Growing a community is hard work. It takes time, effort, and a lot of trial and error. It is also becoming one of the most effective ways to market yourself on the internet, and eventually build a larger fanbase. Unfortunately for those hoping to take advantage of such an opportunity, they sometimes get stonewalled with the idea of promoting.
Let’s be honest here. Your idea is probably great. Or maybe not. I don’t really know. The point is no matter how good your idea might be, it’s not going to be heard unless you market it effectively. Believe it or not, however, one of the best ways to do that would be to distribute your brand across a large variety of social media platforms.
Building a dedicated fanbase
For example, let’s say you want to create a blog about music. It’s something you love, and you literally air guitar with your broomstick every time you get a chance. You want to write about it and get people to see music how you see it. Again, great idea. Very nice goal to obtain, but how exactly do you inform people of this?
You could go around blasting your blog across Facebook and eventually get put on restriction mode, or you can create a community that is hell-bent on your content. The difference here is that instead of basically bombarding people with your blog across different Facebook groups, create your own to grow a dedicated fan base that will read everything you read.
SEO your group
One of the first things you need to do when you start a Facebook group, or any group is to make sure to search engine optimize it. This means focusing on a keyword that other people are likely to look for. Put it in the title of your group, put it in the description of your group, and make sure to put the key word in the tags as well. This will all help you grow a community faster.
Once the group is created, and you have the SEO all set up, make sure to do everything you can to make your page look active. Whether this is a stunning picture banner that reflects the mood of your group, or introductory posts, make sure that people feel welcome when they look at your group. Furthermore, make sure people know that this where they can come to reach your content.
Creating discussions versus bombarding with content.
That brings us to the hard part. Of course, common sense would dictate you blasting your links across your new group, but that’s not always the best way to go. This could lead to people again feeling bombarded with your promotion and get put off by it. That means it is much better to create discussions around your topic and get to know your group members that way.
That’s another thing. You must sit there and get to know your group members. Don’t just hide in the shadows waiting for someone to buy your product or click your link. Actually, sit there and take part in the conversations. Start conversations about your chosen topic in the group and get people excited about being a part of it. This creates a sort of relationship between you and a potential fan.
Thinking long term instead of instant success
It’s no secret that as a business or an artist, your goal is to make money and grow a following. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. With that being said, however, one of the most important life skills to learn when it comes to any kind of social media is the idea of patience. You are most likely not going to make sales your first day, and that’s ok. No one expects you to. The important thing is that people are slowly finding you and becoming familiar with your product. While that’s not a yes to whatever you are selling right now, it could turn into one later.
Again, sometimes it’s going to feel absolutely miserable to sit there and watch two or three fans trickle in daily or even weekly at first. Fortunately for these businesses or artists though, these fans are going to be much more likely to engage with you than random people that you beg to like the group. Sure, if you do business tactics such as like for like or share for share, you could get a large following, but how many of them are engaged.
See, the problem with like for like and share for share is the fact that there is no genuine interest in the product. There is just a mutual obligation of liking a page. That’s no kind of relationship to build a foundation on and should be avoided for the most point. Now, that doesn’t mean you can't participate in a share for a share every once in a while, but make sure not to focus on it.
The last thing a potential social media marketer needs to know is that staying consistent is a must. If a fan happens upon your group or page, and it looks like a ghost town, it’s not going to make a great impression. It could even leave some wondering what the fuss is about and just leaving the page without following through with the like.
This is why consistency is key. You need to keep posting at least three times a week to keep the group consistent. You also need to be there when your group members post, and make sure you are responding to their questions as well. Whether you are posting a funny photo, making an announcement of future work, or just sharing a meme, you’ve got to keep at it.
Again, it might seem like the most pointless thing after a while. You might be thinking to yourself that it’s just a waste of time, but these people liked your group or page for a reason, and you should value that. Value the time that someone else has spent looking at your business and reward it with content that they will enjoy. No matter if it’s 100 fans or 1000, you’re always talking to someone.
In the end, creating communities are not an easy task by any means, but can become much easier to navigate if you stay authentic to your original goal. Don’t look at it as a business, or an end game Look at it as an ongoing conversation about something you enjoy and are passionate about. That’s what’s going to attract a lot more people that are going to vibe with what you are offering.