Guest Author Abby Evans is an avid blogger who writes on everything from finding jobs in Canada and navigating the job search Ontario. She has written on a variety of blogs and websites, and loves to learn all she can on the job hunt.
Nowadays, many businesses are focusing on online endeavors in order to reach their audience in unique ways. Therefore, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do the same and turn your efforts online. It may seem a bit daunting to start using social media and online marketing, given the limitless tools and platforms of the Internet. However, your target audience is out there, waiting to learn more about your product or service. The following tips can help you go from zero followers to a thriving community around your brand:
1). Find your Target
In order to build a community around your brand, you’ll need to identify the potential members of your audience. There are a variety of questions that can help you towards this goal. For example, which social media platforms are they likely to frequent? How long do they spend their time online, and what are they most likely to search for? By understanding this target, your chances of building a community is more likely with the right people supporting you.
2). Choose Your Platform
While researching, one tip is to look at the possible platforms that can serve as the foundations for your community. There are a variety of social media platforms to choose from; but instead of spreading your time and energy among all, it may be more effective to use a few. While Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are major channels for reaching your audience, there are also a variety of small, specialized platforms waiting to be found. In addition, there are a variety of platforms that are more suited for niche businesses, such as Pinterest or Quora. Choose wisely, as the right platform can be the deciding factor on the success of your community.
3). Engage Them
How are you connecting to the audience? In order to build a relationship with the community, you’ll need to offer them something of value; an incentive to collect under your banner. For example, if your business offers homemade crafts, offering tutorials on projects can be a great way to engage your audience. Or putting up polls and forums on your website can give visitors a way to connect with you. Potential customers are sensitive towards the idea that you’re simply selling them a product, and look unfavorably upon this practice. Therefore, make sure that you ask questions, offer advice, and generally serve the needs of your audience.
4). Put Someone in Charge
If you mean to take community building seriously, you should give the position the importance it deserves. One way is to hire a social media or community manager, who will be solely responsible for the task of managing your audience. Not only will this person be responsible for defining your marketing objectives, he or she will establish your brand among your audience. This individual will create a unique voice for your business, through social networking, customer outreach, and other connections on a personal level.
5). Constant Maintenance
A community is not going to grow on its own. Instead, you’ll need to practice constant care and diligence to nurture a group into a thriving community. Make sure that your online voices are relevant and address the right questions to the audience. This can take a variety of forms, ranging from blog posts, status updates, forum questions, and so on. In general, you’ll need to keep your audience informed and engaged in order to keep a community growing around your brand.