Community Relations: Building a Strong Following on Social Media
Sometimes, when you’re working on your social media campaigns, it’s easy to focus on getting content pushed out. But how is that content being received? If the number of your followers hasn’t budged for weeks, or you get only a handful of likes or shares per post, it may be time to invest in some community development.
The most successful social media channels are a two-way relationship between your brand and your audience. There’s give and take, a healthy interaction of comments and ideas. And like any successful relationship, you need to invest time in growing and maintaining connection. When you have genuine relationships with your followers on social media, it generates a special kind of brand loyalty.
Here are a few ways to develop a richer online community for your company:
Get to know people.
You can’t have a thriving relationship with someone if you don’t get to know them. Post questions on your feeds, asking for customer feedback. What do people like about your brand? What are their favorite products? What would they improve? Their answers can provide insight into what your audience wants and you can tailor content accordingly.
Another must for successful relationships? Good communication. Respond to inquiries, compliments, and criticism on your social channels as soon as possible (yes, even negative reviews). No one wants to feel like they are talking to a wall; if you show people you are listening to them—that you care about their opinion—they’ll be more invested in your brand.
Interaction is key.
Give your followers a voice on your channels. Hold Q-and-A sessions on Instagram Live or host a Clubhouse discussion so you can chat with people. Post user-generated content on your channels, or ask a question about your brand and post the best responses.
Social media can drive sales, but not everything has to be a sales pitch. Let your online community get to know the people behind the brand. Share TBT photos from the company’s early days, or post a video from the office’s “bring your pet to work” day. Share your story, and your passion for the brand, so you can truly connect with others. People value authenticity.
Give something back.
The old saying “It’s better to give than to receive” certainly applies to social media. You can drum up new followers by giving them content that has value. Maybe that’s a special discount, an interview with an influencer, a contest or giveaway, or a downloadable report on current trends in your industry. Make it worth their while to follow you on social media.
Don’t skip the small details.
You want people to “like” your channels with a simple click, so make it easy for them. Make sure buttons for all your social channels are prominently displayed on your website. Join other online communities in your industry or ones with similar interests. If you run a sporting goods store, for instance, join social media pages dedicated to local amateur and pro sports leagues so people get to know your brand. And make your content shareable so your “friends” can tell their friends about you.
Developing a strong online community, much like developing a solid relationship, requires consistency and dedication. At Perfect Partner Solutions, we know a lot about building community—and many other digital marketing strategies. Ready for a relationship with a strong social media manager? Contact us today.