Digital marketing

Why (and how) to build a strong social media community for your business

- April 28, 2023 5 MIN READ
A group of young people on phones

 

Ever wondered why building a strong social media community is essential to your business? Social media expert Emily-Rose Hills explains the importance of community building and driving engagement. Plus, she takes a deep dive into outbound community management vs. inbound community management – is one better than the other? –  and delivers her top actionable tips on how to grow and manage your community effectively.

Social media is a proven powerful tool, allowing your businesses to connect personally with your target audience and form real-life relationships.

Building a strong social media community and effective community management is crucial for any business to increase brand awareness, foster loyalty, and drive engagement.

Why is building a social media community so important?

A strong social media community is like the foundation of a building, it provides a stable base that supports the growth and success of your business.

It will also assist in:

1. Establishing brand awareness

Building a social media community allows your business to establish its brand identity, tone, and personality. Social listening and sentiments toward your brand will help you understand if you’re on the right track.

For example, if you’re in the outdoor adventure space but the tone and personality of your social media presence are more suited for a luxury lifestyle brand, your community members may not resonate with your content and messaging. By building a community on social media, you can create a two-way conversation with your audience, which allows you to gather feedback, improve your products or services, and build trust with your customers.

2. Increasing engagement

The term ‘social media’ implies an expectation of social interaction. It’s not merely a platform for one-way communication, where businesses can post content and ignore comments and messages. A mere thumbs up or heart emoji doesn’t foster meaningful conversation. If a business fails to respond to its audience’s reactions, they may quickly lose interest.

Creating a social media community is essential in promoting engagement and interaction between businesses and customers. Through sharing valuable content and actively engaging with comments and messages, businesses can cultivate trust and loyalty among their audience.

B2B social media marketing strategy for 2023

3. Boosting customer satisfaction

By addressing customer complaints and resolving issues in a timely manner, businesses can improve their reputation and increase customer satisfaction. There’s nothing more annoying than messaging a business that takes a month of Sundays to respond.

4. Driving traffic to your website

Social media communities drive traffic to your website, increasing the chances of conversion. By sharing links to your website and creating content that encourages clicks, businesses can increase their website traffic and even improve their search engine rankings.

5. Creating a band of supportive superfans

As your social media following grows and becomes more engaged, you’ll begin to recognise your brand advocates (also known as superfans).

These are fiercely loyal users who consistently interact with your content and will not hesitate to defend your business against any negative feedback or criticism. In fact, if anyone suggests that your product or service may be subpar, your social community will usually come to your defence with unrelenting enthusiasm – it’s like unleashing a pack of loyal hounds. They also often go above and beyond by responding to FAQs, directing people to your website, and recommending your business to anyone who will listen.

6. Cost-cutting

Collaborating with influencers can come with a hefty price tag, but once you’ve gathered a strong community of followers, you’ll likely receive a flood of tagged photos and videos featuring your product or service. Fortunately, most of your community will be more than happy for you to repost this content – just be sure to obtain their permission and give proper credit in the caption.

This strategy can save you a significant amount of money on lifestyle photo and video shoots, while still showcasing your brand in an authentic and relatable way.

How to build a strong social media community

three people standing using social media on phones

Having covered the importance of a robust social media community, let’s delve into the methods of building one, and distinguish between inbound and outbound community management strategies.

There are two main approaches to social media community management: outbound and inbound.

Outbound community management involves actively reaching out to potential customers and engaging with them on social media. Inbound community management, on the other hand, focuses on creating a welcoming environment for existing customers and encouraging them to engage with the brand.

Outbound community management

Outbound community management involves strategies such as paid social media advertising, influencer outreach, and proactive engagement with social media users who are not already customers. For example, partnering with a popular beauty influencer to promote your products, or a restaurant owner may run a Facebook ad campaign targeting users in their local area.

Inbound community management

Inbound community management centres around creating a sense of community and encouraging engagement from existing customers. This can involve strategies such as responding to comments and messages in a timely and personalised manner, hosting community events, and sharing user-generated content. For example, a fitness brand may create a Facebook group for its customers to connect with each other, or a mum-centric business may host regular mums and bubs meet and greets.

6 tips for managing your social media community

Social media influencer trying on makeup

  • Use social media listening tools to track mentions of your brand and respond to any negative feedback or complaints.
  • Make sure to address customer complaints and enquiries in a timely and professional manner.
  • Spend 30 minutes a day engaging with social media users within your target audience demographics that will vibe with your tribe.
  • Offer exclusive content as an incentive. It could be something of value you can afford to give away, discount codes or an eBook.
  • Encourage your audience to share their own content, such as photos or testimonials featuring your products or services.
  • Avoid generic or canned responses that do not add value to the conversation. i.e. “Thanks [@insertname]” or an emoji love heart. Instead, ask a question that will keep the conversation flowing.

Community management takeaways

Don’t just read and move on, put what you’ve learned into practice. Take the time to engage with your audience, create valuable content, and foster a sense of community.

If you have any questions or need additional guidance, feel free to reach out to me. Let’s work together to grow your community engagement and achieve your social media marketing goals.

Remember, a strong social media community is a powerful tool that can help your business succeed and thrive. So, take action today and start building the engaged community your business deserves.


This article was first published on Kochie’s Business Builders, read the original here.

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