How to Build Community on Social Media
Consumers connect with companies through digital social media platforms more now than ever before. Consumers use social media to discover new brands or comment on the latest products. They also engage directly by asking questions, leaving reviews or airing grievances. And if you haven't cultivated a strong community across the most prominent social platforms, you could be leaving money on the table or alienating potential loyal customers.
Digital social media platforms connect brands with consumers on a massive scale. Online audiences can be reached in real-time and have a significant impact on a brand's reputation. For these reasons and many more, social media cannot be ignored, and today merely having a social page isn't enough. To really leverage social media to maximum effect, brands must build and maintain a robust community of fans and followers across the various social platforms. A robust community isn't a passive follower of your brand, but rather active and engaged devotees who can start an online trend, help spread viral content, passionately share a product with friends and participate in elevating a brand's reputation.
As social media has become ubiquitous and new platforms rise to the forefront, the competition for followers has only increased. It is crucial for brands to optimize social media strategies, continuously adapting to trends and changing interests while also maintaining trust and brand identity. It can be a lot for any one person or small team to manage. If you have tried to build a social presence in the past and it didn't meet your expectations or if you want some fresh insight from a third party, allow our team at DRIVEN360 to help you stay ahead of the digital curve and maximize your brand’s potential on social media.
You Don’t Have to Be an Expert to Build Brand Presence on Social Media, But You Have to Work At It
Building a social media community is very similar to creating a community in person. Just as someone would engage, listen and interact within physical social settings, social platforms allow these practices digitally. The good news is digital social media communities allow brands to reach more individuals than ever! Whether your brand is B2B or B2C, with the right strategy, social media can help your brand reach its ideal target audience. Creating a social media community for your brand allows your company to interact with your target audience on a larger scale, skyrocketing your brand following in record time.
Here's a Guide on How to Build a Social Community for Your Brand
Define your brand target audience
Select appropriate social media platforms
Outline your brand’s social media strategy
Create relatable and engaging content
Maintain posting consistency
Reply to your brand community in a timely manner
Have fun telling the story of your brand!
Define Your Brand Target Audience + Select the Right Social Platforms
It is essential to define your brand target audience on each specific social platform. Want to know a social strategy secret many social media users fail to recognize? The truth is that each social platform defines and portrays the idea of community differently. While Facebook is known for being a family/community-oriented platform, LinkedIn is a professional workplace community. Recognizing and selecting what platforms are best for your company’s target audience is key to building brand communities on social media.
Community Profiles by Platform:
Instagram is consistently proving to be the perfect ecosystem for influencer and brand marketing. Instagram is constantly pushing trendy shorter video-based content, called reels, and is a great platform for all business types. On this platform aesthetic is everything, and authenticity is expected.
Facebook is thought-of as a more family-oriented platform. Facebook users are known to use the platform to maintain current relationships instead of forming new ones. Facebook prioritizes the value of family, friendships, community, and keeping in touch with loved ones. Posting community-focused content helps to build credibility and loyalty amongst a company’s target audience. Examples of community-focused content for your brand might be team culture, company mission, and organization successes.
TikTok is the newest and trendiest platform that has exploded on the scene. Swarming with influencers bringing relatability, comedy, and realism to the table, both businesses and individuals can compete and thrive on this platform. Primarily video-based, TikTok maximizes target audience attention through its strategic algorithm. The TikTok algorithm provides optimal exposure for brands to new connections and potential new customers.
LinkedIn consists primarily of users with college degrees and business backgrounds. Utilized to connect company/individual relationships, LinkedIn is ideal for any company focusing on thought leadership, advertising career opportunities, highlighting company business successes, or just simply connecting with others in your brand’s field.
Twitter is known for generating quick and relevant news. If something were to happen within your industry, odds are that Twitter knows about it before anyone else. If your company’s goal is to jump into current conversations, engage with your target audience, and participate in Twitter’s microblogging environment, this platform is perfect for your brand.
YouTube is famous for its video content and diverse platform features. From YouTube Kids to everyday video content, YouTube offers free video streaming to any user. YouTube is growing to be one of the most popularly utilized platforms. Utilizing YouTube as an aspect of your brand’s social media strategy will help your business gain exposure that otherwise couldn’t be obtained. With a consistent YouTube posting strategy, the platform is an incredible business asset.
Outline Your Brand's Social Media Strategy
An effective social media strategy should outline how a brand will use social media to achieve specific marketing and communications goals. Your social strategy should include considerations around organic, user-generated and paid content, tactics to grow and engage followers, measure performance, and setting goals and key performance indicators to keep your efforts on track.
What is one detail that virtually all the top brands have in common? They all utilize social media experts, as well as PR and marketing firms, to maximize their social media strategy and optimize their brand impact within the digital space. Social media strategists are hired to tell the story of your brand and handle all elements of social media strategy, brand aesthetic, content scheduling, and more. If your goals are to grow your following, increase brand engagement, and expand brand reach on social media, hiring a social media strategist will take out the guess work and amplify your marketing efforts.
@curiousitylab_ptc - Examples of specific social strategy in action: supporting communication and public education goals. Social strategy and content creation by DRIVEN360.
Create Relatable and Engaging Content + Maintain Posting Consistency
Content is crucial! To create engaging posts that will resonate with your audience, focus on understanding your audience's interests, preferences, and pain points and tailor content specific to these points. Offer relevant solutions or tips and stay up to date on trends. It is also crucial to maintain a consistent posting schedule to keep followers engaged and establish a sense of trust and reliability. The frequency of posting will depend on the platform and the brand's goals, but generally, businesses should aim to post once a day on Instagram and Facebook, and a few times a week on other platforms.
@gorvingwiththecaudills - Examples of high performing posts and engaged brand communities, managed and directed by DRIVEN360 social media strategists.
Reply to Your Brand Community in a Timely Manner
Being reachable and attentive shows your community that your brand values customers' opinions and feedback. To manage it well, brands should establish clear guidelines and protocols for responding to customers and questions, designate team members responsible for monitoring and responding to comments and direct messages, and use social media management tools to streamline the process and ensure no user reactions fall through the cracks. Additionally, businesses should be prepared to handle negative comments or feedback by staying calm, responding with empathy, professionalism and honesty, and addressing the issue promptly and publicly or privately as appropriate.
Have Fun Telling Your Story!
Social media is a big part of every brand's marketing mix but it's still meant to be a source of entertainment and connection for users so keep that in mind and share some posts that you think people will enjoy, crack a smile and make all the work worth it!
Don't Set It and Forget It: Maintaining Your Social Media Community
Through consistent posting, strategy implementation, and continuous interactions with your brand following, there are more resources than ever to help your brand expand its social media community. Remembering not only to share brand content on social media but also to respond and listen to your social media community is important in preserving brand relationships.
Just as in-person relationships value authenticity and consistent communication, your social media community will thrive on the same. The strongest social media communities, from a consumer perspective, will allow their followers to feel as if the brand is speaking to community members from their screens. Building a social media community in these ways is much more instinctual than many people anticipate. Just as individuals seek in-person relations for friendship, understanding, and community, the digital age encourages these innate desires on a larger digital scope. Taking steps to build your brand community on social media today can help spread your company's missions and values.
Here Are Some Tips for Maintaining Your Social Media Community:
Practice social media listening.
Respond to comments on all platforms on a regular basis.
Engage in brand-related discussions and share/re-share relevant third-party content.
Maintain consistency with posts and platform strategies.
Keep your content authentic! Users seek real and raw relations through social media.
For further details on this list, check out DRIVEN360's "20 Do's and Don'ts of Social Media."
What are the Results of a Strong Social Media Community?
A supportive social community offers numerous benefits - to both brands and consumers. A strong community can provide a sense of belonging, support and connection to its members. Devoted supporters of your brand may even feel a sense of pride and ownership in the success of your business. A strong social media community takes time and effort but if you stick with it and do it right, you'll cultivate a loyal customer base that elevates your brand's reputation, sales and market perception.
The growth of social media communities within the digital age is crucial to the thriving of companies. Having a relentless team that offers social media strategy, public relations work, and marketing tactics on your side will help your brand take on the competition.
At DRIVEN360, we are passionate about helping companies achieve their goals.