7 Ways To Build A Strong Online Community During A Time of Crisis

It’s a tough world out there right now. However, within every crisis there can be great opportunity if you know how to find it.

With everything that is going on, there are more people in their homes and actively online than ever before. This gives brands a unique opportunity to deepen their relationship with people at a fast rate. People are craving community and some sense of normalcy and your brand can help meet that need. As an added bonus the more engaged your audience is on your social media pages the easier it will be to target and convert potential customers using social media advertising and pay per click advertising.

Here are 7 ways that you can build a strong relationship with your followers during this unique time:

1. Introduce Your Followers To Your Team

Let them get to know the people on your team on a personal level. You can do quick bios with a picture or short video of the team member and information like favorite foods, if they have pets, hobbies, etc. Keep the questions light and something that your audience can relate to.

Benefit: Vulnerability builds trust and when your audience trusts you they are more likely to remain loyal to your brand and tell their friends and family about you.

2. Connect Them To Each Other

Facilitate conversation among your followers. It’s fun for followers to connect with other people like themselves. This will ultimately drive engagement on your posts which will help your posts reach more potential customers.

Benefit: Builds strong brand loyalty, brand awareness, builds strong community of like-minded people centered around you and chances are those people have a lot of friends who have similar interests to them and will now see your post in their newsfeed.

3. Promote Contests & Giveaways

Contests and giveaways can help drive engagement and build your audience quickly. You do need to be careful with giveaways however because they can attract people who may not be in your target demographic. To avoid this, we recommend giving away a discounted service or item related to what you offer. For example, if you are a fitness studio you would ideally want to give away a water bottle or product that you would typically sell in the studio.

Benefit: Casts a wide net to reach people who may not typically be interested in engaging with your brand. Quickly increases social media following and is easy to get a large number of people to interact with your post.

4. Host a FB or IG Live

You can lead a discussion and answer frequently asked questions or let your audience ask their own questions.If you want to keep followers engaged and reach people who are on the fence about using your service you can offer a free sample of your service online. For example, if you run a beauty salon you could film someone receiving the service you offer. If you run a fitness studio you could host a free workout once a week, so potential customers can feel like they are getting a behind the scenes look at what it would be like to take a class without having to make a commitment.

Benefit: Giving people an inside look at your offering is a great way to get people who follow you but haven’t converted more comfortable with the idea of spending their hard-earned money on a service. It essentially lowers the barrier to entry and minimizes risk.

5. Drive Them To Your Website Using Blogs

If you don’t already have blog posts, I would suggest you start creating some. Regularly, posting articles related to your business or related interests can help drive users to your website, which will build up your retargeting audience for your pay per click advertising and social media advertising. As an added bonus, if you have a lead form or opt-in box on your site you are also increasing your potential to convert these visitors into email subscribers.

Benefit: Growing your retargeting audience means you can reach people who have already shown interest in your brand and may be more ready to convert. Growing your email list means you don’t have to worry about an algorithm preventing people interested in your brand from receiving important information from you.

6. Ask Questions

We’ve all heard this before, but the number 1 thing that people love to talk about is themselves. When you show interest in your community they will take interest in you.

The questions can be light and fun, but try to keep them related to either your brand or the type of interests that your followers care about.
Benefit: Builds trust with your most committed followers and allows you to attract new people in your target demographic.

7. Encourage them to share what they are doing with you

Ask your followers to post pictures or videos of themselves using your product or service or doing something related to what your service offers. If you create a hashtag for them to include in their post it will allow you to see all of their posts in one place and potential customers are able to see others using your product or service as well. This can also be combined with a giveaway to encourage participation.

Benefit: Increases brand awareness and lets customers know that you care about them personally and are interested in what they have to offer. It also provides you with free content to use as a testimonial* or repost on your social pages.

*Disclaimer: Make sure you get proper permission to use user content before reposting.

Remember, a strong social presence is vital for driving conversions for your advertising efforts and building long term brand loyalty. If this all sounds great, but you aren’t sure where to begin, feel free to reach out to our team and we would love to help you learn more about how we can help you build not just an engaged audience, but a profitable one. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more helpful digital marketing tips!

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