If you run an online business, you’ve certainly heard how important it is to have social media profiles. With their help, you can build an engaged group of recipients. But how to create such a community in a way that supports SEO and your company?
Facebook and Instagram are some of the most popular platforms for sharing brand information and taking an active part in discussions, replying to comments, or private messages.
Usually, these social media portals are a recipe to build an engaged community. However, to do it properly, you need an appropriate strategy.
Advantages Of Building An Online Community
A strategic approach to building your online community revolves around the set goal. All activities should be well thought out and analyzed. At subsequent stages, it’s crucial to draw conclusions from this analysis to determine the direction you should follow.
Deliberate activities will help you succeed and attract brand followers that will actively participate in the life of your company.
Improving your brand recognition and awareness will allow you to optimally reach a wide range of recipients and attract potential customers.
An engaged community marks its presence with comments, reviews, likes or shares. Thanks to it, subsequent visitors to your website will see genuine product or service reviews which will encourage them to benefit from your offer.
To sum up…
The list of advantages of building an engaged online community includes:
Possibility to advertise and sell products or services.
Improved brand credibility and recognition.
Improved customer loyalty.
Possibility to generate sales leads.
Possibility to develop your business.
Possibility to support SEO activities.
Engaged Community vs. SEO
Although you may not associate the process of building an engaged brand community with SEO, it’s worth noticing that social media activity can support this process.
Social media platforms are used to share all kinds of data and information. If a given page, image or post appeals to your taste, you’ll probably link it and share it with other users. This is how an engaged community affects SEO in an indirect way. People send links, visit linked websites, thus creating traffic that can convert and generate leads.
Moreover, an engaged community will share experiences with other users and this kind of word-of-mouth marketing can support your SEO.
How To Build An Engaged Online Community?
Apart from determining the goal you want to achieve, the process of building an engaged community should focus on needs and expectations of you and recipients. Think about the types of content your audience wants to see.
There are numerous ways to engage your recipients, however, you should start with getting to know them in order to determine the finest channel and method of communication. People interested in products for children will require different messages than users following a profile of a legal counsel. The content should be tailored to your user personas.
Every year, the world of social media is enriched with new functionalities that can be used in your online activities. Recently, it was Reels (15-second videos with music), created as a response to TikTok - Instagram got inspired by this popular format and decided to offer similar functionality.
It’s worth following social media trends and taking relevant steps. Thanks to it, your brand will grow and attract the attention of a wide range of recipients. If you consider SEO when conducting your social media activities and write posts with relevant keywords, you can reach even more potential recipients.
Remember that content is as important as images. Quality graphics attract attention and quality texts help to keep users on your profile or website for longer.
A strategic approach to building an online community assumes that all your posts are thoughtful, valuable and meet your audience's expectations. The same applies to running a blog - if you want to write an entry that appeals to users, publish a short sneak peek on your social media and provide a link to your website on e.g. InstaStories. It’s another example showing how you can support SEO activities - create redirects that reach even more recipients.
Below you can see a few tips that will tell you how to build an engaged community with the help of content.
Accessibility - don’t build a wall around yourself. Entrepreneurs who try to become friends with their recipients evoke much greater interest and engagement. Genuineness is the king! Show off your strengths and weaknesses. The tone of your messages plays a key role.
Source of inspiration - show how to use your products, share tips, and be a trendsetter. Take advantage of creative graphics, mood boards, or short videos with background music.
Consistency - if you choose to follow a given pattern (e.g. publishing every other day), be consistent.
Answers and solutions - take action if you see that your recipients have any problems.
Interaction - reply to all messages, even the negative ones. Address problems and don’t try to pretend that they don’t exist.
Moderation - nobody is fond of spam. Find a happy medium and publish new posts when your recipients are active.
Keep in mind that not all of the abovementioned tips will work well in every industry.
Don’t do this!
If you want to reach a wide range of recipients, tailor your offer to the brand followers. There are things you should avoid to keep your social media activities in order.
What to beware of when building an online community?
Chaotic, unorganized posts - lack of strategy and consistency will make your website and social media profiles chaotic.
Business ads on private profiles - work-life balance is really important. When it comes to promoting your business activity, you should focus on your company profile - it’s an ideal platform for sharing industry news (you can also provide some information on your private profile from time to time). Remember that your friends aren’t necessarily potential customers.
Bought followers - it’s not a recipe to build an engaged community. Although buying followers is quick and simple, such recipients won’t generate sales. Moreover, they can discourage real customers.
Ignored fans - don’t underestimate the expectations of your audience, their reviews, questions, and needs. Show people that they’re an integral and important part of your brand.
Not every entrepreneur has to be a specialist in marketing activities and it’s perfectly normal. Sometimes, it’s better not to take any steps on your own. Instead, benefit from services offered by a professional marketing agency. The cooperation between the agency and the business owner or person responsible for social media activities may be a key to success. This can help you achieve long-term results and build an engaged online community.
Ways To Build An Engaged Online Community - The Takeaway
There are no magical activities that will bring results overnight. Be patient and consistent. Every content creator knows that it’s a hard and continuous process. When building an engaged online community, focus on the recipients, not only on sales. Keep in mind your values and set goals.
SEO specialist, with Delante since March 2021, she is a management graduate from the University of Gdansk and Jagiellonian University. Likes new challenges and developing projects that require creativity. She combines her work in SEO with her interests in social media. Privately, she enjoys traveling and sports activities. After work, she trains in spinning and tabata.
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