The most effective online community is one that is made up of who influences and engages with you as well as whose interest you have influenced. Creating organic growth is especially important when you look at the numbers behind your page. They are always changing so the more interaction, the more chance of your community sticking around. This ensures your social influence is spread to a wider audience.
Turn Online to Offline
Online relationships are important but you can take them further and be even more valuable. This could be through company meetings, product launch or a gathering with community members. Tweeting someone each day is not the same as speaking to them individually. Therefore, the more proactive you are with those specific individuals, the more potential a relationship could have.
There is a belief that social media is informal but this is not the case. You have the perfect place to impress your customers and show them how good your service can be. Replying to comments, queries and complaints within an hour during office hours should be standard. You should also often be available outside of office hours to thank commenters and offer support for any issues. You can use social media to tailor what you offer and work to suit the individual.
It can be hard to be consistent with engagement. You need to make sure you offer what your community wants and if not, listen and give them it. Engagement with your community could mean sharing funny videos, GIFs, links to the latest articles or reports in your industry. You must be offering something valuable or you can’t expect a positive response. Once your following grows, be supportive; share posts, add comments and make suggestions in a subtle way.
Avoid the Hard Sell
Constant promotion never works on social media. It is not a place to shove your brand message into people’s faces. This is probably the worst thing you can do. Hiding advertising as content will not impress either, so keep self-promotion to a minimum. It is better to have a subtle and natural approach that isn’t forcing anyone. Of course you must mention product launches, events and links to your services but it should be balanced with other content. All content should offer value and encourage engagement, rather than showing off what you offer.
Positioning yourself as a valuable social influence and offering something positive will lead to follower growth and boost your social presence. This will hopefully help the success of your business and create a positive social influence.
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