Guest Post: How to Use Social Media to Turn Followers into Your Community
“You can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them.” – Pam Moore
The shift from traditional to digital marketing has increased the popularity of social media as a marketing avenue. It is an undeniable fact that social media has become a central part of communication and relationship building with customers. Do you know why? It’s due to the rapid growth in social media usage worldwide.
According to a study by Emarsys 2019, there are around 3.5 billion social media users across the world.
The stats show why marketers are focusing their marketing efforts towards social media platforms for community building, and maximizing their ROI:
- According to an investigation by Global Web Index, 54 percent of social browsers use social media to research products.
- Research by PWC showed that social media networks are the leading source of inspiration for purchases, as 37 percent of consumers find purchase inspiration through the channel.
- A survey conducted by Ambassador revealed that 71 percent of consumers who have a history of a good social media service experience with a brand, are more likely to recommend it to others.
Social media marketing is very effective as it helps your brand establish credible relationships with your target audience. However, there is an ever-increasing competition for attention and many businesses fail to make an impact. Without the right approach, they are unable to turn their social media followers into a community.
Are you looking into building a community of people who are passionate about your brand? If you said ‘Yes’, then here are 7 actionable tips that can help build an engaged community on social media.
Tip #1 Choose the Right Channels
The growing popularity of social media has led to the introduction of many different social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. It is no secret that every social media channel functions differently and caters to a different type of audience.
So, in order to build a loyal community on social media, the first step is to understand the behavior and characteristics of your target audience and choose the social media platforms accordingly.
Kepios analysis shows that Facebook is the world’s most used social platform. Hence, if you are planning to target masses for community building, Facebook should be your go-to choice. Not sure how to create community and interaction on FB group? Here are the top 3 tricks that can help build a loyal community on Facebook:
- Invite your page followers into a focused Facebook group, and share exclusive content with them.
- Engage your audience by leveraging Facebook live sessions.
- Run paid ads to attract more followers.
If you are a startup and you’re looking to ace your social media efforts, choosing the right platform is one of the most essential elements.
Tip #2 Share Informative Content
Mattew Goulart, the founder of Ignite Digital said, ‘Social media is all about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people, and so the people will provide you.’ Effective content doesn’t just help boost your customer base, but also aids in retaining clients in the form of a social media community.
To capitalize on social media for community building, you need to create and share content that hits your customers’ pain points, and answers their whys and hows.
There are likely plenty of companies out there that are promoting products and offers like yours through social media. To stand out and make an impact among the target audience, you need to excel in the art of storytelling. This allows your prospects to connect with you on a deeper level, thus ensuring long-term relationships.
Look at how Airbnb masters this art that makes followers picture themselves in enticing locations, developing within them a strong desire to travel.
Tip #3 Leverage the Power of Visuals
A study by Forrester indicated that 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Also, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster relative to textual content.
This explains why visuals should be a key component of your social media posts. If you’re looking to keep your audience engaged, you need to use captivating images, videos, and gifs to put your message across on social media.
Tip #4 Host Interactive Social Media Contests
Research revealed that social media contests have a 34 percent conversion rate, which is higher than other content types. Running a social media contest is a reliable way of boosting your audience engagement and converting your followers into a passionate community.
Besides this, when a contest is run effectively, it delivers long-lasting results. This is because contestants tend to tell their friends and family about it and your brand, thus growing your community even further.
If you’re looking to build a strong community through your social media channels, you should plan for running an interactive contest right away. Look at how Eggo hosted a contest for people to submit their recipes, and the followers were asked to vote for their favorite:
Tip #5 Collaborate with Industry Influencers
Digital Marketing Institute conducted a study which showed that 49 percent of consumers depend on influencer recommendations. According to Forbes, influencer marketing is growing faster than digital ads.
One of the prime reasons for the growing popularity of influencer marketing is that your audiences’ decisions depend on their favorite influencers due to the trust-based relationship between them. So, if you’re struggling to gain followers on social media, influencer marketing can accelerate your marketing efforts. Below are a few pieces of advice to help you choose the right influencer for your brand:
- Select an influencer that compliments your brand image.
- Make sure your influencers’ followers match your prospects’ behavioral attributes.
- Run a test campaign with the influencer and monitor results before investing all your resources.
Lyft used the image of indie country artist Maggie Baugh with a Lyft scooter to engage her base into buying their products.
Tip #6 Be Proactive
As they say, great social media service is proactive, and not reactive. Wondering what does being proactive on social media mean? Being proactive means letting your followers know what’s going on and responding to their queries and concerns on a regular basis.
Instead of formally sharing press releases, you can be proactive and connect with your audience by informing your prospects about your upcoming product launches or events via social media. Moreover, you can help customers get to know the C-level executives of the company and their personal stories to build deeper long-term relationships.
Tip #7 Use a Social Media Management Tool
It is important to note that community building is not a one-day thing, it requires a lot of patience and hard work. Regular posting, replying to hundreds of messages, and thousands of comments can be a time-intensive task.
Therefore, if you’re struggling to stay on top of your social media marketing and management tasks, consider employing an end-to-end social media management tool. There are many tools available in the market that can help simplify your social media marketing efforts, and improve community management significantly.
Let Passion Drive Your Social Media Community
The key takeaway is that social media provides you with a great opportunity to build a loyal community. However, don’t forget community building is all about establishing a connection with the target audience, and shouldn’t be treated as a tedious task. You should do it out of love, as a chance to know your prospects better.
So, for now, try out the above-mentioned tips and figure out what works for the audience that you’re trying to reach.