I spend a ton of time answering questions about social media community, digital marketing, and community growth on Q&A Monday, a weekly live broadcast I host on Facebook and the one question I get asked all the time is: “How can I get more engagement, followers, comments, likes and earn money?”
How To Build An Online Social Media Community?
Once I get past the surface, the real question is different and it goes something like this: “Is there a way to build an engaged community on social media while building the business of my dreams?” Building a social media community is not difficult but you have to take the time to understand who your platforms really serve. If you neglect this, then it is easy to get discouraged and stop posting on social media altogether.
Look, it is easy to feel frustrated but you have to get out of your own way, commit to the work and stop feeling despondent. You see, here’s my core belief. You have to be in this game for the long haul. Everyone starts from the bottom, from ground zero and that’s where you really learn how to build followers, get engagement, and grow a thriving community.
Take lessons from my own example. Even though I teach social media strategy now, I didn’t always have one. I may have 43,000 followers on Facebook now but I started with just one human. Having a clear vision and understanding who you are writing content for is so crucial to your success and so is doing sticky testing. You have to try new things, see what works, and then repeat, tweak or discard and keep the pieces of content that stick with your tribe and reflect what your brand is about. All of this takes time.
Still, my answer to the question I started this post with is always yes. There is a WAY. You can build social media community engagement and get raving fans that share and love what you do on your digital platforms. The first step is to get rid of thinking that you must be everywhere, all at once. Go deep. Not wide. But what does that even mean? Let’s dive into the question I got from Blogger and University Professor, Kathy-Ann Hernandez, during one of my live Q&As.
I feel so blah today. I don’t see not much traction coming from various angles when I post on social media. I know what Judette will say, “keep showing up.” That’s what I am trying to do. What do others do to keep the motivation going? What are your best tips and strategies?
Hey Kathy-Ann, I want you to go deep and not wide. Many times we think that we have to be on every single platform and we have to show up every single day in order to get what we want out of social media but that’s not the case especially when you are now starting.
I know that what you really want is engagement. You want to build a community, you want to stand out and get people to appreciate the value you bring. But the struggle that I have so often with people who are experiencing slow and sluggish feedback is getting them to understand that sometimes they want too much, too soon.
I know what that feels like because I’ve been there.
That’s why my suggestion is simply to get on one platform, understand it, and understand your messaging on it. Try and decipher how you are going to add value to the people who follow you.
Kathy-Ann, I checked out your feeds. You’re a very good blogger so go ahead and write your long-form posts once a week. Share that blog post on Facebook (place the link though in the comment box as Facebook hates driving traffic away from its platform) and make sure that from that one post, you are getting about seven pieces of content that you can share on several different days.
THAT’S DOUBLE WHAMMY SUCCESS.
So from one blog, you can get one week’s worth of social media content especially if you are good with using the right images and producing graphic cards with tools like Canva.
This way your content doesn’t look the same every single day
I want you to do this content mapping consistently for two months. What you are essentially doing is you are building a library of content. Having built something that is specific, that adds value to your perfect people, start tagging people. I don’t care if it’s your family and friends. This simple act alone will allow you to start building momentum and get your engagement rates up. It will help with your confidence and stop that heavy feeling.
Here’s the next step I need you to take. I’m going to encourage you to put $20 on the table, but don’t keep it there. Spend it. Use it to target a specific audience, your ideal customers really, people not related to you by blood, people who don’t know you. By doing all these tactics you’re testing people’s reactions to your content. This is where understanding your dream customer comes in. Are they engaging? Are they sticking around? Are they commenting? Are they sharing your content? Or are they silent?
This is the test case. You will know by their actions if you found your perfect people and if they find value in what you have to say because the engagement will lay the foundation upon which you will take your next steps.
Oh, and don’t forget to engage, to personalize every feedback you get.
Keep repeating this process for 2-3 months on just one platform. Forget spreading yourself too thin, stop watching the competition, and thinking your work is not good enough. So go deep and don’t overextend yourself until you are comfortable and are doing well on the platform of your choice.
1) Connections take time, remember this
2) Build a solid library of content that adds value to your perfect people
3) Share your time, give insights, connect
4) Personalise your responses to your tribe
5) Serve your perfect people well
6) Pick one platform when you’re starting to do all of the above
7) Don’t spread yourself thin
8) Stop comparing yourself to others
9) Take the negative narrative out of your head
Tell Me What You Think Below.