Social media can be a vigorous go-getter to shape your brand, create quality leads, and drive sales. The key to getting the most out of social media for business is to build a community of devoted followers around your brand. But a tribe of brand enthusiasts doesn’t cultivate in a vacuum. It takes time, patience, efforts, and resources to earn the trust of your community members in a fast-changing ecosystem.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of building community through social media – a community of evangelists that would promote your brand.
Steps to Build Community on Social Media
If you don’t already have a social media community, it’s time you should take your first community building social media step. Think about tapping into the power of social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. But many people don’t know how to build community online, whereas others jump on the bandwagon without a plan.
Remember that building a social media community without following the logical steps is bound to fail and waste your time and resources. This is where a good strategy for starting a community can help you out. Here’s your six-step strategic guide for creating a thriving community on social media.
Step 1: Prepare Your Ground to Build Community on Social Media
First thing first, if you want to avoid playing with unending trials and errors, you need to identify your target audience. Do some research and know who your customers are. Understand their persona, likes, dislikes, preferences, and demographics. Use your business and psychographic data to understand their behaviors and psychology.
Second, trace your community and find out what social media networks. The good news is that with billions of active users on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, chances are your audience is already on these platforms. The right strategy for starting a community on social media can easily connect you with your audience. Once your audience is identified, create your social media accounts and start reaching out to them.
Step 2: Offer Value and Solve the Problems of Your Followers
Social media presence alone is not enough to create a loyal community base. You have to offer value to your existing and potential followers to lure them to your brand. Many people use social media to find valuable, educational, and entertaining content, while others use it to find solutions to their problems. This provides your brand with an excellent window of opportunity for building community through social media.
Knowing the common problems of your target audience and providing them with practical solutions is likely to convert them into your followers. The key here is to avoid appearing salesy. Instead, interact with your customers, learn their pain points, and offer them customized solutions. Think about creating educational or entertaining content to grab their attention. Also, it is a good idea to promote user-generated content to build loyalty and offer value and solutions.
Step 3: Make Sure Your Business is Easy to Find
Your content, effort, time, and resources will go to waste if your target audience is unable to find your business. This brings us to spreading the word and using reliable strategies to make it easy for your customers to find you online.
Here’re how to build a social media community by making your business more accessible to people on social media:
- Create your business accounts on all major social networking sites, including Facebook and LinkedIn
- Place your social media page links on your website and blog
- Put social sharing icons on your website and blogs
- Include a call to action in your social channel bios and posts
- Include your social media handles on your business card and other printed marketing collateral
- Encourage your customers to join your social media community through email marketing
- Tack your business mentions on social media and engage with those users
- Use SEO best practices to make it easy for people to find you on social media
- Join relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups in your niche
Step 4: Tap Into Automation Tools
Being on social media means you’ve to be quick and responsive. But managing different aspects of your business and building a social media community can become overwhelming and stressful at times. In such a case, it is a good idea to take help of some automation tools.
Many amazing tools can automate different facets of your social media marketing, helping you to make the most of your time, effort, and resources. While you cannot automate everything on social media, some time-consuming tasks like posting content and doing listings can be automated. Here’re some helpful social media automation tools:
LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Octopus CRM
These are great tools for LinkedIn prospecting. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a product of LinkedIn that is designed to help you reach out to your target audience on LinkedIn and eventually get more business. The only problem is that it takes much time to prospect there. But, there is a solution, you can use automation tools like Octopus CRM, which can help you automate many sales tasks, such as sending connection requests and messages on LinkedIn, auto follow up those who ignored your previous messages, auto-endorse skills of your 1st level connections and more. These tools might become a game-changer for you in case you’re in B2B business.
Instazood for Instagram – allows you to schedule Instagram posts, respond directly to DMs, get more subscriptions through auto liking and auto following.
VidIQ for Youtube – helps you find keyword suggestions and topic ideas to create YouTube videos. You can even use it to come up with SEO-friendly descriptions, titles, and tags.
MeetEdgar for Facebook – allows you to automate your social media content-resharing, besides optimizing your social media traffic. It is an excellent tool for Facebook content automation tasks that would otherwise require you to hire a content manager.
Twiends for Twitter – gives more exposure to your Twitter account and grows your Twitter followers organically with the help of ‘Seeds.’
Step 5: Work With Influencers to Build Community on Social Media
Social media influencers are people who have a large follower base. Influencers can be your asset to build a strong social media community around your brand. One way of using their service is to hire them, but that can cost you a good sum of money. But there are other ways to get social media influencers to help you build your community:
- Create a good quality post and tag an influencer in your niche in the post
- Mention an influencer in your post and link to them
- Create a brief story about an influencer in your niche, mention them in your post, and link back to them
- Interview a social media influencer about their achievements, publish in on social media, and ask them to share the post
Step 6: Create and Join Groups
Last but not least, create groups on social media and join other Facebook and LinkedIn groups in your niche. Building groups around your brand on Facebook and LinkedIn can help you create a loyal community of followers. People join groups because they find more value in them. On top of that, groups are more interactive. Be sure to engage your group members by sharing valuable content in your niche and encouraging the members to do the same. If you don’t have many contacts yourself, you could always consider posting a shoutout on a chat platform to find people that can join your social community.
While social media has opened vast opportunities for businesses and brands, building an online community goes beyond just advertising and promotion. Your social media community members can be your brand ambassadors. If you value them, they’re going to promote your brand for free. Unfortunately, building your social media community is not as easy as it might seem. But the good news is that by following the steps explained above and using automation tools, you are sure to build a loyal social media community around your brand.