Community Building, Social Media, and Your Brand
If you spend any time reading marketing blogs (and you’re here reading this, so I’ll assume you do), then you are probably sick of hearing about social media’s declining organic reach. The laments over organic reach have been long and loud – while actionable techniques for slowing that decline have been few and far between.
Today, I’ll look at how building community around your brand on social media can help reach customers organically. Before we dig in, know that there are no magic bullets for increasing organic reach. Limited reach is just a fact of life in 2018. But with hard work, it is possible to still reach your social media fans without paying for it.
The Power of Community
Maintaining (or even reversing) the decline in organic reach requires a shift in thinking about your social media presence. The old mindset was about broadcasting a sales message to your following and hoping you would catch their interest.
The new mindset requires thinking about your social media as a way of building a community around your brand. The old mindset was inherited from TV, where advertisers interrupted your day to deliver a one-way message. They had a captive audience and they had 45 seconds to deliver their pitch.
Those days are gone. Today, brands are competing for attention as part of an ongoing conversation. You have to offer something more than an interruption and a sales pitch if you want to win the attention of consumers. This is where we see the power of building a community around your brand on social media.
But like I said, there is no magic bullet for building a social media community. It’ll take a lot of hard work and it will be frustrating early on. But if you follow the tips below, you’ll have a leg up on the competition.
Have a Unique Mission
There’s a hard truth about business: there are always competitors out there that offer the same product or service as you. And odds are they are using similar messaging to market their business. Simply stating what you do, no matter how loud you say it, will never be enough to build a community.
Your brand needs to have a unique mission that sets you apart from all the others in your market. Developing a unique mission isn’t an easy task – but make yourself do it. Too many businesses have a jargon-filled, almost meaningless mission statement. Something like: “To provide integrated solutions that operate synergistically with emerging technological sectors.” I can’t wait to rally around that community!
Instead, find what you care about, what you’re passionate about, and what sets you apart – and spend time crafting a unique mission statement around those points. This is hard work, but essential if you want to build an attractive community.
Create a Sense of Belonging
A brand community isn’t a community if it feels like a sales tool. The temptation will always be to exploit your social media community for sales prospects – but make sure that you are providing a sense of belonging first and foremost. The sales will come naturally if you’re doing it right.
Make your community a place where people can openly ask questions and be heard – because that is the basis of any strong community whether it is a family or a Facebook group. As you foster a sense of belonging, you will notice that people who were once just customers are becoming brand ambassadors.
They will start to identify your success with their success – and that is a priceless tool in your marketing toolbox. To help create a sense of belonging, craft insider language/jokes/memes that people can grow into as they engage more with your brand. Think beyond just simple hashtags and start building a tribe of dedicated followers.
Be an Involved Member
If you want to build a social media community, you can’t just sit back and wait for your customers to do the legwork. You’ll need to be an active member of the community. If you (or an employee) are not there to answer questions and guide the discussions, then your community will either dissolve or turn against you.
By being an active member of your own community, you send a message that you care about your customers. You are available to answer questions, to address concerns, and to provide help to your valuable customers. There is no substitute for active and caring engagement with your social media community.
Offer Value to Members
Finally, you need to ensure that your community is offering real value to its members. The easiest way to do this is by rewarding active engagers with special discounts and deals, but don’t stop offering value there. There are myriad ways to get creative when it comes to offering value to your social media community.
The value can be something as simple as following users that follow you or engaging with their content as a brand. Or it can be as in-depth as providing promotional swag to highly engaged users or discounts to community leaders.
Slow & Steady Social Media Growth
Finding ways to build organic reach through social media community takes hard work and the patience to see it through the rough times. But building your digital presence in this way provides long-lasting results that aren’t dependent on a continual ad spend.
I’ll say it one more time: there is no magic bullet for social media success. Building your brand will take a combination of engaging content, smart advertising, and community building. If you need help building your business through social media, Fusion Group USA can help with every step of the process. View our social media packages that start at just $99 per month!