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How To Create An Engaging Community On Social Without Just Pushing Your Messaging

Publishing content of any kind is scary. You are putting yourself and brand out there for everyone to judge. It takes some time to get past that fear. But the goal is to have an engaging, welcoming, community of social followers, so in the end when you publish something, the hope is they like it and engage positively towards it.

What’s the purpose of your social media?

I mentioned goal. That is one of the first steps when thinking about your social platform. You want to think about what your goals are for your brand, for your social engagement. Is it to get as many followers as you can, or maybe just to have an active social community? It will be different for everyone based on the type of company you are. Are you a clothing store trying to sell to the masses, or a local bakery just trying to grow your store, a global investment company trying to reach the right audience to find the next best thing? What you are will make what you need different.

Once you establish your goals you can get a plan in motion.

Publishing content isn’t just a push it out and forget about it. Maintaining an active social presence is a lot of work. It’s important to find the right social crew. But how do you find the right crew for your brand?

I am going to write this based on my experience as a small local fitness studio.

Follow similar brands. My studio follows other studios all over the world that specialize in the same area of fitness. They in turn generally follow back, creating a wider audience. This is also a great way to research how they interact with their online community.

Target your messaging. Use brand related hashtags. This will open you up to a much larger audience and an audience that is interested in what you do and what you publish.

Support and promote the local community. For me, I like to be very engaged in other local businesses, and in return, they support and engage with me. My followers like to see who in the community I like and it grows from there.

Be responsive with your following. If your audience reaches out to you or engages on a post, you can’t ignore it. You should follow up and in a timely manner. People like to feel acknowledged.

Share your followers’ posts. If your crew posts and tags you in it, share that in your stories. Again, people share your brand because they like you and want to be acknowledged. Share their love with your community. If your followers are posting about something they are doing that you want to support, share their post.

Figure out your tone and aesthetic. Create what you want your page to look and sound like and stay true to that vibe.

Post often. You want your brand to be top of mind, but not share too often that people get sick of seeing you and unfollow. It’s a fine line. Figure out how much content your community likes to consume and at what time and go from there.

Hold online contests and giveaways. Who doesn’t like to win? This usually draws the most engagement. If you want to really up the activity, try partnering with another brand for the contest. Have people like and follow you and your post, tag additional friends to grow your following, etc.

Ask questions or add polls in your stories and posts. Questions can range from any kind of topic, as long as followers can engage and provide feedback, it is helpful.

It takes time to get your following to engage with you, but don’t give up. Keep putting in the time and effort, they will feel that and appreciate it. Before long you will have cultivated a great community of quality followers who look forward to your posts and actually engage with you and absorb your content.

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