Being a business running an online community as either a blog or a Facebook page, we need to think about two very important things – the content we send out and the community that we’re sending it out to. We can perceive ourselves as online publishers, and being a publisher is a role that has definitely changed along with the emergence of social media platforms.
With social media platforms providing both individuals and businesses so many opportunities, it’s easy to forget that we need to give our community as much thought as the content we publish. Making content available to our tribe is not enough.
As publishers, we need to make an effort to include and engage people. This should also be kept in mind when posting something. We should always ask ourselves whether our content is relevant for the community. Now, it’s also easier than ever to maintain this kind of approach, since we are offered the opportunity to know more about our individual readers or fans, through the transparency of social media.
In order to actually achieve greater engagement from your community and obtain the objectives you have set for your social presence, there are some points that can be effective. They go as follows:
Care more about community than distribution
When publishing content on, for instance, your blog, it’s important to remember that it’s not only about making people hit the “share” button. If you want to have an engaged community, it’s important to make people leave a comment and give you feedback as well. Of course, it’s effective to have people spread your content as well, but this probably doesn’t create conversation in the same way – or at least not where you have published your content.
Build a strong editorial point of view
In continuation of the point above, it’s also crucial that you try to stand out from other publishers that write some of the same things as you. This means that you have to build a strong editorial point of view to keep a competitive edge. It’s good to build a community that is as passionate as you about the subjects you talk about. When your readers are looking for interaction, they also choose to interact with you if you give them the possibility.
Always be human
When we talk about how to create an engaged audience, you might think that the importance of being human is always on the list. However, that’s because it’s still so important! When fans want to have a conversation with you, it’s vital that they feel they can relate to you. They should not feel that they’re just talking to a computer. They should be able to understand you and feel who you actually are. Have a defined voice that is appropriate for exactly your brand and community.
Be up-to-date and innovative
What is also an important point to mention is the one about being up-to-date and innovative. New initiatives and changes on current social platforms are happening all the time and it puts pressure on you as a publisher. It’s crucial for you to be up-to-date with the development in technology, since you otherwise will fall behind very fast. If your community starts comparing you with competitors and their communities, it doesn’t take long for them to move to another player in the field, if you’re perceived as being less innovative. Convince your community that you’re an expert in what you do and that you both manage to think about content and community.
Have a team that sees the value
Talking about being up-to-date and innovative, it’s also worth mentioning that the team handling your social media channels needs to understand the value in a social presence. If your team consists of publishers who know how important a community is and what it can do for your business, you’re on the right way. Always use the same team, so you know that the people handling your community have the right priorities. Naturally, an online community should be on your business’ terms, but remember to give your readers or fans the feeling of engaging in a way that they want to. That is something that can help you increase engagement and then nurture both content and community at the same time to obtain the desired value.
Do you have other points to add? Let me know 🙂