From The Blog
Building Social Media Communities11 min read
The age of social media has created new opportunities and new challenges for building and marketing your brand. Because a social media platform is not just a tool, but a digital marketplace where you can interact directly with potential customers, your success will depend largely on how well you can engage with your target audience and build a loyal following. Here are a few things to consider if you’re thinking about building a social media community around your business.
The Audience: Honesty is the Best Policy
According to the Pew Research Center, 74% of adults use social media. Social media communities offer huge potential for speaking directly to your target audience – and to do that, you need to speak to them in a way that will be interesting and engaging.
The new audience born of social media won’t be fooled by the marketing ploys or gimmicks. They’ve seen the commercials disguised as TV shows and the press releases disguised as real news stories; they know when you’re trying to fool them, and it won’t work. This audience is shrewd and skeptical, so honesty and transparency are vital to building an online community for your business. Your honest, genuine engagement with your audience is the foundation for a loyal following that will help grow your online presence.
You’re also looking for quality over quantity with your social media audience. Your main goal should be to build a loyal following, not necessarily a big one. Loyal followers will spread the word about your business if they trust you and your product or service and they like the content on your social media page.
The Content: Get Engaged
Find ways to show your investment and increase your audience’s investment. Social media isn’t just about making a sales pitch online; it’s about building a relationship with your audience.
You can build your social media community by actively engaging with communities sharing content relevant to your business. Find and share posts related to your business and engage in conversations around other users’ posts. Use hashtags to connect with conversations relevant to your community. Get to know the important people in your industry’s online community, such as independent bloggers, fan website owners, and forum moderators. You may be able to send products for review to these individuals who already have credibility in the online community with which you want to engage. If you can get these voices engaged in the conversation around your business, they can increase interest and trust in your business and your social media marketplace.
Get your audience engaged with creative content. You can hold photo contests and video contests, invite feedback, and have conversations. You can even interact with your users by tagging them on your posts, which encourages them to engage with the content and perhaps invite others in their social media circle to do so as well. Creative content will be more engaging for your audience than an endless stream of data.
The Results: Measuring Success
In the world of social media marketing, don’t look for a straight line from social media marketing campaign to increased sales. Instead, measure your success by an increase in the number of Likes, Shares, and page views on your social media page. A great indication of success is dominating the online conversation surrounding your industry because of a clever and engaging online marketing campaign. Include links to your primary web page so that increased traffic on your social media page can translate to increased traffic on your home page. Success in the social media world is about engaging your audience so that they will keep talking about you and spreading the word.
The Investment: Someone Has to Do It
Your social media marketing efforts will be in vain without adequate staffing. If you’re spread too thin and the person in charge of social media can’t keep up, the loyalty of your followers will wane – but if you have too many people contributing, they may give mixed signals about your standards, strategy, and message. That’s why it’s advisable to either hire a social media marketing manager and invest in social media technology, or find a professional marketing company like Mockingbird Creative who can provide the right staff, technology, and know-how to build a successful social media presence based on your company’s goals.
If you’re ready to engage with your online audience through social media, contact Mockingbird Creative to schedule a discovery meeting with our creative digital strategists by calling 479.802.4954 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to helping you get social!
“Your main goal should be to build a loyal following, not necessarily a big one. Loyal followers will spread the word about your business if they trust you and your product or service and they like the content on your social media page.”