Embrace Your Online Community

Why is establishing an online community so important for your brand?
This is an interesting subject to discuss, as many people have more or less gotten away from the idea that social media is actually meant to be "social."
Imagine this:
Man walks into a bar. Bartender says "Hey, Jeff! The usual today?" Man (apparently Jeff) says "Yep! Thanks, Erik!" *Erik smoothly slides a craft amber ale down the bar to Jeff*
I know, I know…you’re thinking of that nostalgic old sitcom, aren’t you? Yep. You are….
But don’t you have that place that you go to, where you’re known when you walk in the door? Maybe you even have your "own seat" and you know the other regulars around you that come in about the same time you do every week! (and maybe it’s a store that you shop in every other week…or your nail salon…)
Wherever it is, THIS is a community. There is a common topic, there is an understanding and a predictability to it. Imagine if you transfer this same idea over to your social channels!
Girl logs onto Facebook and sees a post by her hair salon. Girl (I’m going to call her Amanda) instantly relates to the post because it’s a how-to video on getting that "beachy wave" for your hair. Amanda is thankful for the guidance and expresses her gratitude by commenting on the post, thus adding credibility to this post in the eyes of Facebook. Also, Amanda realizes that she’s overdue for a hair trim, so she proceeds to click the "Call Now" button on the page to book an appointment with her stylist, Ali.
Waaaait…what just happened? Is that a super-instant ROI? Wow. And from a simple how-to video (produced on a smartphone)…isn’t that amazing?
Oh yes, and it can happen to you too.
Create value for your fans. Be a resource and remember their names and preferences. I say this time and time again, but it’s the truth: social media is your digital front-line. It’s about as customer-facing as you can possibly get.
Interact with your fans when they comment on your page. Interact with your fans on Twitter and Instagram. Comment on their posts, share in their experiences. Become a part of their community, and in turn, they will help to develop yours.
After all, isn’t the point of being on social media in the first place to actually be social?
Do you know that the more often that true fans interact with your social accounts, that the higher (and more frequently) you’ll show up in their feeds? It’s true! Most social platforms (minus Snapchat) work off of algorithms. When posts are getting higher engagement rates, social platforms view them as "helpful" or "popular" and they have a higher likelihood of showing up organically for your followers.
Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to boost EVERY SINGLE Facebook post because your fans naturally love you so much that they keep your page alive?!
That’s an intense thought. And this is why developing a strong online community is so important to your brand. Stay genuine, bring value, and authentically interact with them.
Need more tips? Leave a comment and I’d be happy to meet up with you!
Thanks for reading!

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