To state the obvious: social media is a large place. Everyone is connected 24/7. You can’t get away from all these different platforms cropping up everyday that you cannot miss out on. It sounds very Black Mirror, doesn’t it? It can be very rewarding but, at the same time, overwhelming. Users are now looking for smaller groups they fit into… So enters micro-communities.
We naturally gravitate towards smaller, close-knit groups in life, and this is no different when it comes to our favourite startups. On the vast land that is social media, users are searching for that place which cuts through the noise and allows them to be heard. Creating private groups and secondary accounts allows for a less transactional approach, enabling you to establish an authentic and meaningful connection with your dedicated consumer base. It’s one of the biggest challenges that a startup can face but once your startup has mastered it, you’ll be getting those all-important meaningful social interactions which will serve your startup growth.
We talk about finding what makes you quirky and unique a lot and this is exactly what your micro-community will be based on. There are communities for everything. Seriously. Take a moment and think of the most niche, random thing you can come up with and find a community for it. There will be one, somewhere in the depths of the internet, it will exist. That means there will be one for your startup, too.
There are many platforms you can house your micro-community. The most popular ones being Facebook groups, Reddit, WhatsApp, Discord, and even Slack. Anywhere users can talk privately without shouting into the void of apps like Twitter, they will find and regularly use. Perhaps not all of the content posted into these community hubs will be about your startup, but it’s about having somewhere filled with customers who will champion you.
Let’s talk about the positives of cultivating a micro-community for a bit…
They’re a two-way street of goodness for both startup and consumer. Commonality is an important factor to focus on for startups and that’s what a micro-community is about. Consumers want a place to justify their purchases, discuss them, ask questions, and find out more about who the other customers are and who is behind the startup.
By turning your customers and other passionate community members into long-term startup ambassadors, you can build a network of consumers that will loyally support you and what you do. Putting effort into keeping your micro-community alive will spread startup awareness like wildfire.
Showing you care about your customers through meaningful interactions in your community space will make people talk about your startup in a positive manner. It will also drive long-term growth depending on how you interact with them. Some startups use their communities to help with creation of products. Listening and implementing the thoughts and ideas they have about your product will form valuable bonds and create buzz about your startup.
Creating your own micro-community is not the only thing that can be done to market your startup. If there’s already a community surrounding your niche, you can enter it and offer the consumers your product or service. You already know that they’re interested in your sector because they’re part of the specific community so making your startup known to them is a no-brainer. One of the most popular platforms for this is Reddit where there truly is a space for everything.
Unlike the more well-known sites, the traffic from a micro-community will be focused on your niche, making for a big bonus. While these communities get the label of "micro", some of them are not so tiny at all. You can get tons of useful traffic from them by matching your content to the right community.
You know your target audience, what they respond to, and what they don’t, which will show you the kind of content you can safely share within these smaller groups. Behind-the-scenes, discussions, and exclusive content will always go down well. It will be the right place for you to share a bit of your personality, what your startup is interested in, the story of your startup, and what your business stands for. Organic communication with your target audience will evolve from this and that is like gold-dust.
Cultivating these micro-communities for your startup will let you and your customers be part of something bigger, no matter how ‘micro’ your niche might be. It may seem daunting and intimate but taking notice of those that are championing you will increase startup loyalty, awareness, support and will turn your potential customers into just customers.