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Use Social Media to Build Customers into a Community

What do you think of when you consider how to pursue the best social media advertising?  Before you say “grow your sales”, contemplate a couple of questions. 

  • What if you could transition a large portion of your customers into a community that is dedicated to your brand? 
  • What if you could use social media to not only sell your products and services but to build a merry band of dedicated customers who are loyal and vocal supporters of your business, share their love for you with their friends and buy your products regularly? 

It sounds utopian, and in the real world it will demand a lot of dedication, creativity and hard work, but it is buildable. In fact with a positive attitude, a clear vision and with the right mindset and right intentions, it is possible to build your social media platforms into a community where your customers gather to share their brand experience with one another.

Let’s see if we can guide your business’s future towards building an engaged community through looking at specific actions you can take through several types of social media marketing.

1-Listen, Listen, Listen

Good, clear communication is the foundation of any successful community. Your first step to building a community through social media is to commit to listening to your customers. This will first mean that you need to provide a lot of channels for communication with you and between each other. And then secondly it will mean taking the time and committing to the resources to really listen to those channels of conversation. You will need to grow your social media advertising effectiveness by expanding your social media presence and making sure you are reaching out to your community in all of their preferred channels. The best social media advertising channels to listen in on are the following:

Facebook Groups

Creating a Facebook group (if you haven’t yet) is your number one opportunity to open the lines of communication with your community. You can reach out with live Q&A sessions where you can ask your community what questions they may have for you. Listen carefully to the questions and the conversations that follow to get a better understanding of what your customers are telling you. And make sure that all communication receives a response (more on that later).

Twitter

Twitter is a great spot for social listening. Get engaged in the conversations that are happening among your followers, Chat with them and ask questions. Show your  interest in who they are and what they are saying. Learn about your community because it’s not about sales it’s about people.

Instagram

The thing about Instagram is that it is all about telling stories. Invite people to tell their stories about your products. Make the questions simple and fun to answer. People love getting involved in fun and easy conversations. The other great tool on Instagram is Question stickers! These are a fun way to encourage your Instagram community to tell you about the things they love and don’t love about what you’re doing!

Facebook Messenger

Any time a visitor gets to your page for the first time, make sure they receive a pinned post that informs them about your community, what it is all about and how they can get connected.  Facebook Click-to-Messenger ads will also create great opportunities for communication. Every time users click on your ad, they get a Chat box that invites them to chat with you on Messenger.

Website Live Chat Service

Getting a service to enable you to chat with your customers on your website is a fantastic way to keep the lines of communication open with your customers and listen to their needs, delights and frustrations.  

Most of these same platforms you use to listen to your community will also be the ones you use to communicate your brand in the next steps.

2-Communicate Clearly

Whether on your website through social media, with emails, in your advertisements, customer service, blogs or newsletters it is vitally important to clearly and consistently communicate your brand. (If you need help defining or clarifying your business’s brand, there are blogs that will guide you.)  Assuming you have a clear understanding of your business brand, you will need to communicate that brand clearly in every interaction with your community. 

Even though brand will be the defining instrument of your business, when you communicate in Facebook group conversations, Instagram stories, Tweets, on your website and any written publications or communications, remember that first and foremost you are reaching out to people and they are your first priority. 

Which is why it is essential to respond to all of the feedback, questions, complaints, etc., that you receive through the listening process. Clearly and kindly respond to them all. Let your budding community know that you are listening and responding to their needs.

3-Add Value

Attracting people’s interest and attention is good, but creating value for them through your products, services, communications, and community building efforts is great! When it comes to social media advertising effectiveness, the greatest value you can offer to your community to build their confidence in your business is to offer them solutions to their problems quickly and personally. 

Find out what is going on by listening carefully to the needs and struggles of your community. Identify as many clear issues of stress or frustration before reaching out to them with your solutions. Think things through carefully, brainstorm your responses with your team, clearly communicate your solutions to your community and continue to listen and respond to their ongoing feedback. 

4-Get Personal

Telling stories about your personal and professional journey(s) is a great way to build trust and to connect in meaningful ways with your community. Their commitment to you grows as they get to know you and your values better. Telling your people a few of the personal aspects of your life, your business, and what experiences have shaped your vision and mission is a fantastic way to create emotional bonds with your community. But it can’t just be a one time deal. Continue to weave your story into regular postings on social media to reveal what you stand for and unique things about who you are that people will relate to. 

5-Ooze Passion

If you are a sports fan, you have seen how your favorite teams will encourage fans to post pictures of them rooting for the team wherever they are in the world. They will show their pets dressed in team gear and their family waving banners in front of their television. This kind of shared passion for sports teams can also be created around your products. Encourage your customers to share all the ways and places and uses for your products through social media! Then turn the best of these posts into a video that you share back with your community to create more passion for your products.

6-Generosity

People love generosity. And they love free giveaways of products. Create giveaway contests that reward your community for their participation and faithfulness to your brand. These are easily distributed through social media and can also engage new customers when your followers share them. 

Another way to engage your followers in what you are passionate about is to make it clear that your business donates to specific charities that are meeting needs that you care and are concerned about. 

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of elements to social media advertising effectiveness. Each of these elements need attention, time and diligence to succeed. Building a community of followers through social media is a customer centric way to effectively engage your followers, celebrate your growth and build upon your success.

It is also a lot of work for you and your team to develop, grow and maintain. The good news is that there are experts in all types of social media marketing who would happily help you and your team build what you are dreaming of. They can work with you to develop or to build on your story, your brand, your current situation and develop the best social media advertising strategy for your business.

Here at zo agency we work to build long term relationships with our clients. We call it Tribe! 

We will work diligently to discover your vision, your passion, your needs, your hopes and dreams for your business and then will create an overall marketing plan that meets your needs and fits your budget.  And we are experts at social media. Visit us today at www.zo.agency

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zo agency serves as the marketing department for small to midsize businesses that are typically too small to have their own internal marketing department and invariably too big to manage without one.

We’re your marketing director, strategist, account manager, project manager, family and tribe.