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As social media continues to rapidly evolve, the pressure on founders to ensure they have an active and growing community for their business can often feel all-consuming.
In fact, online purchases via social media platforms are predicted to reach a staggering 2.9 trillion U.S. dollars by 2026, so this reliance on profit-generating communities, a.k.a. “social commerce” for brands, all whilst simultaneously appearing authentic is only set to heighten the pressure — and fast.
With the daily grind to actively engage with your brand’s community on various social platforms as a means to generate more conversions, many of us can start to feel exhausted, and to be honest, on some of the uglier days, downright unmotivated.
Not to mention the mixed emotions you may feel when you’ve spent hours trying to master that latest TikTok trend, only to stumble across a random video gone viral, with the new creator behind the phenomenon effortlessly gaining thousands of followers overnight — no strategy required.
If this love-hate relationship of creating social commerce for your brand feels all too familiar, it’s time to take a back-to-basics approach to community building.
Read on to discover three easy strategies you can implement today to build a stronger online community for your business:
Tip #1: Take advantage of Facebook groups
Building a community for your brand begins with understanding your audience, and there’s no simpler way to do this than by joining Facebook groups.
With the emergence of flashier marketing tactics on TikTok and Instagram, it can be easy to overlook the older “less exciting” Facebook platform. However, the truth is: In today’s information overload world, we as consumers will continue to seek out long-term value connections and a sense of belonging — something which joining a free Facebook group still effortlessly provides.
In fact, as of August 2022, over 1.8 billion people are active amongst Facebook groups across the 10 million+ groups currently live on the platform.
Once you join some Facebook groups related to your industry, it’s important to not instantly push your product or services but rather use the new community as a tool to observe and connect with like-minded people.
Collecting data and asking those within the group their thoughts on how to improve your product or offering, for example, rather than taking a direct sales approach will help build that genuine relationship with potential stakeholders and allow them to organically interact with your brand.
After observing and participating in popular groups, you could even start your own Facebook group and invite your personal network, previous purchasers and current social following along as a way to form deeper connections with your existing brand community.
Ultimately, having a Facebook group for your business as part of your marketing strategy will naturally help you achieve a relationship-building focus for your brand rather than fixating your efforts solely on follower count.
Tip #2: Connect with other like-minded businesses
One of the best ways to build your own brand community is to be a cheerleader within other brand communities adjacent to your offerings.
Consistency here will work in your favor, and taking the time to show up online to support other businesses you admire will show you’re a team player in the industry. Over time, this will improve your own brand awareness within the sector. Plus, the potential collaborations that may come from supporting others can lead to great exposure and growth for your business.
If you’re not sure where to start, exploring entrepreneurial communities like the Female Startup Club will help you discover more powerful ways to approach community building whilst simultaneously connecting you with other like-minded founders sharing their advice and marketing success tips daily.
Tip #3: Email your customers
Last but not least (and arguably the easiest method to implement within your own business strategy today) is getting into the habit of interacting with your customers on a more personable level.
You could start by setting yourself a regular goal to personally email five customers who have placed an order with your business that week to introduce yourself and see if there’s anything they would like to share about their experience with your brand. This more authentic and direct two-way engagement with your customers will build better brand loyalty long term.
Founders who are approachable will be quick to gain the trust of their brand’s audience, so the benefits of taking the time to personally show up each week for your customers in some small way will be felt tenfold down the track.
While these strategies may not appear as scalable as perfecting that viral-worthy TikTok, taking the time to consistently connect with your brand’s community on a more personal level using the key tips above will be the mindset refresh you need to win big for your business in 2023!