Community Marketing & Social Media – Part IV

Community Marketing: Directing the Conversation” and “Social Media: Engagement to Gain Influence

The next marketing channel we will discuss is community marketing. This involves building a community by creating direct relationships with both your current and future customers. When you do this, you can get better results, more retention, better activation, and of course, referrals.

Social Media

One of the challenges of community marketing is not having an audience to start your community.

If you do not have an established audience, however, it’s still possible to become a prominent and popular member of another community. Then, you can use the relationships that you have built-in these communities to start your own. Facebook groups, subreddits on Reddit, and forums are some great places to start to build relationships.

It’s not easy to build up a community, but if you can do it, you can really reap amazing rewards.

Here are some of the strategies that you can use to improve community marketing:

  1. What is successful in one community is often going to be successful in another. Find out what top influencers are sharing on social media and then adjust that to fit your own content.
    When you have the right message, you can easily promote it in other communities.
  2. Use these existing communities to promote your own community. For instance, if you have a Facebook group, you can write articles about the new community, and then post these articles on Reddit, which is an existing community.
  3. Create communities on different channels for those who are already in a community. For instance, if you look on Reddit, you will see a ton of Slack and Discord groups.

Social Media

Never in the history of the world has there been a product that can serve everyone, but social media sites like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube might be close. Even a single Reddit post can help you to reach thousands of potential customers.

Many social media websites have a low organic reach, however, at least until you have built up a larger brand. This is why most startups will focus on paid advertising and community marketing. However, don’t overlook any connections that you already have on these sites.

Also, remember…yes, it would be awesome to “go viral,” but the odds are not in your favor. Most of these posts never go viral, and even those that do might not create a sale, which is your goal.

You have a better chance of using platforms or creating constant wins if you use SEO. Does this mean you shouldn’t use social media marketing? Nope, but don’t expect a miracle.

Here’s some strategies to remember when using social media as a marketing channel:

  1. Customers will come to social media sites for a number of different reasons. For instance, they go to LinkedIn for business and Instagram for sharing photos with family and friends. You have to understand the motivations of your target companies to better tailor your message on social media.
  2. Do your best to engage with customers on the internet even if they are not tagging your brand. You can get bonus points if you speak the language of your audience, too. Companies like Hefty and McDonald’s do this with amazing success.
  3. Use social media to promote other social media accounts. People will often post good content, and then promote it on social media. For instance, you can promote your Instagram account on Reddit or your YouTube video on Facebook.

Next week – we sum it all up with Virality and Network Affects!