4 Tips On How To Build Your Creative Community

By February 17, 2015 December 28th, 2016 Business, Social Media

Social media is pretty amazing when you think about it… 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. Seriously incredible!

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.

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 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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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 business 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?

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.

Do you have any other social media best practices you use to build your creative community?Anything special resources I can add to my little list here? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Sincerely,

Julie & Steve signature.
Photo Credit: © Dollar Photo Club
Julie Harris

About Julie Harris

Julie Harris is the founder and lead designer of Whiskey & Red. Based out of Woodland Park, Colorado, Whiskey & Red specializes in small business branding and WordPress website design. They collaborate with small business owners, at all levels of industry, helping them translate their offline business into an online digital experience.

13 Comments

  • marianne says:

    All great points Julie! It’s so hard sometimes to keep up with communities but it’s so so important that it has to be a priority. Look at me socializing from vacation hahaha 😉

    • I completely agree, Marianne. Making a it priority to get out there and get social. Even if it’s less than convenient. We are in business to help other people and the only way we’ll know what they need or if were actually helping them is to ask them. A.K.A GET SOCIAL!:)

      You are the best! Thank you so much for popping in even through you’re on vacation! I hope you’re having a great time.

  • Keizra says:

    “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.”

    Julie – so spot on! Building trust definitely takes a lot of time and patience and the diligence to create the value that your followers are after. As I’ve shifted gears from being just a blogger to being a business owner, I’ve realized that even more than I had before! And it’s so funny that if you studied this in school, the only real way to prepare or understand how to implement it into your business and brand is through action. Theory is great, but it can only go so far. But action on the other hand, even if it’s just trying a new way to layout your content and then asking for feedback on that layout, can get you far.

    • So well said, Keizra. You always have the best way to articulate things. I so agree, actions speak louder than words. Trust is by far the most valuable thing your community can give you. People like to know that they are valued and by reaching out for their feedback, you show them that you value and trust them in return.

      I am so excited for your big site rebrand. You are such an inspiring woman and I can’t wait to see where your transition from blogger to full out boss lady takes you!

  • Great tips Julie! Just stopping in to say hi it’s been awhile. I’ve been reading your posts on G+

  • Riette says:

    Thank you so much for this post Julie. Really sound advice for someone starting out and feeling a little overwhelmed by it all.

    • Thank you so much, Riette! I’m so happy you found some of my suggestions useful. Engaging online is a lot harder than it looks. It’s so much more than just liking photos and tweeting your thoughts. There’s a whole psychology that goes into it. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. I have a special guest I’ll be featuring this Saturday, February 28th for my special Small Business Saturday column and she’ll be sharing her experience as a entrepreneur learning how to be social online. It’s going to be a really great feature. Stay tuned!

  • Theresa says:

    Great post! Reminds me of The Small Army Strategy, a great book by Srinivas Rao. Quick question, when you say “a set of Social Media best practices to apply as you reach out to your followers”, do you mean a guide outlining the voice and tone of your brand, essentially? Just curious how it differs from a main social media strategy guide! Always looking for new ideas!

    Thanks for such useful content,

    Theresa

    • Thank you Theresa! I’ve never heard of “The Small Army Strategy” but I’ll definitely check it out. I love a good book recommendation. Yes, that is what I meant, but the difference being a long term strategy that is less reliant on specific promotions and more focused on overall socializing guidelines ex: what types of content you’ll share, the styling of your content, how you’ll address your followers, but also how you will maintain your engagement. Ex: how you’ll handle conflicts, how quickly you’ll respond to comments, tagging rules, emoticons, language (terminology), how you’ll address people…. I look at a social media strategy guide as more of an editorial post strategy – when, where, and what I’ll share and what the goals for sharing that content is. But Brand Guidelines involve more of the personal touches you add to your social engagement. I hope that clarifies it for you 🙂 Thank you so much for asking. If you have more questions on this, don’t hesitate to reach out.

  • Richa Sharma says:

    Hi Julie,

    I am writing to you from India & my name is Richa.
    Just today read your extremely informative article.
    I am really impressed the way you gave all the necessary information without bragging about it…..Spot On.
    I have nothing to add on. Just thought to connect with you.

    Like you said Be Social……

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