Last month, I shared about the “follow for follow” trend in social media and how it doesn’t actually help you grow. Instead, it only stunts your growth as an influencer. After I shared about this, I had multiple people express to me that they just don’t know how to get genuine engagement on social media without participating in “follow for follow” or other promotions, and that broke my heart.
Community is so important in the social media world. After all, isn’t social media influencing all about connection? It should be. We love to love social media, but are we sometimes missing the whole point of it? Social media is all about connecting, sharing, and creating community – authentic community.
So, how do you actually grow authentic community within your social media reach? Well, you’re in luck! Today, I am sharing some of my best tips on how to cultivate an authentic community and an engaged audience on social media.
[bctt tweet=”How To Grow Authentic Community On Social Media” username=”SummerTelban”]
HOW TO GROW AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
1. Know & Own Your Voice // First thing’s first – you have to know what your voice is and how to own it to be able to begin to form your community. This is of such great importance, because how are you going to cultivate your ideal community if you don’t know what your voice is or how to own it? It’s when you’re secure in your voice when you’ll know exactly who you want to reach and form a relationship with.
2. Lead By Example // When you’re wanting to form a community, sometimes you have to take it upon yourself and make the first step. Lead by example.
- Do you like someone’s Instagram feed? Follow them. Don’t just like a ton of photos to get their attention to get them to follow you first.
- Do you enjoy someone’s tweets? Follow them, and then follow it up by tweeting at them directly and letting them know that their tweets make your day.
- You see someone owning their brand and rocking their blog? Tell them! Let me know! Encourage them to keep going!
Don’t be afraid to step out and start the conversation. Trust me, I get it – as a hardcore INFP, I get it. It’s not easy to be the one to start the conversation, but imagine all of the connections and friendships that could take place if you just started that one conversation here and there.
If you take anything away from this post, let it be this: Start that conversation you’ve been wanting to.
3. Put Out Awesome, Quality Content // Fluff will only get you so far, my friends. A real, engaged audience wants to see your best work and they can tell when you’re not putting that out. They want to learn from you. They don’t want another sales pitch or another post that’s been written by tons of other people before. They want your real input, thoughts, and experiences! Don’t hold it back from them. Help them out.
If you’re a food blogger, give your audience recipes, not beauty suggestions. If you’re a beauty blogger, give them reviews and suggestions of your favorite products, instead of DIYs that aren’t relatable to what you’re known for. People follow you and want to be in your circle for a reason. They love what you bring to them, so don’t steer too far from what you’re known for.
4. Be Predictable // Be predictable with your content. I know some can disagree with this, but this ties in with my previous point. People follow you for a reason – for what you’re “known” for. They want to see more of what they followed you for. If that’s encouragement, encourage them! If that’s behind-the-scenes of your business, let them in!
For example, my Instagram isn’t based completely off of my blog. Instead, it’s a mix of my everyday life, blog, encouragement, and coffee (of course). More than half of my followers are not bloggers or entrepreneurs and I think that’s awesome because that’s what I’m aiming for: an audience that is unique and lively.
PIN ME FOR LATER!
5. Get Comfortable With Being Human // It is so easy to build up a life that is perfect for social media, and while that’s what we all think people want to see…I can assure you, that’s not true. People want to know that you’re human. People want to find others they relate to. People want to hear honesty, not falseness.
While some bloggers and entrepreneurs discourage you to share your story, I’m on the opposite end, encouraging it. I’m not saying you have to confess to the entire world every mistake you make or shout out every trouble that comes your way. That’s not what I’m saying at all.
What I’m saying is that if you’ve learned a lesson, whether it be completely current or in retrospect, and you know that it could possibly be of encouragement to someone, share it. Don’t keep it to yourself. You have no idea who it could encourage – or at least, let someone know they’re not alone. Community is all about support, right? Please don’t neglect that fact and try and make community something it’s not.
Be there. Be human. Be real. Be vulnerable. Share your heart. Share your story.
[bctt tweet=”Be there. Be human. Be real. Be vulnerable. Share your heart. Share your story. ” username=”SummerTelban”]
6. Respond // Show up and respond. If you ask a question in your post, tweet, or Instagram caption – be more than prepared to respond with enthusiasm to each person who comments. Make each conversation a priority and treat each person as if they’re you’re BFF.
If a large majority of your community requests you post about a certain topic or share more of something, then do it. Don’t feel the need to do it the second they ask or even the next day. But try your best to make it a point to get it out there. They’re asking you these things simply because they’re genuinely interested in your life and your opinion. They have respect for you and want to hear your voice.
7. Invest Into Others // Investing in others is so huge in growing a community. If someone emails you or shoots you a DM with a question, always respond with a helpful answer. Don’t try and turn it into a sales pitch or give them a runaround. Just give them the answer. Invest! How did you get where you are today? I can assure you it wasn’t all own your own doing, am I right? Even if it’s just answering a simple question here or there, or a deep question – take the time to invest in others who look up to you. Be honored and humbled that they looked to you for the answer.
8. Be Respectful // Be nice and respectful. When you lack tact, you’ll end up lacking a dedicated community in the long run. If you find yourself asking if you’re going to regret typing something out, you probably shouldn’t type it and hit send. While I know it’s impossible to always agree with everyone, please just be polite and consider grace. None of us are perfect – trust me, I know. But we can all try to be nice and respectful.
Remember, you’re audience quickly picks up on what you’re putting out.
[bctt tweet=”Remember, you’re audience quickly picks up on what you’re putting out. ” username=”SummerTelban”]
9. Share & Reciprocate // Share the love. Don’t wait for someone to share your content – be the one who starts the reciprocating process. When someone tweets out one of your posts, thank them and then go take a look at their blog if they have one. If you find a post you love, share it! It only takes a few minutes. You never know what you could find and be inspired by. Bloggers need other bloggers. We need each other. We’re all in this together.
[bctt tweet=”9 Tips To Grow An Engaged Audience On Social Media! You need to read these!” username=”SummerTelban”]
I hope my tips have been helpful to you, friends! What are some of your best tips for growing community? What are your favorite ways to connect with your audience on social media?