5 Steps in Building a Successful Social Media Community

5 Steps in Building a Successful Social Media Community

Humans like to find people with the same views and interests. This is because it creates a feeling of belonging, and that’s exactly what a social media community does. Guess what? It also encourages brand loyalty and retention.

While building a community is no easy task, it’s a challenge worth its weight in engagement for your brand. And as you know, more engagement means qualified leads and sales.

If you are wondering how to build a social media community, wonder no more! We have prepared this practical guide to help you create and grow one.

What is a social media community?

A social media community is a group of people who come together to discuss, follow, and share something they are passionate about.

There are different social media communities, including:

  • Brand communities centered around a brand to promote it and drive engagement
  • Support communities that offer support to members facing emotional challenges
  • Interest-based communities where members share ideas about hobbies like fitness, books, music, etc.
  • Professional communities like LinkedIn  or  Facebook groups where members share job information, opportunities, and the latest industry trends, such as remote communication tools, collaboration platforms, and virtual faxing solutions
  • Geographical communities are based on the location of members, such as a neighborhood or city.

Why does building a social media community matter?

silver Android smartphone shows apps that can be used to create social media community
Photographer: Rami Al-zayat | Source: Unsplash

Let's get one thing out of the way first: building a thriving social media community is hard. Now that we have taken the band-aid off, let’s look at why creating a social media community is worth the effort.

  • It increases brand visibility. Brands can boost their visibility on the platform without thinking about the algorithm.
  • It boosts engagement. Since brands can create personalized content for their audiences, this will encourage community members to engage.
  • It can be cost-effective. A successful community can relieve customer service by answering customer questions quickly and smoothly. As a result, organizations can maintain a leaner customer service and support team.
  • It attracts potential customers. If you offer value in your community, you get ambassadors who will give you word-of-mouth advertisements and attract more people to your brand.
  • It helps you gather more insights about your customers. Brands can get valuable feedback by engaging their communities.

These are just some of the main advantages of building a community on social media. Now, let's discuss how you can go about creating yours.

How to build a social media community: 5 practical steps

Know your target audience

Before you create any community, you need to find the people most likely to care. So, instead of creating a Facebook group on a whim, take your time to find your people.

Start by creating customer personas to know where they hang out online. Think about your target demographics: get specific by identifying their age, gender, occupation, and any other relevant information.

The next step is to grow your community. One way to do this is by inviting current customers to follow your account. For instance, Facebook allows you to import your contacts from Yahoo and Outlook.

You can also send out a newsletter to current email subscribers, use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to send out a VoIP SMS from your computer or post on existing social media pages to direct people to the new community hub.

Choose the right social media platform

If you have identified your audience, this should be straightforward. Select the right social media platform to build your community. This is because it defines success or failure.

For instance, use Instagram over Twitter for an audience that prefers visual content, and LinkedIn over TikTok for a business-oriented audience.

Share valuable content

Content is the currency for driving engagement. You need to share or allow other members to share some valuable content with the community. Keep your niche in mind and allow content that aligns with it. Some content ideas for your social media community include:

  • Behind-the-scene content
  • Competitions or giveaways
  • Curated content
  • Company news
  • User-generated content
  • Trending topics.

Engage with your community

Once you have built your community, you need to interact with the people in it. You can't simply create content and not respond to comments, messages, or tags: engagement is a two-way street.

But we get it, you can't reply to every comment. This is why there are social media management tools to automate and simplify the process, much like a dialer system that streamlines phone communication.

Remember, there is no “I” in the community. So don’t just think of your social media pages and groups as a way of promoting your brand, products, and services. Instead, it’s a platform for genuinely helping to solve people’s questions and pain points.

Keeping this in mind will help steer your content and overall strategy. For example, let’s say you operate a risk management platform. Rather than continuously bombarding followers with posts about how great your platform is, consider compiling video tutorials and guides around relevant subjects, such as creating an ESG program or different types of compliance auditing processes.

Maintain consistency

Building a thriving social media community won't happen overnight. It takes dedication and consistency. You must always show up even when things aren't going well. In the early days, your efforts may seem futile, but you must keep going.

Let your brand value reflect your content, visuals, voice, and even your URL. A branded domain name, for example, is easier to share, making it more memorable for your members and helping them share it with others.

Leverage your community to meet business goals

Social media communities boost engagement, but building a thriving one takes time, dedication, and consistency.

You must first identify your target audience to know the people who will likely engage. Then, you can choose the platform and publish content.

But social media community building is more than publishing content. Engagement is a two-way street, and being consistent is also important. You need to post and maintain your brand values with every action.

So, now you know how to build a thriving social media community, what are you waiting for? Start building yours today.