Social media has to be one of the greatest inventions ever made by man. Life has been made easier and more enjoyable, thanks to it. It has taken information dissemination and entertainment to a whole different level. It has become a tool that everybody can benefit from. It has also made it easier for people to interact with friends and family who live far away.
That said, there are downsides of social media, too. But that’s a story for another day.
Indeed, so many things can be said about social media. We can even speak about its impacts on businesses. Like how they’ve all benefited significantly from social media. With it, they all interact directly with customers, market their products, study and understand customer behaviors. The list is endless.
All these benefits are why people strive to build communities on social media.
Building a Community on Social Media
Building a solid social media community can be vital to individuals and businesses.
Why? Because it helps create a sense of belonging for individuals and companies alike.
Why are social communities important?
A social media community is vital for your brand, content, etc. The following are the reasons why you should jump on it.
Firstly, having a social media community can help create brand awareness. This lets people or customers know more about your products and services. It is vital for every business, both medium and large.
Secondly, it helps increase your brand’s trust and togetherness. Customers usually have tons of questions they need answers to. Also, prospects – before they become customers – tend to always doubt the authenticity of brands they find online. Having a community helps tackle both of these issues. In a community, customers quickly find answers to their questions. And prospects find all the proofs they need to assuage lingering fears.
As you know, trust is an essential ingredient for any business. For example, once customers trust your business, they will always return to buy more things from you. They will also put in good words to potential customers about your business.
Thirdly, having a social media community can help attract more customers to your page, thus increasing products’ sales and business’ revenue.
Finally, communities serve as inspiration breeding grounds because they empower individuals to share their personal experiences, which can forge bonds and motivate others to take action.
Now, let’s talk about how you can build a community on social media.
How to Build Social Media Communities
Acquiring plenty of followers
The first way to build your community is by having followers. These followers are the ones that will engage with your content when you post. It might be a bit hard to get these followers, but they are essential. Some of these followers might go on to become customers, which might help to increase your brand’s visibility.
You don’t need to have a large following. You can start small and then build gradually.
Here are some strategies to help you gather followers quickly while building a community on social media.
Follow-For-Follow: you can achieve this by asking people to follow your account, and at the same time, you follow them back. This is an excellent way to build organic followers.
Use influencers: Another way to build your followers is by asking top influencers in your niche to give you a shout-out. Anyone with a large following on social media is considered an influencer. You can ask them to tell their followers to follow your page.
Giveaways: Everybody likes freebies! Don’t you? You don’t need to do much with this strategy. All you have to do is create a competition for your followers to participate in. Ask them to tell their friends to follow your page as part of the conditions to win. The giveaway price could be money or a gift card to shop in your store.
Buying Followers: You can also acquire followers by buying them outright. A lot of top influencers, celebrities, and popular communities had once engaged in this practice in their early days. So, it’s nothing to be shy about.
It will give you a head start in building your social media community. For instance, let’s say you want to create an Instagram community. You can look for companies that help a business develop its page and use it. You can buy Instagram followers from them in the first few months of opening your account to give the account an early push. This way, when organic traffic comes to your page, they’ll see that others are following you, and as such, they’ll be happy to follow you.
Cross-platform: This strategy means you will have to link your social media page with another social platform. For example, you can connect your Instagram to your Facebook. You can get organic followers using this strategy. Especially if you have a large following on one, you can ask these followers to follow you on your other social platforms.
Engage your followers.
After acquiring followers on your social media profile, the next line of action is engaging these followers.
When you refer to a page as a community, it means the people present in it are engaged, active and pulling in the same direction. For that to happen, the page owner – you in this case – must have cultivated a culture of engagement from the beginning.
This step is highly crucial in your bid to start a community.
There are lots of ways to engage your followers on social media. You can start by engaging with their reactions in the comment section. Nobody said you have to reply to all comments, but try to answer a handful of followers.
Replying to DM messages from your followers is another way to engage with them. Answer their many questions in your DM. You can also reply to story tags from your followers. If you want, you can try to repost their post on your story. You can even shoot them DMs directly every time you have something big – e.g., an amazing offer – to share.
Doing this will make your followers feel like they are a part of a community and that you appreciate them. Also, because your followers might think your page is self-serving if you don’t bother to engage or talk to them.
Post relatable content
When you post relatable content, it makes it easy for your followers to engage. You don’t always have to post content related to your business alone. Try to post memes, gifs, and emojis in your content.
Doing this will make it easy for your followers to share, engage, and relate to your content. It also makes it easy for your page to get more organic traffic. This way, you can gradually build your community and show your followers that you care.
Hold Q & A sessions on your stories
Spice things up by holding a question-and-answer session with your followers. Ask your followers to ask you any questions, which in turn, you will give answers. Doing this will help you connect with your followers. You can also provide them with insight into your business benefits, changes, etc. It would also significantly contribute to building your brand loyalty.
Recognizing loyal fans
Taking time to appreciate your loyal fans is another way to build your community. It shows that you see the effort of this particular follower. You can post pictures of such followers or reward them for their constant support.
Utilizing hashtags in postings is another excellent technique to grow your community naturally. Using hashtags is a terrific way to reach new people with your content. People searching for your posts’ hashtags may be motivated to follow you if your content is exciting and appealing.
Engaging with Brands
Engaging with similar brands is another way to build your community. You might think otherwise, but it works. Creating a bond with brands similar to yours will go a long way for your brand. It can help attract organic traffic from these other brands. This bond can also help to foster long-lasting support and also create room for growth.
Posting User Content
You can also help your followers repost their content on your page, especially if you were tagged in such a post. Reposting it on your page or in your stories doesn’t cost anything. It helps create a friendly feeling between your brand and your followers. It also gives you the opportunity to have more content on your page that can bring followers to your page.
Now that you have built a community that engages with your content, what next? You will have to maintain this community, so you don’t lose their engagement. How do you go about this? The following are ways that you can manage it:
Create a consistent voice: Create a voice and tone for your genuine and compatible brand. Honesty and dependability are highly valued in communities.
Be responsive. As previously stated, responsiveness is essential. Your followers should know that you are interested in their feedback and aren’t just there to market your business.
Engage your audience: Additionally, the more you interact with your followers, the more grateful and motivated they feel to keep participating. There is a domino effect of participation.
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