think about how you can enable active listening while making adjustments regularly based on this feedback along with analytics data gathered during evaluation periods.

💡Key Takeaway:

Boosting online community engagement hinges on encouraging active participation, rewarding interactions, and implementing feedback mechanisms. Create a respectful culture that sparks relevant discussions; motivate with recognition systems or exclusive access; and value users' opinions by actively listening and adjusting accordingly.

Once you have all of this in place, the next step is to maintain and grow your online community, so let’s look at this next. 👇

Maintaining and growing an online community

Once you've built a robust online community for your media brand, the challenge doesn't end there. In fact, it's just beginning. Now comes the task of maintaining that momentum while also scaling up effectively.

Here’s some tips to help:

Regular evaluation and adjustments based on community feedback and analytics

To keep your finger on the pulse of how well your online community is performing, regular evaluation is key. This means diving into metrics such as engagement rates or user retention to see what's working -- and more importantly -- what isn't.

This approach allows you not only to address any issues but also to make strategic decisions about future growth based on data-driven insights.

Innovative methods for scaling up and maintaining active engagement

Growth requires innovation; this holds true even when it comes to growing an online community organically. Strategies like gamification techniques have proven effective at incentivizing participation from ardent consumers organized around common interests who share experiences within these digital spaces.

Ensuring sustainability of the community

For long-term growth, sustainability must be a priority. A sustainable approach may involve diversifying revenue streams via partnerships or premium membership options while keeping core features accessible for all users.

By striking a balance between maintenance efforts alongside expansion initiatives, longevity and continued success are ensured throughout the journey of building strong, deep interpersonal connections amongst its loyal followers.

Next up, let’s wrap this all up and pull out the key takeaways. 👇

Build a thriving community for your media brand

As we’ve seen, by leveraging the right strategies and platforms, media brands can successfully build vibrant online communities centered around meaningful engagement. While reaching a wide audience is important, the ultimate goal is nurturing authentic relationships and loyalty. 

With compelling content tailored to resonate with your core fans, strategic social media and SEO optimization, and consistent interactive events, you can foster an environment of active participation. 

Most vitally, choose a community platform that embodies your brand identity and provides the tools to customize, manage, analyze, and strengthen your connections. And the right moderation ensures that everyone feels safe to express themselves freely without fear of negativity or conflict disrupting harmony within the group.

This is where Bettermode steps in. Bettermode provides the ideal customizable all-in-one platform for media brands to seamlessly engage their audience. With extensive branding, design, and integration capabilities, Bettermode enables media companies to easily create an on-brand online community hub to build meaningful relationships with their loyal followers. 

By choosing Bettermode, media companies gain a trusted partner to maximize audience connection on a singular robust platform purpose-built to convert readers and listeners into brand advocates.

And when your audience feels heard, valued, and part of a community, they become powerful advocates.

📲 If you're ready to take these strategies forward in building an impactful online presence for your media brand get in touch to see how we can help

Or if you still have unanswered questions, take a look at the most frequently asked questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you build a community for a media brand?

To create a community around your social media brand, share engaging content that resonates with your audience. Foster interaction through comments and direct messages, and encourage user-generated content. And use the right customer engagement platform.

How do I create an online community around my brand?

Identify your target audience first, then define the purpose of the community. Choose appropriate platforms and tools, generate valuable content regularly, engage with members actively, and reward their participation.

What is the purpose of an online brand community?

An online brand community creates loyalty by creating a space for customers to interact directly with the company and each other. It also provides invaluable insights into customer needs and preferences.

Why is building a community important for your brand?

A strong online community enhances customer engagement, improves retention rates, boosts reputation via word-of-mouth marketing, and offers valuable feedback from users, which can guide product development or service improvements.

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Kerry Leech
Content Contributor

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