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Answered: Your Most Burning Questions About How To Build A Social Media Community

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  • Answered: Your Most Burning Questions About How To Build A Social Media Community

Social media is a fickle platform: algorithms constantly change while companies struggle to find their niche out of millions of users and competing businesses. In addition, gaining followers for your company page is one thing, but keeping them engaged is another.

Businesses must understand how to build a social media community and have it thrive.

This guide explains:

Social Media Community Defined

Build A Social Media Community (source)

A community is a social unit composed of individuals who share common attitudes, goals, and interests. More specifically, a social media community shares these interests on social networking sites like:

Social media community members discuss specific topics or participate in events that add value to their everyday lives. Some social media community examples include:

  • Employee communities seeking productivity tips and knowledge
  • Customer communities share feedback about a company’s products
  • Insight communities for specialized knowledge about marketing, big data trends, and cutting-edge technology
  • Private communities for exclusive industry experts or enthusiasts

Importance of Social Media Communities

Social media communities have numerous benefits for businesses, including:

  1. High engagement between companies and their customers
  2. Increased brand visibility on social networks
  3. Excellent lead generation potential
  4. A safe, welcoming environment for customers to share experiences and feedback
  5. Improved brand loyalty through shared positive experiences
  6. Streamlined social media marketing efforts through marketing OKRs
  7. Inspiration for brands and members to creatively solve their problems
  8. Real-time customer service as brands interact with community members daily

10 Ways to Build A Social Media Community

Social media platforms are more than marketing tools for companies to advertise their brands. Once you understand how to build an engaged community, you reap benefits far greater than paid digital ads and promotional content. Here are ten ways that demonstrate how to build a social media community.

1. Know Where Your Audience Is

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Social media communities exist on every platform, but you may discover that your target audience prefers one channel over others. For example, if your customers prefer visual content, your community will thrive on YouTube and Instagram.

Use an OKR checklist to identify your primary audience and their preferred channels before establishing your social brand communities. It helps to target your marketing efforts in the proper channels and save on resources.

2. Enable Your Followers to Find Your Business

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Is your company or product easily searchable? Try these techniques to make your company visible on social media channels:

  • Match your brand or product name with your social media handles.
  • Add social media icons to your website to lead visitors to your social profiles.
  • Add social media links to your email signatures, newsletters, and digital publications.
  • Use your social handle to respond to industry-related threads and discussions.

3. Promote Your Community Across Channels

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Share your social community links on every platform, even if your target audience is active on one or two. For example, if your social media communities work best on Twitter or Pinterest, share your handle on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram and ask for followers. You can use these other platforms to promote the benefits of joining your community and increase your reach.

4. Use A Social Media Management Platform to Connect Your Communities

Social media community management is much easier when you use a platform like Hootsuite, Hubspot, or Sendible. These platforms simplify your social media marketing strategy by organizing all your communities on one dashboard.

Instead of individually updating each community, a management platform uses social automation to:

  • Schedule posts
  • Monitor engagement, and
  • Generate metrics to improve your strategy

5. Practice Social Listening

Social listening means actively monitoring all your brand mentions on social media platforms. It helps to track the brand name or keyword associated with your company or product to understand what the community thinks and feels about your organization.

Social listening goes further than tracking likes and shares. It includes gathering insights into your competitors, industry, and overall customer experiences. It also helps prevent a social media crisis because you’re more aware of audience sentiments. Good social listening contributes to better marketing decisions for business growth.

6. Create Events for Your Members

In-person and virtual events bring your community together to learn and share their interests. Some examples of social media community events include:

  • A live chat with your CEO
  • A webinar from an industry expert
  • A virtual concert
  • A volunteer day in your local community
  • A charity fundraising day
  • A local food festival

Create a separate social media marketing strategy for your events, including unique hashtags, email campaigns, live streaming, graphics, and social media KPIs.

7. Use Different Content Types

Share photos, videos, polls, memes, GIFs, and playlists with your social media communities and test each for engagement. Once you see what content gets the most likes and shares, build on that to keep your community active and entertained. Choose content types that best communicate your brand values and draw quality leads to your business.

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Share and React

Your content grabs your community’s attention, but your response is what keeps them loyal and motivated. Reply to each comment and thank your community for feedback. Use your social media management platform to keep track of all your engagements.

Avoid automated or generic responses as much as possible. Keep your replies positive and helpful to add value to your social conversations. Personalized answers make your brand approachable and accessible to your community members.

9. Recognize Your Top Members

Social media communities now add badges to contributors such as “new member,” “top fan,” “rising star,” and “conversation starter.” You can also use platforms like Badgr to award customized credentials to your community users.

As a social community admin, these tags help you:

– Send welcome messages

– Highlight top contributors, and

– Keep conversations flowing

Consider offering discounts or incentives to your leading members to encourage more engagement.

10. Solve Members’ Problems

Your social media community isn’t just for marketing or sharing uplifting content. Members often turn to these online groups to discuss their pain points or find solutions to their problems.

Increase engagement by offering creative solutions or extra customer support in your social media groups. Your members are more likely to recommend your product or business and drive leads if you empathize and solve their issues online.

Practical Tips and Best Practices to Build A Social Media Community

Let’s look at how to build a social media community using the best practices and strategies below:

1) Choose Your Brand Voice

Social media users engage with authentic, consistent online communities. Your tone and voice carry your brand, so ensure that all your community engagements reflect who you are.

2) Manage Your Promotional Content

As mentioned before, your social media community is more than a marketing platform. The general rule is that 20% of your community content should be promotional, while the rest caters to your members’ interests. Even with your promotional content, ensure that you add value to your community through special offers or discounts.

3) Use Calls to Action

Add a CTA to your social community posts to encourage members to visit your website. Ask them to browse your inventory, subscribe to your newsletter or do any other action that improves conversion rates.

4) Choose Recurring Subjects or Themes

A consistent topic or post series gives your members a reason to engage with your community. For example, determine the best content for a pinned tweet of the week, a weekend discussion, a daily inspirational quote, or a monthly contest.

5) Use Your First Name or Initials

A personal identifier should accompany all your social media community responses, especially if you’re solving problems or offering customer service. It shows a human response rather than an automated chatbot.

Dos and Don’ts for Social Media Community Management

If you’re a beginner in social media community management, it’s easy to make fundamental mistakes as you find your footing. Social media communities can benefit from setting a clear OKR goal for the abovementioned tips. However, keep the following dos and don’ts to help you navigate your social communities.

1) Do Keep Your Responses Relevant and Timely

You can respond to your social media community engagements with a comment, a like, or an emoji. But always ensure your response is fast and appropriate to boost your engagement and improve your reputation.

2) Do Challenge Stereotypes

You can use your social media community to raise awareness or support a local cause. Brands realize the power of taking a stand to positively impact their communities, especially if it ties in with your company values and philanthropic initiatives.

3) Do Choose Your Trends Mindfully

Social media often blows up with trends from global movements to seasonal hashtags. But there’s a thin line between inspiring and offending your social media followers. While joining the latest trends can generate much-needed engagement for your social communities, choose trends that fit your business and products.

4) Do Encourage Action

Liking and commenting on your social media community only goes so far as to make a meaningful difference. Encourage your fans and followers to take concrete actions to solve problems and improve their lives. Celebrate these steps in your social posts to maintain the momentum.

5) Do Share Your Followers’ Content

User-generated content is a valuable resource for social media community management. Think of a simple example with pets: ask your followers to share their favorite animal photos, and they’ll do so gladly.

You can repurpose these images in many ways, such as a “caption this” thread, a lookalike challenge for members with similar pet breeds, pet photography tips, and much more. This approach generates high engagement and builds strong community relationships.

6) Don’t Overlook Third-Party Content

You can share artwork, quotes, comics, photos, videos, and other digital content in your social media communities as long as you tag or link the creators. It diversifies your content options and shows that you can curate wholesome content from various sources.

7) Don’t Ignore Opportunities for Content Co-Creation

Your OKR strategy can help you identify the top followers in your community to create content around your business or product. Offer opportunities for top fans to showcase how they use your product or why they love your brand.

8) Don’t Forget Your Followers’ Values

Social media communities gather because of their common interests and values. Find the balance between these values and your brand’s voice and tone to remain relevant and relatable in your content.

9) Don’t Ignore Toxic Behaviours

Remember that social media communities attract all kinds of people. Harmful interactions, inappropriate spam content, or downright threats are inevitable. Of course, artificial intelligence (AI) can filter these activities, but you need to moderate your community interactions. Aim to create a safe space for your followers to share and engage with your brand.

10) Don’t Exceed Your Budget

One of the benefits of OKRs is setting a cost for each goal (at a price) to keep you within your marketing budget. Social media communities, including:

  • Audience research
  • Content creation, and
  • Social media management software subscriptions

How To Build A Social Media Community With The OKR Framework

This guide mentions OKRs as tools for building social media communities. But how do objectives and critical results help with your social community strategy? OKRs are goal-setting tactics to focus on your priorities and assign the right resources to execute your plan.

Some examples include:

Objective: Gain 100 new community followers every month.

Key results:

  • Achieve 25% daily active users (DAU) on social pages
  • Run campaigns with a top industry influencer
  • Get published in the top 5 industry publications
  • Increase customer satisfaction to 80%

This OKR example breaks down your community management goal into achievable objectives. Goal-setting software makes the process easy for any type and size of business. Profit.co helps you:

  • Identify and prioritize your social media community goal
  • Track performance on essential metrics like engagement and conversion rate
  • Incorporate social community-building tasks into your everyday workload.

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