Community engagement matters, social media is about people and I truly believe relationships are the difference between being invisible and making your mark.
Community engagement will allow you to:
- Connect on a personal level
- Humanise your brand
- Build trust
- Nurture relationships
- Grow your brand
- Build your tribe
- Increase SEO
- Attract the right leads to your business
People don’t visit Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram to be sold too. People use social media to be inspired, educated and entertained, to learn and to connect and have conversations with their friends and brands they love. You can promote, market and sell on social media; however, this is not the essence of what it’s all about. If you purely focus on buying and selling then you’ll miss out on the personal connection and relationships. At its core, social media is about people, connection, contribution, participation and relationships.
To build, activate and transform a community you must create a solid foundation from which to grow.
Here are 4 things you need to increase community engagement on social media.
Social media strategy
A social media strategy is your roadmap to success. If you want to be noticed online, a strategy is essential it’s definitely not an option. A strategy will allow you to better understand your community, help you manage your resources and drive your business outcomes. When you know and understand your community you can deliver extraordinary value and if you deliver extraordinary value, you’ll be noticed online, people will engage with you and you will build long-lasting relationships that support your business.
Tip: To deliver better business outcomes a strategy that’s aligned with your business goals is essential. Your strategy which will include things like your purpose, your target audience, goals and objectives, brand story and how you’re doing to measure and evaluate your social media activity.
There is so much noise online today. You only have to look at your Facebook Newsfeed to see the endless number of posts being published every minute. As more and more people and brands come online and publish content, it’s more important than ever to stand up and be noticed. A content plan will allow you to create structure and manage your content planning, creation and publishing process. It will identify the types of content you’re going to use to share your story and highlight when you’re going to post, tweet or share that content. A content plan will focus on the content you’re going to use to engage your audience, share your story and achieve your goals.
Tip: A content plan is not a social media strategy.
Issues management and internal communications plan
People are quick to post on social media if they’ve had a bad or a negative experience. We’ve all seen examples of this particularly on Facebook. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small-scale issue or something much larger; issues scale fast online so it’s important to be prepared and to manage issues in the best possible way because if you manage them incorrectly you run the risk of damaging your brand and your reputation.
Acting fast, communicating openly and authentically is essential and it’s important to be present. Don’t delete a negative comment because you don’t want to deal with it. You must be present and have a plan in place that will help you navigate and respond to the issue and most importantly communicate in the best possible way. You can’t hide.
Tip: Don’t think this will never happen to you because it can happen to any of us. The key here is to be prepared and to have a plan in place BEFORE an issue arises.
Community engagement plan
Personal connection and community engagement will allow you to build trust and deep connections with members of your community. It’s easy to spend hours upon hours on social media engaging which is why it’s essential to have an engagement plan in place that’s strategic and aligned with your business goals. This will streamline the process for you and save time. A community engagement plan will serve as your guide and help you build a tribe of amazing people that love and support your brand and tell others about your brand too.
May I ask you something?
How do you want your community to feel? Do you want them to feel inspired, empowered, engagement supported, cared for and nurtured? How do you want your community to feel after they’ve experienced your brand online?
Tip: Your community engagement plan must take these questions into account.
Today, I encourage you to:
- Make a commitment to show up on social media
- Be proactive
- Personally connect
- Focus on building relationships
- Create your foundation for success
How will you increase community engagement on social media?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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Annette McDonald is a print, design, brand and advertising expert. She is an innovator who has changed the way the
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