An online community is very important for the success of your brand or business. Your online audience can help you build a strong online presence by supporting and promoting you. Here are some tips for building a vibrant online community.
Social media is meant to be just that – social. It offers you a great opportunity to build strong relationships with other people. However, this does not just happen automatically. You need to take time to connect with your followers, whether they are 50 or 500. Listen and respond promptly to their comments, grievances and compliments. Your followers will be happy to know that you are concerned about what they are saying.
2. Be authentic
When it comes to building an online community, authenticity is key. Feel free to share the challenges and failures which you have faced along the way. Being candid and transparent is one of the best ways of building trust in your brand. Your audience will become more convinced of your commitment to service and quality.
3. Be consistent
Consistency is very important. First, you need to be consistent in the messages being sent out regarding your brand. You can’t afford to say one thing about your brand today, and then say something totally different tomorrow. Making such a mistake can have a detrimental effect on the reputation of your business or brand. Secondly, you should be consistent in your posting. To retain the attention of your audience, it is vital to post as often as possible. However, don’t just post for the sake of it. Make sure everything posted is current and that it meets the needs of your audience.
4. Ask for help
Online communities are about sharing with each other and helping each other. Therefore, don’t be afraid of asking your followers for a favor once in a while. Whenever you share a post on your different social media profiles, feel free to ask your fans or followers to like it, repin it, +1 it, share it or retweet it. Many of them would be willing to spread the word, especially if you are providing great content.
5. Have fun!
Building online communities does not have to be all doom and gloom. Have fun while at it! If you keep bombarding your audience with information about your brand or business on a daily basis, they will eventually get bored and might lose interest. Once in a while, break out of the mold and share something different. This could be a funny quote, photo or anecdote. Engaging your online community on a lighter note is likely to enhance their loyalty to your business or brand.