It’s no secret building a loyal social media community takes perseverance and hard work. But, the benefits of building an online community are undeniable. These benefits include more website traffic, more followers, more engagement and the opportunity to make more money from brands!
In this blog, we will give you step-by-step instructions on how to build a loyal community on social media as a content creator
What is an online community?
An online community is a community whose members interact with each other over the Internet. Members of the community share common interests. For many, online communities are somewhere people feel included, accepted and have the ability to engage with their content.
The focus of building a loyal community is to increase engagement. The following diagram describes the actions you need to take to receive the best results.
1. Motivation and reinforcement
Imagine how impactful it would be if your followers could support other users, motivate each other, and share success stories. You can make your social media community feel motivated and reinforced by replying to all of their direct messages, comments and so on
If you ask your community the right questions, they can tell you things such as what type of content they would like to see more of. You can use your engagement rates as a source of user feedback as well. For example, which posts receive the most views, likes, comments, shares, saves etc.
3. Brand deals
A loyal community is an incredibly effective way to make product announcements because it allows you to generate discussion and engagement to promote brands. Once you have a loyal following, they are more likely to purchase the products you promote. Brands will also be more inclined to reach out to you when you have higher engagement rates.
How to Build a Loyal Community
1. Define your community purpose and goals
While a community can have multiple goals, it’s best to focus on a smaller niche that represents the value created for you and your community. For example, do you want to be a travel account or a fashion account? The right brands will reach out to you if they think you’re a good fit.
You’ll also want some tangible metrics, called Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure how successful you are at reaching your goals. KPIs evaluate the success of an organization or of a particular activity in which it engages. As a content creator, it is a good idea to track page visits, shares, interactions, growth etc. over a monthly basis. Measuring KPIs will help keep your goals on track. They should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
2. Understand the value of a loyal community
To understand how to build a community, it’s important to understand what actually creates a sense of community, and how members of a community get value.
- Membership: A sense of belonging and identification, alignment with other community members with similar goals and interests.
- Influence: Members of a community should feel empowered to participate in discussion. This could include replying to your Instagram stories or commenting on your posts. You should be a positive influencer for your niche.
- Integration and fulfillment of needs: Beyond the status of being a member, members should feel rewarded for their participation, and get value from being part of the group. This means that they’re receiving likes or replies on their comments/direct messages.
- Shared emotional connection: This means that quality interactions and bonds are created. Your emotional connection is creating an online friendship to your followers. Treat them like a friend and let them know you appreciate them.
Membership, influence, integration and emotional connection are all key factors in developing a loyal community as a content creator.
3. Aligning value with behavior
A community-based brand builds loyalty not by driving sales transactions but by helping people meet their needs. Think about whether you would like to build a community to entertain, empower or educate others. Make sure your posts align with these values rather than pushing brand deals. If your followers think your posts are disingenuous, they might choose to unfollow you or stop engaging with your content.
4. Social media community
The benefits of using social media platforms: they’re free! The other major benefit of building a loyal community on a social platform is that your community can be discovered by users searching for communities like yours or engaged with similar communities. For example, new users can find your profile when searching through hashtags, locations, or on their explore page. This is why it’s so important to establish a niche, so you’re reaching the right audience.
Another great tool is joining a free influencer marketplace such as Collabstr. All you have to do is create a profile on our website and you will instantly be connected to hundreds of brands! Promoting brands on your page encourages loyal brand users to follow you as well. Make sure you create high quality photos and videos so the brand can repost you and you can reach a larger audience. Collabstr
- Use your social media bio to describe yourself. The description should capture the essence of your community in one quick read.
- Your profile photo is the most visible thing when users first click into your page, making it the perfect piece of digital real estate to brand your community and your business. Try not to change your profile photo too often, as this can be confusing for your followers to easily recognize you.
Here are a few best practices to spark engagement within your community:
1. Create a theme for each day of the week
Creating a theme for each day of the week is a fun way to keep your community focused on the topics they came for. For example, on Mondays you can post something motivational, on Tuesdays you can give your audience a tip or trick related to your niche and on Fridays, you could share some of your favourite follower accounts.
2. Ask questions
This is a great way to spark discussions and create engagement within your group. Ask questions on your Instagram stories to increase engagement rates and start building relationships with your followers. You can also ask questions on your captions to encourage more people to comment.
3. Use hashtags and
Create a unique #hashtag for yourself or your community so people feel like they’re a part of something. Other people can use this hashtag as well to develop a community. Using a location on your posts also helps reach brands and other content creators in your area.
4. Participate in discussions and respond to questions
It’s important for you to join in, be responsive, and be visible within the community. Reply to as many comments as you can and engage with your follower’s pages as well. This encourages loyal users to do the same with yours.
5. Share content often
Try to share as much unique content as possible. Make your posts something your followers will look forward to each day. Create value in others following your social media pages. Give your followers a reason to stay loyal.
6. Track your analytics
Tracking your analytics can help you determine which posts do well. For example, if close-up pictures of yourself do better than landscape photos consider creating more content with yourself in it to reach your performance standards. In your settings, choose to make your profile a creator account for Instagram and TikTok. This will generate easy-to-follow analytics per post and track your progress.
Overall, building a loyal community on social media is hard work. Define your community, understand their values, align their values with your behaviour and you will create the ultimate social media community. If you stay committed to the process and trust the steps, you will eventually reach your content creator goals!