Through the power of social media, each person has the power to express his ideas and opinions to a large audience. Brands these days build a bigger narrative than just an ad in the newspaper by building a community and letting their customers do their marketing.
“Alone, we can do so little. Together, we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
myHQ is a vibrant community of over 10,000 entrepreneurs, freelancers and working professionals. We are revolutionising the way millennials work by building a chain of inspiring coworking spaces and work cafes.
As a step towards building an engaging community, we organise numerous fun-filled and skill development workshops and events, mentorship hours and VC pitch sessions every month. We feel privileged to have had Aanchal Saini join us for an AMA session on community building.
In conversation with Aanchal Saini, CEO and co-founder of “Rent It BAE”. Previously working as a lawyer, Aanchal being a shopaholic herself, identified the common problem with every man and woman that the joy of wearing a new dress only lasted for the first time. The idea then struck her and the entrepreneur in her started “Rent It BAE”.
In our one hour AMA with Aanchal, she talks about the importance of community building and how to build one.
Here are a few questions from the AMA that’ll help you with answers on community building:
Q. What is a community?
A community is a group of people who are in some way or the other interested in the services that you provide. A community is not at all stagnant, it keeps on changing constantly. Make sure that more people enter your community and fewer people exit.
Q. How relevant is a community for any startup?
Key takeaways from Aanchal:
- Things have changed these days, one ad in the newspaper isn’t enough anymore
- You have to value every customer because if one customer orders, a brand should ensure that he/she re-orders and refers others
- It’s the age of transparency in terms of business, you can even update your community about your back-end operations so that they feel like a part of the community
- Keep in touch with your customers because they are the ones that help your business sustain and grow
Q. How to get your first customer and how to increase your customer base?
Some key points from Aanchal
- Friends and family are obviously the first ones that come to your rescue and also test your brand.
- Invite a lot of your friends as they will give you valuable suggestion and feedback
- Make sure to ask the customers that you serve to upload videos about your product and give valuable feedback over Facebook or Instagram or any other social media platform.
- Think of the right campaigns at the right time
Q. How do you overcome the obstacles due to cultural diversity considering you serve in 12 different cities?
Key takeaways from Aanchal:
- It is not a major problem as of now because most people communicate in English, so your customer should consist of people communicating in English.
- However, as soon as you start getting mass traffic from a particular city, focus on hiring employees who speak that particular city’s language
- Other than that, always keep experimenting. Your customers will tell you what do they want and you have to strive to deliver it.
Q. Facebook vs Instagram: Which platform helps you more in community building?
Some key points from Aanchal:
- If we bifurcate at the moment, Rent It BAE is more active on Instagram than on Facebook
- It is really phase driven though, 2 years ago it would’ve been Facebook but now it is Instagram
- Instagram is more interactive and you can communicate with your customers more over Instagram
- Instagram hashtags work really well and will get you a lot of users
- Instagram is a must for every business along with other platforms.
Q. Can influencer marketing be an effective way to grow your community?
Here’s what Aanchal had to say about this:
- Yes, it can be, but make sure that you are connected to the right kind of influencers.
- Your target audience and the audience that they are targeting should overlap majorly. This should be something that you have to really take care of.
- When you connect with an influencer, do a bit more research than just looking a the number of followers
- How to choose the right social media influencer for your startup
- Everything you need to know about influencers in India
Q. How can you ensure long term retention of users?
Some key takeaways:
- Top notch service is the main necessity to ensure long term retention of users
- Keep updating yourself, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel, but keep adding new things that you can offer
- You have to keep them engaged by giving them new tangibles and intangibles and maintaining the quality of the old ones.
Q. What metrics can one use to measure community growth?
- If you have a good community, your business will definitely grow
- The number of orders, number of registered users etc. serve as a good metric to measure the growth in your community.
- Your social media accounts can also be used to measure community growth but those numbers should always be taken with a pinch of salt.
Q. Tell us something about your first AI store.
It’s the first fashion-related tech store in the country. It’s more of an experience-driven store. We’re really proud of the technologies that we have incorporated in that store.
Right now there are 2 technologies up and running, they are
- POP & SHOW: Just pick up a piece of clothing and stand in front of the screen. By doing this, you’ll see the model wearing it, the rental, the designer and most importantly the measurements and size range.
- Talk to our Store: Just stand in front of the screen and speak, like “Show me Red Lehnga” and then all the options will show up and then one of the sales rep will show you the outfit. By doing this, we’ll try to build a salesman-free store. It might take 2 or 3 years but the initial steps have been taken.
Hope this content on community building was helpful for you. Want more details, watch the full AMA video here: