With the proliferation of social media content, it is not easy job to build social community around your business; moreover, brands can no longer just be visible.
To take advantage of these platforms and create a loyal and engaged community, it is essential to build social community around your business.
Qualitative content, conveying the values of the brand, will give rise to actions with strong added value: sharing of positive experiences, recommendations, making purchases. But how to stand out and capture the attention of over-solicited users?
1. Still Content is King
The first step in building social community goes through the content and the information conveyed. A community and content manager must analyze the ecosystem of the brand he/she drives. To attract and engage a community, you have to ask yourself what is relevant and what really interests them: what are their motivations? Their issues? Their passions? This analysis will allow the brand to produce quality content in line with the expectations of its customers, fans and prospects.
For example, in the field of pet food, sharing an exclusive “PetsEgypt” content (photos of cute pets) will not generate quality engagement. To capture your audience, you have to bring real added value with original, creative and intelligent content.
2. The Visual Message
The content quality helps building social community by attracting the interested visitors, but also does the form. To capture the attention of visitors who aggressively scroll through their news feed, a post must be accompanied by a captivating visual. This is a technique called “Picture Marketing”. Popular with companies to optimize their engagement, this trend places a special emphasis on image.
According to our business experience at ExpandCart:
- A post with an image generates twice as many likes.
- A message containing an image has 94% more views.
- The brain processes images thousands folds faster than text.
- 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.
To accompany a publication, there are different formats of illustrations: photography, video, computer graphics, gif …etc.
However, the presence of a visual is not an end in itself. It must be catchy, relevant and in line with the message and the target. Finally, it is important to optimize the visual format on each platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…etc.) There are many tools for creating polished, social media-optimized visuals: Canva, Facebook Canva, and the Creative Hub.
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3. Start the Conversation
Building community through social media is just the beginning, your need to generate engagement. Companies strive to give voice to their audience through interrogative content: survey, riddle, open question…etc.
This type of publication allows structures to develop dialogues, promote their community and know more.
For example, it is a profitable strategy to share an article revealing an observable growth of animal abandonment in the summer of 2018, reaching out to your community and asking them who has already adopted an animal.
This interrogative wording will give the post twice as much interaction.
Fans will be able to react to the article or/and proudly share their experience.
4. Timing Matters
With 4,100 statuses published every second, according to the ESV Digital agency, being seen by your audience becomes a real challenge. A post can be captivating and engaging, however if it is broadcast in an off-peak period (at night) it will generate little or no interaction. From this perspective, you need to know the connection habits of your audience. For example, between two meetings, a user will tend to be less available than during the duration of their public transport journey.
It’s all about timing. Some studies recommend ideal times (time and day) for posting on social media. These ideal publication times are highly competitive and vary according to audiences. To find the best publishing niches for its page, there are many social community management tools.
Facebook offers the Facebook Insights tool. This service contains a “statistics” space which illustrates the rate of user visits per hour and per day. On other platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, this data is available through social media tools like Linkfluence’s Radarly, analyzing the best posts by reach and engagement rate. Finally, dialogue calls for dialogue. In order for the Community Manager to be able to engage in conversation, it is recommended that you prioritize publications during their hours of presence. There are many tools to help the community manager to plan his content and be present at the same time as his audience.
For example, these social community management tools: Hootsuite, Agorapulse or Buffer, for the most part, also make it possible to manage interactions with the community.
Building a community on social media is a first step, to stimulate this social community and maximize engagement, contests are powerful levers, and brands have understood this well.
These interactive and participatory contents develop visibility and give rise to numerous interactions.
The themes and methods of engagement of the games must be innovative, to take full advantage of it and build an evolving commitment.
Brands can no longer be satisfied with asking users to like the publication, it is necessary to develop qualitative and personal exchanges.
6. User Generated Content
Creating a dedicated hashtag for the brand will encourage its fans and customers to mention it on social media.
To generate more interactions, it is recommended to focus on short hashtags that are easy to remember. This strategy is called User Generated Content (UGC), which represents all content posted by users about a business.
There are many UGC types like Internet forums, blogs, wikis and many others. Often the UGC is registered in platforms such as social networks (like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter for example) where users interact through chat, writing messages, posting images or links and sharing content.
Some forms of UGC can be considered as a form of citizen journalism.
7. Spread Your Passion among Your Community
Your passion is the fuel of your life. But if you want to create an active social media forum, you should also create the passion for your community. The coolest way to achieve this is through user-generated content.
The content that the user creates is when your clients create content for you. They may thus turn into micro-influencers and brand advocates. Share photos and videos of your clients using your products, it is a brilliant way to build an interactive social community and “organic reach.” In respect to social proof, there’s nothing really better. In addition, it’s so thrilling and entertaining for your followers.
8. Public, Private or Secret Facebook Group
A Facebook group is a virtual space that brings together members of common interests. Facebook offers three group (or social community) models:
- Public groups (open to anyone)
- Private groups (accessible with administrator permission)
- Secret groups (accessible only through an invitation from a member.)
Faced with the demands of personalization and exclusivity from Internet users, these groups have become a powerful lever in the animation of social networks. These dedicated discussion spaces develop in the eyes of Internet users a feeling of exclusivity. Members express their opinions more, which gives rise to intimate and enriching dialogues. Vectors of a more personal commitment, these groups are major assets for brands.
During Facebook’s annual F8 conference, which is usually held on April 30 – May 01, the administration announced that these groups are being featured on Facebook’s discover tab. Each group will look different depending on its topic. However, it is obvious that when a company creates a group, it must be related to the activity and the values of the brand.
For example, the Egypt And Africa Travel group on Facebook. This intimate space brings together thousands of individuals passionate about travel to Egypt and Africa discuss their stories.
9. Share Your Story
Few people actually care about your brand. But by applying the art of giving, you will get them to care more about you. In addition, by sharing your tale, you can make them care about you.
Therefore, when it comes to building social community, one thing should be addressed is the need to motivate the emotional correlation with your social community members. If you can do that, you are about to have a regiment of loyal followers. To confirm that you are not merely another company from which people buy their goods, you have to prove what distinguishes you.
Meaning, what is your story? It’s your narrative that creates an emotional tie with your viewers. It’s the way they see the reflection of your values in them.
10. Significance of Live Broadcast
In a context of building social community, where users are looking for authenticity and transparency from brands, live content is favored. These live videos provide businesses with immediate appeal and allow them to become more human while uniting their community.
Our experience in ExpandCart, tells us that visitors are 10 times more likely to comment on a video than other media, and almost 80% of companies consider live video as an authentic way to connect to the public. In addition, due to its exclusive look, the live is not limited to a classic engagement (like, comment and share).
It truly involves communities and turns spectators into actors.
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You can build a social community that interacts with your business. Engagement comes through the format of the content and the message it conveys.
To capture the interest of your social community members and optimize interactions, there is no magic formula.
Companies must prioritize quality over quantity and focus on the expectations of their audience.
A strategy called “slow communication”, which encourages brands to slow down their communication in order to focus on creative, original and questioning content that will transform communication into conversation.