Nine vital steps for social media managers to build a powerful online community

Gareth Miller - 12th August 2015

Building an online community on social media takes time but is an essential step to develop brand ambassadors, conversations and engagement around your content. A community of like-minded people, interested in your content, shows trust and loyalty in your business. Here are nine tips to cultivate your own powerful online community.

1. Know your own brand and voice

Consistency is key to building a community. How can other people recognise your content as your own if your voice varies between each piece?

2. Know your community

You must understand your community’s needs before you can start engaging with them. Their needs will be different depending on which platform they reside on, so begin by researching who is already talking about your industry and where they are doing it.

3. Take note of the questions your community asks

This is a continuous task and shows that you respond to the needs of your community. This is the best way to provide value to people and ensure they stay engaged. This also guarantees that your content is customer and community centric, rather than focusing on your own self-promotion.

4. Remember that your community is human

Respect your community and treat them individually, not as a mass group of people. The personal touch goes a long way. Invite people individually and send personal responses.

5. Don’t let your community forget that you are also human

People buy from people and that’s why you need to show personality. Your consistent tone of voice will help, but so will talking about how you might tackle an issue individually, or even something as simple as acknowledging a birthday, will keep your followers coming back for more.

5. Use your contacts and connect people within the community

When building a community from scratch, your existing contacts are very important. By reaching out to people you can ask for their expertise and advice. Would they interact with a community like the one you are trying to build? Who do they think should be in the community? Engage them right from the beginning and your community will grow.

Connecting others within the community shows that you understand it is about something bigger than yourself. It shows you care, that you are listening to your community and that you are interested in your industry.

6. Forget about numbers of fans and followers and measure engagement instead

A huge amount of followers on Twitter means nothing if your content doesn’t drive them to engage in some way. You should measure your community against key metrics right from the beginning, but followers are not the be all and end all.

7. Make sharing and engaging with your content as easy as possible

Social media sharing buttons should be easy to find when people view your content, but you should also consider asking a question within it for readers to reply on Twitter, or whichever channel you connect with your community on.

If you ask your readers to reply to a specific question on Twitter, or ask them to discuss a point, you could create a round up of all the replies.

8. Collaborate within and outside of your community

If you collaborate outside of your community, you expose your content and business to a whole new selection of followers but collaborate within your online community and members will feel involved, have double the reason to share your content

9. Expect it to take time

Communities don’t spring up over night. They are earned, nurtured and built out of mutual respect and reciprocation.

If you’re looking for help with building an online community for your business, get in touch with Carswell Gould today.

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