In today’s digital world, it is easier than ever to connect to more customers and grow your social community around your unique business identity. By taking advantage of Social Media’s essentially free networking facilities, you have the ability to help more people find you faster and take advantage of the products and services you provide. What a time to be alive!
But the world of social media gets bigger every day, making our world feel that much smaller. Billions of people post on hundreds of social media platforms, and who knows how many blog posts are published daily… It’s a great big world of ideas, imagery, and content.
So where do you fit in? It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by all the different platforms and social trends that emerge daily, but social engagement is a crucial part of running a successful business. Since the start of my entrepreneurial journey, I have compiled my top 4 tips on how to build your creative community.
1. One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Not all networks are perfect for every business.
It’s no secret that social media is an invaluable tool for today’s contemporary business. Over 80% of Americans are actively engaged in some form of social networking. With over 30 million Facebook users in the United States alone, it’s unarguably one of the most crucial networks to market your business on. But not all social platforms are perfect for every business.
We only have so many hours in our day to get everything we need done when running our own business. That doesn’t leave much room to waste time trying to be everywhere at once. Study each platform, look for social trends, and search for where your target community engages the most. We need to go to them. Seek them out through shared interests, and common communities. We can’t afford to wait around for them to engage us, so let’s seek them out and start the conversation.
2. Quality over Quantity
Numbers are useless if there is no engagement.
It’s not about how many fans or followers you can get, but about how much engagement you are getting from the followers you do have. Even if you had 10,000 followers, if none of them know who you are or what you stand for, then the numbers mean absolutely nothing. I’d rather have a few great friends who truly care about me than a million friends who could care less.
It’s all about providing people with something they can connect with.
Through engagement of even the smallest number of followers, your potential of gaining more followers grows exponentially. It’s all about providing people with something they can connect about.
3. Part of Making a Friend Is Being a Friend
Invest in your community.
Understand how our community gets social. What get’s them talking? But once we get them talking, we can’t just stop there! Building routine diligence in viewing our online account notifications will help us connect to our customers on a more consistent and personal level. As they reach out to us across our social networks, it’s crucial to understand how, where, and when to respond.
Don’t just do social. BE social.
Define a set of Social Media best practices to apply as you reach out to your followers across the different platforms. As customers engage with the content we share, how we respond makes all the difference and provides that personal touch our followers will identify us by. Don’t just do social. BE social.
4. Become a People Person
Listen and respond to your community.
Let me throw some crazy acronyms at you for a second. Businesses are continuously discussing B2B Business (Business to Business), or B2C Business (Business to Consumer). But today there are two more types of businesses that often get forgotten; C2B Business (Consumer to Business) and most importantly C2C Business (Consumer to Consumer).
With the advances of technology and social networking, consumers or customers or even better, PEOPLE, have the ability to reach out to Businesses personally like never before. There’s all this attention on what we, the Business, have to say to our customers, but what’s just as important, if not more, is what they have to say back. What is their response? Did they understand us? How do they feel about us?
Growing a strong creative community is all about building trust with our followers. And building trust takes time, patience, and diligence.
The next most powerful business style is Consumer to Consumer, or even more specific, Customer to Customer; Social Networking. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+… people talk and seek out the opinions of others as a source of justification or assurance of the quality of any given product or service. We as business owners need to listen and respond honestly and openly with our customers. They are our advocates. They are the greatest marketing gift we could ever wish for. Their loyalty will make and keep us successful.
Growing a strong creative community is all about building trust with our followers. And building trust takes time, patience, and diligence. Sorry, there’s no magic app for this one. But as long as we are honestly and actively invested in the communities we engage with, our energy will be contagious, and our creative community will grow.