By Ivie Ndep
There’s a lot of noise on social media these days and to stand out you must connect, engage, and build a community. Marketing on social media has gone beyond just delivering your products and services to consumers. If you are trying to build your business on social media, you must create connections and experiences to build long term brand loyalty.
Here, we explore why social media community building is so important, what it looks like, and how to build your own.
What are social media communities?
Social media communities are groups of people who feel connected to your brand, which eventually leads to them becoming advocates for your brand.
Why is it important to build a community?
80% of brands say that their community-building efforts have resulted in increased traffic. The time invested in fostering a quality social media community is very worthwhile. It creates advocates for your brand which in turn reduces the cost of your marketing efforts.
How To Create a Community on Social Media
User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful community-building tool. 55 percent of consumers trust UGC over other forms of marketing. Creating UGC campaigns is an excellent way to begin building a community. When users create content for a brand and see it shared by the brand, they feel valued and are likely to engage more with the brand’s content. One brand that’s killing it with UGC is Glossier. They are constantly engaging, retweeting and showing love to their customers.
Focus on solving problems for people
Building a community is not just about getting people’s attention. If you want to build a real sense of community, you need to know what problems they are facing and how to help them solve it. You can do this by using social listening to discover their pain points. Dove is a brand that has done this very well. They have listened to their consumers and created several marketing campaigns to address issues that they face. Dove has launched several campaigns to help women build body confidence and self-esteem. This has helped them to build an emotional connection with their community of women over the years.
Communication – making it easy for consumers to interact with you – is important when building a community. Studies have shown that 57% of consumers will stay loyal to brands if there is more sincere human communication. Computers and bots are great tools, but most people would rather talk to another person. If consumers can’t reach you, they will turn to another brand that has an open line of communication. Instagram Stories are a great way to give customers a behind-the-scenes look at your brand, show your face, converse, and engage your community.
Community Building Tips
Summer is usually the busiest time of the year and is fast approaching. Here are some tips to keep your community buzzing and engaged over the summer months:
- Branded hashtag challenges: Brands come up with a hashtag, consumers use the hashtag in their photos and the brands select photos to feature on their pages. Hashtag challenges make consumers feel more involved in a community.
- Create a Facebook group: Facebook groups tend to get better engagement than general pages. Create a group for your fans; this will give an intimate sense of community.
- Give your community a name: Giving your community a name can give a sense of exclusivity among your community members. Members of this crew can also get discounts on products. Examples of brands that have done this are Mejuri – #Finecrew, Aldo – #aldocrew.
- Run a contest: Hosting a contest is a great way to grow your community and engage your audience. You can even partner with other businesses or influencers for more exposure.
- Use Instagram Stories: Stories offers a ton of interactive features like a poll or question sticker that can help you engage with your audience.
Brands should learn to love their community, give to them, engage and excite them, and you will eventually reap the rewards. The future is in the hands of those who create community-focused content that brings value and generates conversations.
If you are wondering how to create an engaged online community, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.