How-Tu Tuesday: Building A Social Community
In the fast-paced digital we world we live in, it has never before been made more possible to connect with people. It could be the person living down the street from you or someone living on the opposite side of the world; you can stay connected via online conversations, and most of the time these online conversations happen on social media.
Initially considered a means to connect and maintain relationships with friends and family, social media has become one of the biggest marketing tools for businesses in almost every industry. It provides companies, who would previously have relied on advertising campaigns and media coverage to spread their message, to now take back full control of their image and truly connect with their customers. Businesses who are socially active and using the various platforms in the correct way, should see their social community building and growing into a loyal following who interact and engage with the brand.
Here are some How-Tu Tuesday tips to make it happen for your business:
1. Know Your Demographic
One of the common mistakes made by brands is to assume or worry that they need to be present on every social media platform, thus spreading their resources too thin and not giving the quality time and attention needed for one or two platforms. It’s important for brands to know who their customer is and where they are active online.
If a brand’s audience is most active on Instagram and Snapchat, then those should be the platforms that are focused on, and a campaign involving these channels should also be created. Only being present where the consumers are present allows businesses to gain the best results from their marketing efforts and to start building their social community in the right place.
2. Find Brand Ambassadors
Within your circle of social followers, there will be certain people who consistently “like”, “share” and “comment” on your posts. They may not even purchase something, but they should still be considered brand ambassadors and influencers for both current and potential followers, due to their high levels of activity and sharing of the brand message.
Ensure that these advocates of your company are always responded to in a personal way and not generically, which can often be the temptation with social media. Inviting followers with high interaction and activity levels to company events, the company headquarters, to participate in design and functionality decisions, as well as reviewing products or services is an effective way of maintaining and growing relationships. By being made to feel special, they are more inclined to continue speaking socially about the brand and will help contribute in creating a positive reputation for the company.
3. Start a Conversation
Although it provides the ideal opportunity for an online conversation, social media can often become quite stagnant and uninteresting if not used regularly and consistently. Many company profiles are not updated as often as they need to be and when a post is published, it can be more of a statement than something that is engaging or inspiring that will encourage interaction and opinion.
Therefore, it is important to make the most of your words on social media. Some platforms such as Twitter have a word count, but even on the platforms that don’t, brands should still be concise and always “message-centric” when compiling a post.
4. Give Consumers a Voice
One of the most effective ways to build a community through social media is to focus on making everything a two-way process. For every tweet, pin, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn post you publish, you want to be attracting likes, comments and shares (otherwise known as engagement).
However, to take things further and ensure longevity within the social following you have worked hard to build, you should always be aware of the consumer’s voice, and specifically giving them a voice. More often than not, customers feel like they have no say in the products and services they invest in, and it can make a huge difference to loyalty and repeat purchase rates when the consumer feels valued and their opinion matters. Allowing them to have a true impact on your company decisions will reflect well on the brand and establish you as a business who cares more about the customer, than their credit card.
So, how’s your community and how engaged are you?