“If you build it, they will come.”
This line was made famous by the movie A Field of Dreams. While we're not building a baseball field like Kevin Costner — the quote still applies as we are trying to build an online community.
This is a huge part of the success of your business, blog, website, etc. Your online community can help to build your online presence by promoting, supporting, and engaging with you.
So how exactly do you build a massive online community?
Whether you have 100 or 1,000 followers, engaging is important. Get to know your audience — respond to their comments, concerns, compliments, and complaints.
Social media is called social media for a reason. Build an authentic relationship with people. Have a conversation with them.
They want to know that you’re paying attention to them and that you care about what they’re saying.
Consistency is key. There are a couple of ways that you need to be consistent — in your messages and in your posting.
First, the messages that you're sending about your brand need to be consistent. You can't have your marketing team sending one message about the ideals and values of your brand and your social media team sending another.
In fact, traditional marketing activities could damage the authenticity of the company if the message presented does not align with the every day activities of the company.
Next, you need to be consistent in how often you post. Posting consistently is important in order to engage and reach your audience.
You shouldn't be just posting any old content either — you need to be posting the content that your audience expects and loves, otherwise you'll lose a lot of engagement.
Show Your True Colors
The audience wants to know exactly who you are and what you're about. Authentic brands include successes and failures in the story of their brand.
While it might seem absurd, sharing stories of failures often reinforces consumer's perceptions of a company's strengths. Being open with challenges and failures displays a high degree of transparency.
Being transparent in both good times and bad can provide strong reassurance to a company's customers regarding the brand's commitment to quality and service.
Transparency with respect to a company's struggles suggests to consumers that this brand will be honest in all things and will not attempt to hide its challenges or struggles from its customers but will meet them head on.
Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help
You're thinking it's rude to ask a Twitter follower to retweet you or for a Facebook fan to share your post — it's not.
You need to get over this fear. If they're a follower or a fan, they're probably just that for a reason — they like you. If they like you, they're not going to be mad if you ask them for a favor.
They'll probably like, share, retweet, and repin on their own (if you're providing great content), but giving them a little nudge once in a while won't hurt!
I've said this before and I'll say it again — have fun with it. Most people are on social media to be entertained. Bombarding them with facts about your business and shoving products in their face day after day will get old — fast.
Show them that not only are you a great company, but that you know how to have a good time, too. Everybody wants to have a good time.
What other ways have you used to build a massive online community? Comment below!