Keep Your Ear to the Ground: Grow Your Community Through Listening
Last week, I talked about how not listening on social media could seriously jeopardize your business. Now I want to step away from the importance of listening specifically to what’s being said about your brand and move toward paying attention to what’s happening on social media to grow your community.
First, What do You Mean by Community?
When we talk about community in terms of social media, we’re talking about the core group of people who consistently pay attention to what you share, who interact with that content, and who, in general, support what you do there.
You might notice certain people who always share your blog posts, or who retweet what you say. They’re part of your community. It stands to reason that the bigger your community, the more of them become your customers. So let’s work on growing that community, shall we?
What Listening Does
When you listen, you learn things. You can find out what’s happening in the world or in your industry. You can find great content or blogs you had never heard of. You can meet new people.
Let’s say you sell hiking gear and you monitor for the hashtag #hiking. That means you’ll see every update that mentions that hashtag. These are your peeps. Your tribe. These are people who care about what you care about. Oh, and did I mention? They’re also your demographic. They’re who you want to sell to. But we’ll get to that. When you see someone tweeting about her upcoming hike in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains (that’d be me, by the way), you can reach out and congratulate her on the trip. Click Follow. Bam. She’s added to your community. Multiply that effort over and over again.
Great. I’m Following These People. Now What?
That chick going to Italy? She sees that you followed her. Maybe you engage in a back-and-forth about the best trail in the Dolomites. You send photos from your trip there. She’s curious about your business (since she’s in the market for hiking gear), so she clicks your URL and ends up on your website. Dag! You’ve got everything she needs, and maybe you slipped her a 20 percent off coupon that further incentivizes her to buy.
You see where I’m going with this?
By growing your community, you expand your reach. Those tentacles of yours that maybe could only reach X number of people through your website now reach Y to the nth power as you grow your social media community. So pay attention. Put your ear to the ground and see what you can learn and who you can meet.
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