If your business is a newbie on social media, or already has a presence, but not sure how to grow it, then this article is for you.
Just getting your business online is not the job done. Getting visibility and engagement in a community definitely serves the purpose, but how to get visibility on social media? Which community should you follow or how to build a community?
If you click here, you will find an article where we explained what a community is and why is it required. But how to make sure that the community which you built is efficient enough to meet your goals?
Before we go through step-by-step instructions which you need to follow for creating a strong online presence with an active community, let us understand basic points to be considered for building a community:
- Define your business and explain why your business exists
- Quality is more important than quantity
- Define your expectations from the community
What is your business and why it exists?
Before you start your hunt for the perfect community match, first define what makes your business unique? How your prospects would get benefitted by becoming customers? What are your goals?
To define a goal, first determine the reason why you want to join or create a community – Is it for increasing web traffic to your site? Is it for the brand awareness program you are driving? Or are you trying to reduce efforts made by your customer support team?
These questions will guide you to create a well-defined goal for being online and creating a community.
- Target quality, and not just the numbers
Getting more followers shouldn’t be the only objective of your community. Identifying those who will participate actively and help you to grow and support should be the ultimate goal. The ideal community base, fed with meaningful content and interaction, will help you grow the base.
- What to expect from the community members?
First of all, you cannot expect that you will receive engagement from 100% audience in the community. Most of them join with enthusiasm, but it soon dissipates with the time. But it all depends on how you keep drawing the attention of the community members. A person’s interest in a community depends on these 2 basic questions – Do you keep talking about your brand and products? Or do you share knowledge and let others have an open discussion?
How to Build and Grow a Community?
If you want to build an offline community for your business, then we suggest you participate in Networking events or Volunteering activities which can build your repo and at the same time help you generate leads.
But an online community can be built by the following activities:
- Use Social Growth tools which help you identify matching profiles on social media sites
- Keep posting blogs and posts that draw the attention of your desired audience
- Answer other’s queries if the person seeks a solution that you are providing
Once you have built an online community, you need to take care of below points which will help your community grow:
- Connect with everyone: Once members start joining your community, try to get in touch with members whom they know. Try to apply “A friend’s friend is a friend” policy in building your community.
- Leverage Word-of-mouth marketing: In a community, do not try to ask every member to spread a word about you or your business. Instead, reach out to those who are already doing it and make them feel valued by sending hand-written notes.
- Have open-ended conversations: Always try to engage the audience in an open-ended discussion where both the parties are free to share their opinion. Each comment can be an input for on-going business activity. There is always a blind spot which you are not aware of. Open-ended discussions could help you identify those blind spots.
- Gain their trust: Never try to delete or remove a (negative) feedback which can discourage the community members from participating in any group activity.
So to summarize, search social media sites with specific keywords related to your business and identify already existing communities. First, watch and then play in the group. Share knowledge and contents designed to solve the communities problem and if required offer help and guidance for those who seek. Contact everyone, those joined and those are related to those who already joined your community. Don’t keep talking about your products and offers. Try to engage the audience with contents that are designed to gather inputs without them knowing that you are trying to get ideas from them. Finally, allow open-ended discussions such as “How can we help?” Every action should directly speak to the goals of your community and the objectives of your business.