Naturally, brands aim to reach as many customers as possible. But it’s wishful thinking that leads brands to believe that every internet user is interested in their products. That’s why in 2020, Communications Strategist, Edan Gelt recommends that there’s strength in building small communities on social media.
Who Is Your Audience? (And Who Isn’t?)
It’s already clear that targeted ads are the way to go. Spamming football fans with ads for your cosmetics brand’s new mascara probably won’t turn a profit. Understanding a brand’s audience is key. But understanding who isn’t a part of a brand’s audience might even be more valuable.
Stop wasting valuable ads on communities outside of your audience. The chance that these internet users will even give your ads a second look is slim to none. Instead, research who your audience is and zero in on this community. Your goal here is to form a community of your own within this target audience.
They say that there is strength in numbers — but today, numbers don’t always equal engagement in the online world. Maintaining a social media profile with one million followers might actually generate less sales than a profile with ten thousand focused followers. Why? Because, chances are, those ten thousand followers are genuinely interested in your brand… while at least half of the followers on the larger account may not even engage with your content at all.
Directly Engage With Your Audience
Over time, the social dynamic in social media has mutated. So much so, that internet users now crave that social interaction with their favorite brands and personalities. A witty ad is one thing, but direct communication with a potential customer is something completely different. And in today’s online world, the latter is proving much more effective in driving engagement (and sales)!
Major brands, like Wendy’s, Nike and Starbucks are directly responding to their customers on social media. Whether this engagement is to answer a question or spark a conversation, the result is the same. It makes the customer feel more connected to the brand overall. In a sense, it reshapes how customers view the brand. In many cases, customers view brands as faceless corporations out of their reach. But when a brand takes the extra time to respond to their discourse, suddenly, the brand feels more like a real person.
You’ve determined who your audience is. And you’ve reached out to them to spark a conversation. Now it’s time to draw your audience (and future customers!) in by creating an online community. This further breaks down the wall between a brand and their audience. It also gives customers a feeling of connection between themselves and your brand by offering something ‘exclusive.’ Creating an online community first requires a homebase. Two of the best social media websites for building your brand’s small online community are Facebook and Reddit.
- Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups are fantastic for generating discussion within your audience. You can choose to make your Group exclusive by setting it to “closed,” or open to everyone by setting it as “public.”
- Reddit Communities
Reddit is the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet.” It’s also a great place to find and share links and connect with people based on your interests. Creating a Reddit Community is a great way to open the conversation about your brand and/or products. This also offers you the opportunity to respond directly to any questions your audience may have about you or your brand.
Now dive in and build your brand (and increase sales!) with your own small community! And stay tuned for more entries in Edan Gelt’s blog series on social media trends in 2020.