In the digital world, building a sense of community for a brand is monumental in accomplishing almost any marketing-related goal. The level of comfort and trust consumers have for a specific brand or business goes a long way towards converting them into customers. For example, from a social media standpoint, getting them to actively engage in posts, follow, share, and comment, gives users a sense of community by actively engaging in account activity. An important tidbit to remember – everything you post has a purpose. Whether realized or not, each upload to socials fills in a piece of the long-term puzzle to success.
The reasons for creating a tight-knit community are pretty simple; the first of which being that it creates a sense of validation for users visiting your social page. Many individuals simply want to be acknowledged and have their concerns or praises understood by a brand. This “reward,” if you will, impresses and creates even more of a genuine reason to return. Demonstration of continued acknowledgement by the brand will likely yield elevated trust levels, which over time, will prove to be invaluable in many regards.
Second, raising morale and trust typically leads to other people spreading the word in a positive way. Word of mouth transmissions are arguably the most effective promotion; think about, for instance, if a close friend or parent recommended checking out a social media profile. One would be much more likely, on average, to follow through with the suggestion and check out the page. The goal is always to grow as efficiently as possible on social media, and by creating and maintaining a “community,” the odds of shares (retweets, stitches, etc.) increase drastically, delivering your content to more new users.
So, how does a brand or individual represent a genuine community feel in the digital space? For starters, respond to any and all messages where possible. Whether it’s a YouTube comment, tweet, DM, or anything else, always respond and strive to be as helpful, energetic, and authentic as possible. There is a fine line here, as appearing too over the top can come off as ingenuine, which is the opposite of the goal. Try not to stray far from your brand’s voice and general tone. Treat each person with the utmost respect and integrity, and work to make each interaction meaningful.
Another tip is to be consistent with your posting schedule. As a community, an audience will be more receptive to a regular schedule in which they expect content at the same time each day or week. Think of a new show episode which releases each Thursday night – the show’s community is ready to rock and roll with entertainment and conversation at the same time each week. The expectation has been established; when the group knows what’s coming, they’ll be even more likely to return to your page and engage not only with your brand, but also with other users on your page.
The perks of having an active, passionate community extend much further than just this article’s contents. One thing is for sure – nothing bad can possibly come from acquiring one. This kind of thing isn’t just constructed overnight, but built piece by piece over time; once your community has been thoughtfully constructed and gained an avid following, you’ll have a space for your consumers to stay connected with your brand in a fun and interactive way.