Social media platforms can help brands build online communities of loyal customers who will go out on their way to spread powerful word of mouth about their business. However, it’s important to understand that these types of communities don’t magically spring up overnight. That’s why social media management is such a crucial component of online community building. In order to harness the power of this type of platform, you need to know what’s already going on, as well as how your brand can best align itself with the right group of users.<
If you understand the power of online communities and know that social media is a great way for your brand to help build one, but still aren’t sure how to get the ball rolling, the following five tips are the best way to get started:
Know Where Conversations are Happening
The first step in effective social media management and community building is understanding where your target audience currently spends their time when they’re online. By taking the time to identify which social networks are most prominent, as well as if people have already arranged themselves into groups you can participate in the more you’ll gain a better understanding of the current landscape.
Understand Your Users
Once you start to gain more insight into what the social presence of a potential member of your brand’s community looks like, don’t stop there. Instead, find ways to start engaging so you can gain an even deeper understanding. While this may seem like a lot of work, it’s by far the most effective way to point all of your efforts in the right direction.
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Claim All of Your Relevant Social Profiles
Even though there may already be social media conversations about your brand, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to do any social media marketing. By taking this initiative, you will amplify the reach of any conversations that are already taking place. The first step in this process is to claim your identity on different social networks. Although that may seem like a lot of work, once you have them, you can use one of many tools to help tie everything together.
Have Ways to Measure Results
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses of all sizes make is spending a lot of time utilizing social media without thinking about how they’re going to measure their results. The problem with this approach is it makes it next to impossible to figure out what’s working and what’s not. Since that will just result in you spinning your wheels, it’s important to use at least one reporting or analytics program that will help you see what your social efforts are yielding. You can even take advantage of something like a social media dashboard that can show you how different initiatives are performing in real-time.
Analyze and Adjust Accordingly
While it’s worth your time to sit down and write out a social media strategy, chances are the first draft of it isn’t going to be perfect. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to hold you back. As long as you’re actively engaging in social media management and have a system in place that allows you to measure and analyze results, you’ll be able to continuously improve your strategy through ongoing efforts.