Building a Social Community, not just a Following

Building a Social Community, not just a Following

A recent study showed that 57% of consumers will stay loyal if there was an authentic relationship present. That means one of your top priorities as a social influencer should be learning how to create that connection and build an authentic community. This blog is going to cover how to build relationships with your fans and followers so they learn to trust you and end up devoted and loyal to your cause! 

Making it easy for your followers to connect with you can look like many things, which is a plus when adding “connecting with followers” to your list of to-dos. Start out with writing a relatable bio – something that will help your fans and followers get to know who you are on a Tuesday. Talk about what you care about and how they can reach you if they want to get to know you better or have questions about your content. Maybe you choose to host a ‘live’ session once a week, or ‘office hours’ or perhaps just a call to DM or email you. Great relationships are a two-way street. Spark meaningful conversations and be prepared to respond to comments.

Outside of your primary social accounts, you may consider starting a formal community to deepen relationships with your fans or followers. A Facebook group is a go-to for many, as it allows your followers to connect without you being there right away, and make any comments that won’t disappear with a post you might make. Instagrammers often host an IG live or IGTV videos in Question-Answer format to keep their fans engaged in conversation. Shout-outs are also a nice thing to do when you see a handle you recognize. The fan will love the recognition and may come back for a future video just because you took the time to see him or her.

Building relationship with fans has its upsides. Great engagement is how you show up on discover pages and similar accounts for people to follow. Making your followers feel a part of your social media routine will help them feel significant and included, even if you aren’t on a first-name basis yet. They’ll want to share your content with their friends because human connection matters more than a funny picture or video.

With mental health challenges and a lack of true social connection posing real struggles for many, you taking the time to invest in your fans and followers could make a real difference in their lives. Don’t discount your ‘influence’ mattering, because it can and it will. So make the effort to connect in ways that allow them to share their thoughts and feelings. It will remind your followers there is a real friend on the other side of that screen!

Ok, you’ve built some relationships, how do you take it to the next level and turn those fans into a community? Show up like it’s your best friend asking for you, again and again. Get to know what matters to your fans and remember it’s not just about how they engage with your content, but how you attend to theirs. How quickly and deeply you engage with their messages and comments matters. Spark discussions that your fans will want to participate in and encourage fans outside of your loyal circle to engage in them. Recruit your loyal fans to build community on your behalf and reward them when they bring new people into the fold.

Giving your faithful followers a voice can look however you want it to, whether that is a weekly video that caters to answering their questions, noticing a theme in your comments and then addressing it in an IGTV or short YouTube video will tell your followers, you are listening and that you care. We all know sharing is caring, so sharing your interest in them, however that looks will take your community very far. The stronger your community, the more responsive they’ll be when you start to do brand deals or have something meaningful you want them to do for you. So get started building those truly raw and real relationships and you’ll be on your way to establishing a community that will be loyal for years to come.