How to build a social media community for your business
by Jessica King

What is a social media community and why is it important?

If you have a business, a strong social media community can be a fantastic marketing tool. A social media community is a group of people, including loyal customers and fans who are interested in, or are even passionate about a business and who engage with it and each other on social media.

So how can it be done?

You will either need to commit to putting time aside to grow it yourself, or hire a community manager or a marketing agency to run it for you. This is something that takes time and effort but if you get it right it will be well worth it.

Top 5 simple tips on how to build a social media community:

1. Choose social media platforms that fit your business and your audience – You don’t need to be everywhere, it’s best to focus on a couple of social media platforms and do them well. Once you have your accounts, next make sure the profile information is filled out correctly and accurately. So, add all the information available in the fields such as your website, contact information, opening hours etc. and don’t forget to add decent images that fit the recommended sizes of the platform. Just make it very easy for people to get in touch and ensure that this information is kept up to date.

2. Add value on social media – Don’t just post for the sake of it, that won’t get you anywhere. Show your passion for your business and your customers by taking the time to plan out and create valuable content that will interest your audience. Remember that people are not on social media to buy, they are scrolling through their newsfeeds looking for something that interests them and that they care about. Sometimes the content may not even relate to your business, but if you think that it’s something that will interest your followers go for it.

3. Use your platforms to boost your customer service offering – Respond timely to comments and questions, say thank you for positive reviews and never, ever ignore negative feedback. To build a community, your followers will need to like, know and trust your business, so see any negative feedback as a positive and show publicly that your company is committed to great customer service and turning any negative situations around.

4. Get your audience involved – To get your audience interacting together like a community why not ask them to share their tips, advice and recommendations to help out others. If you’re brave enough, invite input into your product or service to drive innovation. This is a great way to make people feel valued and like they are part of something. Ask your audience questions, get to know them and let them come up with content ideas for you – perhaps there is something they need help with that you can answer.

5. Solve problems for your audience – To stand out from other competitors offering similar products or services, you must give value to your community. Imagine that one of your competitors is using social media to post salesy content and talk about how great they think they are, yet your business is creating helpful blogs and ‘how to’ guides based on what your audience is asking you for. Not only that, but you’re responding to comments and feedback and getting your audience talking to each other – who do you think will have loyal customers in the long run?

Finally monitor everything that you do. Use analytics to measure what’s working and what isn’t and use those results to adapt what needs improving.

If you are interested in building a social media community but are unsure how to or don’t have the time, talk to McQueenie Mulholland.