Social media’s role has become distorted with many brands forgetting that social media is there to create a community and a highly engaged following, not to sell, sell sell!
If it’s sales you want, then the only way is to switch on your online advertising, Facebook ads and Google ads.
Social Media is about building community.
Ads create sales.
Both have a role to play in your strategy and neither can be neglected.
Use social media to create an authentic and trustworthy relationship between your brand and your audience. Statistics show that those who interact with brands on social media are more likely to purchase from them.
So social media will result in customers buying from you, eventually.
Creating an online community is the RIGHT way to use social media, as a brand or business, because social media was created for individuals, not brands.
You don’t belong on social media, pushing your hard-sell message.
Social media is FOR humans who are looking for education, entertainment and to engage with other humans in a social way.
Community marketing is the ONLY way for a brand to hop onto this conversation, and add value.
So now is the time to create a trusted community around your brand, no matter how big or small your business might be, by implementing the 5 C’s of community marketing.
1. Community Marketing
Community Marketing focuses on how a brand engages and interacts with its audience, and can create an invaluable community from your audience and customers.
In the video below, Dylan Kohlstadt, Founder and CEO of Shift ONE Digital and the Digital Marketing Academy will take you through next level social media and how building a community is central to your social media strategy.
2. Content Marketing
By creating content that is relevant and impactful (READ: it doesn’t need to cost hundreds of thousands to make!), your brand will establish and maintain its audience. Like minded individuals will want to interact with your brand as well as your products if it is something that resonates within them.
Inarguably, one of the best ways to see whether your community marketing strategy is working or not is whether your brand’s community is creating content FOR you. As soon as your customers and audience start to create content with your products (such as photographs and social media posts tagging your products or brand) your content has been moved from only being made by you to being created by your community. Not only does this increase your brand’s audience, community marketing in this form also establishes trust in your brand – after all, you’re not the one claiming your brand is fantastic- a customer is!
Gone are the days when collaborations between other brands and influencers are deemed as a low priority. Community marketing is all about engagement- your audience wants you to engage with them in addition to engaging with other brands and influencers. People are searching for connections on social media and seeing collaborations between brands gives them that on top of a different angle or interpretation of your brand’s product or service.
Find the influencers who speak to your audience, find the voices that your customers are listening to, and collaborate with them to create content that is meaningful, helpful, interesting and that takes your brand, the influencer’s brand and the audience to a new level.
Another important aspect in creating a community around your brand is conversations. Dylan Kohlstadt discusses what conversations you need to have and how to have them in order to reach and interact with your audience in an emotive way.
As you will learn, community marketing is all about using social media to interact with the community that your brand helps to build. Interacting genuinely with your audience and holding relevant conversations is vital to creating relationships with your followers.
Make sure that you reply to comments, at a minimum, this isn’t a one-sided monologue!
Although many businesses might focus on the bottom line, it is important to remember that the goal of social media and community marketing is to build a community. Building a community on social media is your brand’s prerogative.
Conversions will follow, and when they do, they will match the level of your brand’s content, collaborations and conversations with its community.
When brands don’t get the results they are looking for, it is usually because they are doing it wrong: either they have selected the wrong goal, or the wrong tool for marketing to their audience.
Unlike in other forms of marketing, social media marketing doesn’t work on the basis of ‘spend more to earn more’. Your brand’s social media and social media strategy should solely lean towards building a community and establishing a relationship between your brand and your audience so that they want to buy your products or pay for your services.
For a more in-depth analysis on taking your brand’s social media to the next level, click on the video below.
Dylan Kohlstadt is available for a 1:1 training or consulting session with you or your team.
With over 25 years of experience in marketing and digital marketing, Dylan Kohlstadt shares essential information on the importance of community marketing and discusses how community-based social media can create and have a positive impact on communities.