Social media has rapidly evolved over the past few years. When I first started my career in social media marketing, brands were mostly interacting on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. A few brands were on Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Vine as well, but flash forward a few years and now there’s Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat, and many more. It seems like a new social network pops up everyday — whether it will last is another story (sorry Ello).
Still, with the arrival and parting of many of these social networks, one element has remained the same — community. Every social network strives to bring together a community of people through various mediums to share images, status updates, live video streams, relevant content, or ideas. Every social network has an active community of people who want to engage with one another. Thus, it is important for brands to identify which communities they fit into and what role they play in the community.
Tips for Building a Community on Social Media
- Find Your Voice – Determine what tone and voice you want to have on social media and stick with it. Are you sassy, motivational, sarcastic, or humorous? People want to connect with your brand on a human level so be real, be authentic, BE YOU.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series uses a fun, playful tone whether they are posting their own content or responding to others on Twitter.
Post Regularly – Your community and followers want to hear from you so you should share unique, valuable content with them on a regular basis. If you stop posting, they’ll stop caring. Alternatively, if you post too often, they may stop following you. Find out what posting schedule works and be consistent with it.
Nuun Hydration shares a mix of product, lifestyle, and community photos typically two-three times/day.
Be Original – Think about why someone should follow and engage with your brand. What content and benefits do they receive from connecting with you? It could be original recipes, aspirational images, workout videos, or product tips/updates. Your community wants to learn something new so whatever it is you decide to share or create, be original!
Buzzfeed Tasty does an excellent job at curating original, timely content that is highly shareable and engaging.
Have a Two-Way Conversation – The biggest mistake brands make on social media is having a one way conversation by simply posting messages to Facebook & Twitter. Social media is a two way conversation and you should be “social”. This means replying to people commenting on your posts or pictures, commenting on images where your fans have tagged your brand or used your hashtag, and sharing your fans’ photos.
Jazzercise Inc. engages with their fans by liking page posts, replying to comments or tweets, and answering customer inquiries.
Collaborate – There will be people and influencers who truly love your brand. Find these people in your community and connect with them. Discuss ways you can work together to expand your community and share of voice.
Perfect Bar teams up with influencers and bloggers who love their brand to create unique recipes using their all natural nut butter protein bars.
Bottom line: Determine where your community is active on social media, join in those conversations by responding to others and sharing original content, and establish relationships with community influencers or brand advocates.
What tips or things have you found helpful when building your social media community?