Communities are a natural by-product of human interactions. Social media has provided a new platform for these interactions to take place at an accelerated rate; however, the purpose of social media sometimes becomes misguided. With the variety and number of accounts covering social media, an “arms race” erupted with these accounts vying to attract the most number of followers. Less attention, however, has been aimed at creating a community amongst followers.
The main goal of social media centers on cultivating an environment where individuals with similar interests actively engage, forward and share content with one another. For a brand, developing a community where each post garners a substantial level of interaction raises the overall awareness of your campaigns, helps to develop your goals and, ultimately, increases the number of followers you have. As a result, a stark conclusion appears.
Numbers aren’t everything.
While having a sizeable following goes a long way to padding egos and making one think they are achieving success; however, if followers aren’t talking or sharing your posts, what have you really accomplished? As the saying goes, it’s far better to have four quarters than a thousand pennies so too is it better to have a hundred followers who forwards your content than a thousand who can barely find themselves able to even “like” your posts.
Building community – here’s how it’s done:
Step 1) Post content that readers are interested in.
This does not mean posting content about driving sales or promoting solely your latest product. Interact with your followers. Share funny stories. Start a dialogue. Turn towards them if you find yourself in need of creativity.
Step 2) Post Regularly
Contests and sweepstakes where you offer a lavish prize are excellent tools in your arsenal to boost the number of followers; however, they are a short fix. The true payoffs from social media come with the grind. Comment on what your followers share. Solve problems when they come on your feed. Most importantly, respond to these comments in a timely manner. This day in, day out interaction will establish a long-term connection to your followers and help them believe they are a part of a community.
Step 3) Don’t give up.
The temptation to quit will be the greatest right before you’re about to succeed. Social media efforts have no guarantee of success. Challenges will arrive when successive posts that you have created generate little engagement. Take each of these obstacles as learning opportunities – as motivation to exceed these standards next time.
Social media sites are ideal mediums through which to promote advertising campaigns and continue to maintain a strong level of customer service support. Some brands on social media do a quality job of continuing to cultivate sales and maintain positive customer relations. However, the greater goal of social media stems from developing a community among your followers: an environment where individuals can feel free to express their ideas, continue to interact with your company and foster increasing brand loyalty.