In 2012, companies and brands are more committed than ever to building a strong community around them, after having good experiences with social media over the past year. They have realized that creating a community around their brand is more than a simple promotion message and when it's done, well the whole sales process will benefit from it. However, not all companies know how to build a community around their business or brand. Here are some tips that companies must take into account when taking the big plunge and start the real adventure in social media.
Create a business community in social networks
Observed before the big jump –
The first step is to observe, find out where people are talking about your brand or small business and where to find your niche market, so you can best serve your audience of potential customers.
Not all networks will hold the same value and if we did not assess our strengths, our efforts could eventually lead to us not getting the benefits we expect. Nor should we suffer an ‘anxiety attack' and open accounts in all social networks. The best thing is to focus on one or two, that are more suited to our business or brand and strive to increase visibility in them.
Know your users and supporters –
Once you have determined the social network you want to target, get to know the users in it. Relationships must be bidirectional but we should not start desperately tracking everyone who crosses our path, but do it more strategically and selectively according to our objectives and priorities. We can use different tools and options to find topics related to increasing business opportunity, analyze conversations, competitors, etc … and start following people truly interested in what we offer.
Slowly but surely –
The “rush” is not the best partner in this adventure. A community is not built overnight. The ideal is to make a conscious effort to get to know who composes your community, how they react or behave and stop worrying about the amount or volume of users, fans or followers.
Patience and perseverance as a virtue –
To succeed in creating a community around our company, brand, or business will certainly take lots of of patience not to mention the all of the continuous work. The evolution in this adventure will pass through different stages and phases in which we will have to face all kinds of challenges and goals. The idea is to establish a solid, stable foundation and we must be aware that we can not have high expectations at the beginning of our journey.
Quality not quantity –
That's what we used to have thousands of followers, but if you do not know them, how can you generate reactions or interact effectively with them? The number of followers can be an important indicator of our success in social networks, but this should not preclude us to improve the relationships and connections with them. We earn trust based on transparency, humility and good practices in our relationships or conversations so that our fans continue to increase, thanks to our own supporters.
Experiment without fear –
A community allows us to experiment, to venture and try new things, especially during the first steps. Yet we must be aware that every action we take can cause reactions accordingly. However, this does not cause insecurity or fear at the time we are doing an experiment or being innovative, we can get good ideas from everywhere and put them into practice to see how they are received by the community.
Use all possible connections of your community –
Jason Keath, CEO of Social Fresh, makes us a very interesting reminder in this regard: “The mailing lists are often missed when using them to ask our contacts, or if they would be in our community.” We must use all possible channels to attract our current customers. Therefore, it is important to understand the importance of integrating the elements such as icons or social ties and support all areas of our business or any business.
Listen, engage, interact, help –
If we have taken the leap to maintain a strong presence in social networks and create a strong community around our business, we're not limited to being mere spectators. The number of followers is not important in itself, a lot of fans does not mean that our community enjoys excellent health. The community needs our constant participation and interaction. Listening is just as important so that we actually provide value to our community by giving answers to questions and solutions to their problems. This can have a positive impact on our business, customer loyalty and lead to increased sales.
Show some personality. We should not be boring. It is best to present a close and friendly nature where conversations can be nurtured in an open, relaxed and transparent environment.
Analysis, goals and objectives –
These are perhaps some of the most important aspects that must not be forgotten. Metrics and indicators will be our allies in setting up or keeping a record of good performance and progress of our community. But we must also note that we must set goals and objectives to define the way we want our community progress as our social networks continue to grow. If we decided to take the plunge, we must take this into account without involving a barrier to continue our adventure. The results will come sooner or later but not initially appear noticeable, so it is advisable not to be obsessed with the results that we generate after our first steps.
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