One of the best things that you can do is create an online community or your online tribe. Basically people that love you, people that have got a shared interest and a passion about what you do and what you talk about. People that are going to be your advocates as well.
You’ve got to shout about yourself, and you’ve got to be your biggest advocate. Nobody else is going to do that. However, if you form a really good community, a good tribe online, these people can be your advocates too.
A lot of people are very much concerned about the number of likes that they have on their social media pages. You can have hundreds of thousands of likes, but if those people aren’t going to be your advocates, aren’t going to share what you do and love what you do, then they are not really part of your tribe or community. It really is quality over quantity.
There will be social media accounts who have high numbers of followers but do all of the followers buy the products? Do they engage with the brand? Are they part of the community? Possibly not.
The thing about creating your online community, it’s about forming relationships and a connection with people. I feel happy to say that I personally know a lot of my followers, we communicate and we engage with each other. They send me messages, they write comments and I respond. Creating your community is about doing that; forming relationships with people.
Think about those people who have got your back, whether that is locally near where you live, people in the industry, people that you can rely on as well. Follow them, engage with them. It’s all about being social and continuing to build your online community.
There’s a lovely lady that works in Manchester that does social media, and we talk to each other all the time online. I have never met her, but I just really like what she does, and I feel like I’m part of her tribe and her community.
Here are three of my Top Tips in Creating Your Tribe.
One of the best things that you can do is to open up to people, be honest and genuine. There are so many brands and people on social media now that are a bit false, a bit airbrushed, so you can’t always believe what you read or the images that you see.
Something that is becoming more important on social media now is about being genuine. For example, last week I came on Facebook and did one of these Top Tip sessions and I’d been for a walk, was a bit sweaty and dishevelled. Today I’ve had my hair done, and I look a bit nicer, but that was the real me. My priority was to get online for my online audience and do my Top Tip. People relate to that; people see that you are real and you are genuine. It makes you stand out amongst the… let’s called them the ‘airbrushed community’. People actually see you and engage with you, rather than this plastic façade.
The second tip is about creating value and being generous with people.
I’m a marketing consultant, and in all the twenty years of experience I’ve got, people can come to me, work with me, and I’ll do projects and activities for them and help them out, but there are other people that can’t always afford that, and genuinely do need help. However, they couldn’t afford to pay me monthly to do projects for them. So, I decided to help my online community.
On my website I’ve got a downloadable Top Ten Tips. I presented various Facebook Lives during lockdown, and now I’m doing short snippet videos as well. By giving value to my followers, I’ve organically grown the community over the last few months and I have learnt that people are genuinely interested in what I’m saying and appreciate some free marketing assistance as well. I am trying to give something back to my community.
Think about the business that you run. Is there something that you can give back? On top of your standard social media posts that you are posting every day. Could you do some Facebook Lives? Could you do some little workshops that don’t cost loads of money? Could you add some downloadables on your website? Host a competition? Think about how you can give value to your community and your tribe?
You can always create a separate group for those people, so they feel special. I hope that the people who get my Top Tips and are part of my community feel they get practical benefits out of following me.
Valuing your Audience
The third point is about valuing your audience.
I love my online audience. I love all you guys watching me when I do Facebook Lives, which is brilliant. I also know that if you’re not watching it live, you watch it later on because you value what I do. So, therefore I value you as well.
If people engage with me, I always reply to their messages. If people comment on my social media channels, I genuinely always try and reply to those comments as well. Within the online communities that you’re part of, be sure to engage – ask and answer questions, share knowledge and build contacts.
So, they are my top three tips on creating an online community.
We know why it’s important to build our online community, and it’s about quality rather than quantity. Those people that you know, like and trust, who will share your work and be your advocate. Those people have got your back, they like what you do and have got a shared interest and passion.
Remember… #1 – Be open and genuine, just be yourself. #2 – Create value and be generous with the information that you give. #3 Value your community and tribe in return.
If you have a question about a marketing topic that we could do these Top Tips on, please let me know. I have got ideas all the way through to December, but if there is a key topic for you, then I’m quite happy to slot it in as well.
You can sign up for any of my courses or access past sessions via this link. I enjoy sharing my knowledge as a Marketing Consultant to help other business owners – however big or small – understand the importance of marketing.