“Being effective at social media, whether for business or personal use, means capturing people who have short attention spans. They’re only a click away from a picture of a funny cat, so you have to make your thing more compelling than that cat. And that can be a high bar.” Alexis Ohanian
There are many advertisers out there competing for the attention of your target demographic. In fact, some of the people distracting them are people with no financial interest in their attention at all; people with cat videos, random memes and silly comments.
Therefore, in addition to your business or organization’s natural competition, your social community is competing with a wide variety of web entities, some of which have nothing to do with your brand or industry.
- Giving away an incentive,
- Using popups, and
- Asking for signups on your website and other social media sites
… are great ways to entice people to join your branded community; in the modern marketplace, business owners should try other community management strategies as well to set themselves apart.
Make Sure Your Community and Its Members Have a Separate Name – If your business is ABC Business Phone Company, call your community anything. Get creative. The Business Call Brigade, Call Junkies, The Callerz etc. This goes a long way to help build your brand and reputation. Make sure to take advantage of hashtags, logos and other branding when establishing your community name and lingo.
Use Someone Else’s Pull – Do you know of an influencer in your industry who has a lot of followers? Do you know of a business that’s very successful, complimentary to yours, yet not in direct competition with you? Joint venture with them to offer their followers/customers something free for joining your community. For example, ABC Business Phone Company might sponsor a giveaway for customers of a local managed services provider or an office cleaning company.
Invite People to Join Your Community on Your Business Card – It’s easier to entice someone to interact with you via social media when they’ve met you in person. You’re just more interesting. If they’ve only heard of you online, you have to establish trust and show them you’re an authority worth knowing amidst tons of competition. Just a 5 minute meeting at a trade show or handshake at a business meeting is enough to get someone more interested in what you have to say and what your business is doing.
Throw a Party – People love free food, free drinks and the excuse to, “get dressed up and do something.” Hire a band. Throw out some snacks and drinks in the name of building your branded community. Again, like using your business card; when people meet you and members of your organization in person, they are more interested in what you’re about online.
Always Offer a Free Service – When you offer a service, it creates more engagement. For example, if ABC Business Phone Company offered a free video conferencing app to community members, every time someone used it, they’d be reminded they’re part of ABC’s, “crew,” or its brand culture.
Always Offer a Free Download – People like instant gratification and they love information. Therefore, you should provide a free download that tells your target demographic something the really want to know. ABC Business Phone Company might tell new community members what local vendors sell office furniture and computer equipment at rock bottom prices.
Thanks for reading! If all this talk of community building has you excited, we’d encourage you to check out SocialEngine. The best way to build your own social network.