How to boost your online audience for 2019

Image credit: Society Gal

Image credit: Society Gal

The most arduous job to building a successful business (as a blogger or start up) is establishing your audience.

Following that, the next tough job is turning docile lurkers and converting them into sales. And given the forever changing updates to social media algorithms, it becomes an endless battle to foster loyal relationships that go beyond likes and clicks.

This is something almost all small businesses struggle with, given there is an estimated 2.078 billion social media accounts in the world. To stamp your brand’s mark in a very noisy and saturated world, here are some steps to get you started with building your community.

Step 1: Develop your Strategy
Building a community is no easy feat and community management can quickly eat into your time, bringing little business value.

A strategic execution is required to give momentum to your idea – without it, the brightest, smartest ideas risk becoming a flop. Always ask yourself: why do you want to build a community? What goals do you want to accomplish by doing so?

Step 2: Establishing your Unique Selling Points
These are factors that differentiate your product, services or brand from your competitors; the reason people will connect with you and not others.

You, as the community leader are providing a service and your audience should clearly understand the perks of being part of your community. Keep in your mind: how will their experience differ from interacting with you over another brand and their platforms? Does it fill a gap in the market?

Step 3: Choosing your platform
The social media world is yours when it comes to leveraging platforms to build your audience.

When hosting a community on your website, there are countless SEO benefits (Search Engine Optimization; what this is and how to make use of SEO for your website I will cover in an upcoming blog post!). Your community can generate more content for your website, which helps with your ranking in search engines. The higher you rank, the more traffic to your site.

Alternatively hosting your community on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn allows you to attract new participants or potential customers; a lot of people specifically search for groups and trending topics using the hashtag feed.

To retain your audience on these social platforms, be aware of getting into the habit of sharing the exact same post across all platforms. Yes, it’s easy but you do need to be more strategic – not all content is suitable for every social media platform.  

Before officially ‘cutting the ribbon’, rally your loyal supporters first who can act as advocates for you and your brand and let them be part of seeing your business evolve from its early days. When there is an established loyal following, it’s easier for others to ‘jump on the bandwagon’ (those not part of a community risk a serious bout of #FOMO). Non-active communities aren’t credible, nor do they encourage others to sign on.

You will need to have some content posted and conversations happening before you launch to everyone else. Create a pre-launch list of your biggest supporters. They will become your passion group that will help bring your business to life.

Shout about your brand to the rooftops, to anyone who will listen to you. If you don’t, no one else will.

For advice, tips and more ways to implement the above elements into your brand awareness strategy, sign up to our Introduction Membership here.