If you are thinking about building your brand on social media platforms, one of the most frequently asked questions you likely have is how to build an engaged community of followers. We are not just talking about the decision to use third party services that buy followers to increase your social media visibility, such as Instagram views for video and story posts, we are talking about a community that passionately decides to support you and your brand’s efforts.
These passionate followers eventually become evangelists for your brand, and promote your brand both offline and online without you doing much to prompt them, which leads to a steady increase in followers. If this is what you want for your brand, then the following tips will be very useful for you.
Admit the mistakes you have made and forge ahead
One of the best pieces of advice we can give you when it comes to building a community is maintaining honesty and authenticity. It is the only way you can attract people genuinely to you, because people will want to engage with a brand they know they can trust.
Among the ways you can build your honesty is admitting that you make mistakes, and apologize for the mishaps you have made in the past. You must remember that you do not need to have a 100% squeaky clean business – you just need to cultivate honesty and transparency. This creates a greater level of trust, because you are showing your human side to your followers.
Open your communication lines and allow them to stay that way
If you have ever called customer service yet are being constantly put on hold, you will feel irritated and annoyed with the slow pace of communication. With social media, the same principle applies.
You need to ensure the channels you select to open communication with your followers remain open always. While you will not always be at the center of the conversation, the community that have given you their time need to know that you will be there to answer their questions.
The more you engage with the audience in open communication, the more they will want to engage with you. However, if you ignore them constantly, they will eventually give up trying to talk to you and turn to someone else.
Always lead with what you are passionate about
Your audience decided to connect to your brand for a reason – they saw you were passionate about what you are doing. It therefore makes sense to lead them with the ideas and passions you have.
It helps to tell them the plans you have for your future, and this will increase the trust they have in your business because it helps them feel involved in your success. While your business identity and logo are very important, the communication you have with your community will determine how successful you become in the long term.
When you decide to be honest with your followers and tell them what you are thinking and feeling, they will be more passionate about seeing you succeed.
Tell your audience your story
Stories are amazing ways of connecting with your audience and helping them emotionally relate to you. It also gives you a chance to see what makes your business unique from others, and why people should choose your brand over another one offering the same product. It also helps you know the special story you have, and the audience can relate to it as well.
Even though your story might not seem exciting, the truth is that everyone has a story to tell that sets them apart. Be honest with your audience, and you will eventually reap the rewards.
Make it easy for your audience to find your business and join the community
You want to spread the word about you and your business, so you must make it a priority to increase your accessibility and make it easy for people to find you. You can do this through the following ways:
- Placing social media icons to your accounts on your website
- Placing sharing icons on your website
- Inserting the URL of your website on your social media channels
- Placing your contact info and website URL on business cards
- Joining other social media groups in your niche
- Responding quickly to social media enquiries and mentions
- Tracking associated hashtags and mentions to check people talking about you
- Giving emails a personal touch
Unless you are willing to fully commit to growing, do not start
Getting to build your social media community is like getting into a committed relationship – you must be willing to put in the work to ensure it grows. Do not rush into starting your community if you are not committed to building and sustaining it.
One of the major ways of doing this is giving your customers excellent customer service, both pre- and post-sale. This ensures that you get better publicity in the future and opens the door for more customers to come in.
Concentrate on solving problems that your community brings up
You cannot have big results when you do not want to solve big problems, so you need to concentrate on solving these issues for your community and potential followers. Remember that there are tons of businesses out there that are also offering the same or similar services, and you are in competition with all of them – so your priority is standing out.
A good way to do this is helping people solve issues, which in turn build trust in your brand. The ways you can do this include instructional videos, blog posts, showing practical guides for your customers, and doing a how-to guide. Better yet, invite the community, and ask them to post solutions of their own, then use the user generated content they put out as a basis for interesting future content.
The key to building a sustainable community is being human and relatable with your audience, and they will give you better reactions. While these may seem basic pieces of advice, they can actually work if you use them well.