Fostering a Community on Social Media — ASMM Digital Marketing

When it comes to promoting your business on social media, you might be focused on getting as many followers as you can because, hey, more followers mean more customers, right? But it’s important that you remember it’s more important to have a strong relationship with a small number of followers than it is to have a superficial relationship with thousands.

Think about it this way: Would you rather have only 100 followers who each made a purchase or 5,000 followers but with only 25 who made purchases? Obviously, you’d rather have that first option. That’s why it’s important that you foster a community on social media—so that you can focus on getting to know and meeting the needs of each follower you have. Ideally, you’ll build that following of 5,000 with each of them making a purchase.

But how do you actually foster a sense of community so you can get to that point? It’s all about interaction! That isn’t limited to just getting your followers to interact with you—you need to interact back with them. You also want to see them interact with each other, recognizing you and your brand as their common interest. 

The next time you’re brainstorming fresh social media content, focus on ideas that will stimulate this kind of interaction. You could do this by…

Asking Questions: 

You might think that the only type of questions you can ask are related to your business, but you’d be wrong. Sure, it never hurts to do that. If you’re an Italian eatery, you could ask people whether they prefer lasagna or ravioli, or if you’re an event planner, you could ask people whether they prefer an aesthetic that’s traditional or modern. But those kinds of questions can get boring. More importantly, they’re not focused on fostering community.

Instead, ask people questions that get them thinking personally. You could post, “Happy Friday! What plans do you have for the weekend?” Of course, you can tailor the questions to be specific to your business. If you’re that event planner, you could say, “We’ve got lots of weddings and graduation parties coming up this weekend, and we wouldn’t want to spend our Saturdays and Sundays any other way. What do YOU have on your schedule this weekend?”

If you want to put a fun spin on it, you can encourage people to answer with GIFs or emojis.

Soliciting Photos: 

Don’t be afraid to put a call out there for pics of customers who have purchased your products or services—most of them will be happy to share. You can even use these pics as , which we’ve discussed before as being important because it 1) gives you easily acquired material for your page, and 2) makes your followers feel appreciated.

But you’ll notice something even more important happens here: This is where your customers start to interact and bond with each other over their shared love of your brand. Maybe you’re a home renovation company sharing pics that a customer sent of their new kitchen. Suddenly the comments are full of other customers complimenting a stranger on how good the countertop looks or how beautiful the cabinetry is. And just like that, you’re fostering a sense of community around a love of your brand.

As with the questions you’re asking, the pictures you’re asking for don’t always have to be strictly related to your business. Is it Halloween? Ask to see people’s costumes. First day of school? Ask to see pics of their kids waiting at the bus stop. “We love our customers!” you could say if you share their pics. “Check out these amazing Halloween costumes they’ve shared with us.”

Hold a Town Hall: 

These are always fun ways to bring people together. Find a platform that allows you to interact with your followers in real time—if you want to stick with text, Twitter is always a good option, but if you want visuals (which tend to be more effective), you could do an Instagram Live stream.

During a set window of time, encourage your followers to ask you questions. They could tweet at you, send you questions via email, or drop their questions in the comments section of the livestream. Just make sure that you (the business owner and host of the town hall) are clear about your preferred method of submission.

Share the question with everyone who is following along and provide your answer. You might hear some commentary or feedback from others when you give your answer, and that’s a good thing. Let the conversation build from there!

Create a Hashtag: 

Finally, create a hashtag for your brand—something simple and easy to remember. Hashtags are great because they tend to take on a life of their own. Posting content about your brand is no longer something that is just limited to you. Any of your customers can post about what you have going on, and they can like and comment on other customers who are doing the same.

Treat their comments as if they were reviews. Pay close attention to what people are saying so you can use that knowledge to improve your products or services.

Be aware that if there is a problem (such as a dissatisfied customer), a hashtag could get bad very quickly. Pay close attention to what’s being posted with your hashtag so that you can address any concerns as soon as they surface.

By fostering a sense of community, you’ll strengthen the sense of loyalty your customers have to your business while learning a little bit about them in the process—and a better understanding of your customers means you’ll have a better chance to catering to their specific needs.

While fostering a sense of community around your business and its social media presence is rewarding, it can also be a lot of work. The team at Ann’s Social Media and Marketing is here to help you! Reach out today by calling 443-679-4916 or emailing .

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