Why is establishing an online community so important for your brand?
A man walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Hey, Jeff! The usual today?” The man (apparently Jeff) says, “Yep! Thanks, Erik!” Erik smoothly slides an amber craft brew down the bar to Jeff.
(Is it just me, or is a nostalgic show coming to mind right now?)
But in all seriousness, don’t we all have that place we always go, the one where we’re known and greeted as soon as we walk in the door? Maybe we even have our “own seat” and know the other regulars who come in at about the same time we do every week. It might be a store that we frequent often, a nail salon…or quite possibly even a brewery.
THIS demonstrates that feeling of community. There is a common topic, similar interest, relatability, relevance, and even a timeliness to it.
Now imagine transferring this same kind of idea over to your online presence:
A woman logs onto Facebook and sees a post by a hair salon that she’s recently considered booking an appointment with. The woman (we’ll call her Amanda) instantly relates to the post because it’s a how-to video on getting that “beachy wave” for your hair. Amanda is thankful for the guidance and expresses her gratitude by commenting on the post, thus adding credibility to said post in the eyes of the almighty Facebook algorithm (extra bonus!)
Also, Amanda realizes that she’s overdue for a cut and color, so she proceeds to click the “Call Now” button on the page and books an appointment with her stylist, Julie.
Hold the phone. Was that an instant conversion we just experienced?
Oh, yes—and it can happen to you, too! You have to remember that social media is your digital front line. It’s about as customer-facing as you can possibly get without being physically face-to-face. Introverted business owners can rejoice!
The main thing that you need to keep in mind when you’re going about your day-to-day social media and digital marketing efforts is that you want to tackle everything you do with a mindset of creating and nurturing a community.
Create value for your fans. Be a resource for them. Remember their names and preferences.
Interact with your fans when they comment on your page. Make it a point to be consistently active in conversations on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Post TikTok videos that are highly relatable, and then be ever-present when the comments start rolling in. Comment on your community members’ posts, share in their experiences. Become a part of their community, and in turn, they will help to develop yours.
After all, isn’t this the point of being on social media in the first place?
The more frequently your true fans interact with your social accounts, the higher (and more frequently) you’ll show up in their feeds. Most social platforms (with the exception of Snapchat) work off of algorithms. When posts are getting higher engagement rates, social platforms view them as an authority on the subject who is consistently adding value—and, in turn, rewards their content with a higher likelihood of showing up organically for followers.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to feel the urge to boost EVERY SINGLE Facebook post? Would it just ROCK if your fans naturally loved you so much that they couldn’t help but keep your page alive and exciting?
That’s an intense thought, but when it all starts to unfold and you see it in action, it will be very rewarding. Stay genuine, bring value, and authentically interact with them every day. The result will keep you very busy, you’ll know all of the important things about your customers that you need to know, and everyone will ultimately have their needs met.
When we go in with a goal of creating community, everyone wins.
Jen Cole @jcole
SMM @ Greteman Group
Owner of X-Stand
Podcaster on Making a Marketer
Former Social Media Manager at Social Media Examiner