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Building Community Around Your Brand


We all want more engagement. When we look at analytics for social media specifically, it’s a real bummer when we lose those affirming likes, comments and shares. If it becomes a trend, it’s downright depressing.

We all know social media by its very definition is about engagement. It’s about cultivating a captive audience that actually cares about your product, service or experience.

So, stop thinking in terms of followers as a measure of success and start focusing on building a true community around your brand.

Look, creating a community is a lot of work. It’s an exercise in making an emotional connection on some level and getting people to care about whatever it is your doing. That takes some effort, but with social media being such a critical component of the so-called sales funnel, it pays off.

Stop Selling, Start Talking

Seems counterintuitive, but organic social media is not the place to sell. Save that for your paid efforts. Social media platforms are the place to build trust and we do that with authenticity. So, if your feed is filled with nothing but your product or service and how great they are, you’re doing it wrong. In fact, you should limit your posts about you. If we’re being honest, this isn’t about you. It’s about them.

Be authentic and become a resource. Consider those two pillars of your social media strategy. Create content that helps your community. Educate, inform or entertain with everything you’re putting out there.

Get to know your community and what they are interested in. Join their Facebook groups or LinkedIn forums, follow their hashtags, pay attention to what they say in their comments. This is all indispensable information that will shape the content you’re creating and, just as importantly, how to talk to your audience.

Conversation is the ultimate engagement. A like is all well and good, but really it’s just a stat. Shares are really just a nice compliment (and you should thank the people who do with a like or comment on their repost). But, comments are the truest measure of engagement. Think about it: someone saw your post and “liked” it so much that just tapping the thumbs up or heart or whatever reaction happens to be available wasn’t enough. Congratulations, you’ve made a connection, one that you have to nurture.

So, stop selling and start talking. Rather than giving a passive like to a comment, respond to it. Have a conversation with the people who are vibing with your message. This is important in a couple ways. First, it’s only right you recognize the effort that person put into stopping everything they were doing to talk to you. Second, it’s no secret that social media platforms reward this good behavior. It’s not a one-way street like traditional media where the message only flows outward. It’s social. It’s all about interaction. And places like Meta and LinkedIn want you to do it. Don’t be surprised if the more you interact with followers, the more impressions and higher reach you get on your posts. It’s how this game works. Good social media karma starts with you – first putting out material with some value to your audience, then taking the time to chat with them about what they’re down with or in some cases what they don’t like. Hey, trolls are people too, so don’t ignore negative feedback either. If you’ve built a solid community, someone else will join in to defend you anyway.

Speak Freely

Building your own community means spending time with those of your followers. As mentioned, you can get to know them by following the same accounts and hashtags they do. And you can get involved.

When it’s appropriate, drop a like on a relevant post and leave a comment if it makes sense. Like the comments of others. People notice that sort of thing and just might check you out based on a like or comment. These practices obviously raise awareness of your brand and give a glimpse into what you’re all about. So, in addition to improving your standing with the algorithm, you might pick up some new followers in the process.

Stick to Your Niche

Stay laser-focused on your area of expertise. For example, don’t go sharing a bunch of popular memes in an effort to get attention (unless that’s what your account is all about). As mentioned, you want to be a resource to your followers. Educate, inform, entertain. But, stay in your lane. Be authentic and concentrate on being helpful. Stick to your industry and industry-adjacent topics. For example, if you’re a sports drink company, you’d focus on fitness. If you’re a brewing company, you’d offer content and commentary that appeals to the beer community. If you make tools, talk about home improvement. You wouldn’t talk about running, beverages or drill bits if you were a boutique or restaurant.

So, what do you create? Well, stuff like tips, how-tos, behind-the-scenes, profiles of people successfully using your products and don’t forget to ask questions that encourage comments and start conversation. This works two-fold: 1) you get quality engagement and 2) you may even get social content in the form of a testimonial from your comments. Just a few ideas there and maybe a couple more here to help with your content marketing overall.

So, don’t get down about engagement. Focus on your followers instead of yourself and it’s bound to pay off. Yes, the extra effort is worth it. Above all, enjoy your conversations and connections!

About The Author

A journalist by trade, Shane tells stories that connect brands with target audiences and inspire them to act. He’s a writer, not a copy machine, and that approach brings exceptional content to every print or digital piece he pens.

Shane taps into his past as a reporter and editor to develop clear messages that resonate in every medium, be it blog or brochure, sponsored content or script.

Daily newspapers developed a habit for idea generation, attention to detail and knack for question-asking. His background as a magazine and web editor keeps client communications grammatically sound and effective.

Shane’s word-based deliverables range from long-form features to concise digital copy to persuasive prose. He’s been on both sides of the PR pitch and puts some muscle behind ABC’s media relations.