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Building Community With Social Media

August 7th, 2009 by | No Comments

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by Natasha Wescoat

Social Media is another way to communicate our entity or brand to the rest of the world in a way that’s unlike traditional media.

There’s a conversational element to social networking. The web is uncensored and open to everyone’s ideas, creations and opinions which opens up opportunity for expansion and awareness of your brand as well as implementation of marketing that is both effective and impactful.

We have the ability to connect to our clients and potential followers on a level that cannot be touched with traditional marketing.

We can recieve and give instant feedback and content to one another. That kind of return rate is incredible.

With networks like Flickr we can post and expose our product or design for instant feedback and sharing amongst others. Within social networking, you can take a product, service or brand to the masses at a rapid level. When one post, tweet, or video is posted, it can immediately be shared, reblogged, tweeted or emailed to someone.

The potential snowballing effect is massive.

And in that element you can also spread your brand’s reputation amongst a community at that speed and intensity. If there is something negative to be addressed, through networks like Twitter or Facebook, we can approach those with issues, communicate with that person and resolve that problem. If someone signs your praises, that can spread out towards the rest of the internet population at a rapid level and bring greater awareness of what you offer.

So, in turn you must understand that with social media, it’s about what you offer, and it’s about their reaction, because that can draw traffic and new potential clients/customers to you.

Community is the keyword here.

If you are making it a priority to give the best customer service, people talk. If you are making it your priority to get to know your audience, to understand your customers and to befriend them, that makes waves in social media. Responding timely to negative and positive reactions online equals a positive reputation, potential new clients, and a growing fanbase.

  • If you make people happy, if you provide something of value, or if you make people your priority, you will become popular. Your community will grow through their love for what you are, what you do, and what you offer. And that, in turn is the most valuable resource you have on the net.
  • If you are building a fanbase or community with your company/brand, you are building the best marketers in the world, because they will stand for your brand, spread the word and make your name go viral.
  • A strong community of adoring fans equals a strong positive profit in followers and potential profits for your brand and for your company.

So, how do you begin?

- Be open and available. If someone has a question, comment, suggestion or offer – make it your priority to answer them. Give them a kind, open response. Be available for anything.

- Learn to understand that negative feedback is good for you. If someone is angry about something or has a complaint, you get the chance to not only apologize, but resolve it and become even better. People want to see when a company knows they’ve failed somewhere. And companies that can admit it and improve will gain new fans and make their current fans love them even more. It’s honest, it’s genuine, and that’s what social media is all about.

- Keep on top of what’s happening on the web. Offer people opportunities to learn more about you through different things on the web. So research and learn about what is on the web, what people in your industry are doing or where they haven’t touched on yet. You can differentiate yourself in your industry by offering or using something that they haven’t thought of doing yet.

- Build relationships. It’s an arduous, long process but it’s an investment that will be worth your time. That means actually communicating with your customers or potential followers. Ask them how their day was and mean it. When you are emailing someone, be sure to ‘be available’ for any help or issues they have. That makes people rabid fans and lovers of you and your brand.

– Discover and draw your audience.
Maybe your company won’t work on Myspace but does well on Twitter. Maybe your company will find it’s audience on Flickr. It depends on your product/service/brand to tell just where your people and potential new followers may be. We can implement promotion on every social media network, but it’s valuable to understand where the best investment lies in terms of constant use and communication. Invest your time most on the most influencial tool for your company, and there you may build your following.

(c)photo by Brian Solis


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