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How to build community online for your business & why you should

Updated: Mar 5, 2023

How To Build Community Online For Your Business  & Why

Putting yourself or your business out there on social media can be daunting, especially if you’re building your brand from scratch. It’s easy to ponder whether you’ll be successful and whether people will accept and support your brand. However, if you’re trying to increase your business’ sales, retain more customers, or simply grow your personal social media brand, it’s important to strategically think about how to increase your social media followers.

With a higher number of organic followers (real ones, not those fake bots!), you have more opportunity to convert those users into paying customers and bring traffic to your brand’s socials and website.

Building a community of followers on social media is invaluable for your business for a number of reasons.

  1. Your audience connects not only with your product or your service, but with the community you’ve created, which supports long-term engagement and customer loyalty.

  2. It’s easier to spread the word about what you do! More followers bring more followers - if you provide consistent, quality content that provides value, your audience will share it, and your reach will expand organically.

  3. Customers are well-researched and engaged, and they want to find the product or service that is the best fit for them. Creating a social media presence that is fully representative of your brand and that provides value to your audience is critical in a competitive marketplace.

Capitalizing on the opportunity to create an engaging and valuable experience for your customer through social media is a no-brainer.

Behold… the key to understanding how to build community online is this cycle.

How to build community online

The first step in creating an online community is to create and post consistent, good quality content on your socials. This will build credibility, and make your account follow-worthy. It’s important for your content to add value to your target audience.

Once you have this content, your reach will be expanded, and more people will start seeing your page. This can occur naturally by posting the content itself, but it’s very likely you will need to strategically use your content to expand reach to actually gain those followers.

Then, once your reach is expanded, more people will be exposed to your social media, and more people will follow your accounts!

Tips for Sharing Consistent Content

Multi-Format Content Recycling

Content recycling is a great way to post more content consistently. It refers to reposting previously shared content on a different social media channel, or making different iterations or variations of your previously posted content. By doing this, you can incite recurring website traffic and keep your feed active.

Some examples of multi-format content recycling:

⦁ Quote a Tiktok video in an Instagram infographic

⦁ Create tweets inspired by an Instagram infographic

⦁ Create an Instagram poll based on a LinkedIn post

Repost User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: content created and posted by users. It can come in many forms including (but not limited to):

⦁ Pictures

⦁ Videos

⦁ Tweets

⦁ Testimonials

⦁ Product reviews

⦁ Any other content

The beauty of UGC is that it is essentially content you don’t need to create but can use. For example, if you have positive comments or testimonials, ask the user for permission to reshare and then create a post quoting their experiences. If someone tags your account in a post, repost it on your Instagram story. The more UGC you reshare, the more others will be encouraged to create UGC. Oftentimes, the simple fact that you reshare their posts/comments is a big enough incentive for people to continue creating UGC about your brand. UGC is a big time-saver that simultaneously increases engagement.

Consider Getting Support

If you’re short on time and find it challenging to create consistent content, consider investing in social media services that will create the content for you. For instance, Third Door offers several packages you can choose from based on your content creation needs, where a franchise owner will create your posts for you.

Tips for Expanding Reach

Host a Contest

We’ve all seen someone on Instagram repost a business’ post on their story. When we click on the post to see what it’s about, we realize why they reposted: to win a contest!

As soon as we click on that post, that business’ reach has been extended to us. If the prize is something we’re interested in, or the business grabs our attention, we may follow or even participate in the contest ourselves. This is a fantastic way to expand reach and increase followers.

One way to incentivize people to participate in a contest is by making it a giveaway related to your business/page. This will bring awareness to your business/products/services, etc. while encouraging people to participate.

Here’s an example:

A supplement store, @supplementkingcanada created a giveaway contest on Instagram. They posted a picture of all the supplements the winner of the contest would win, and described the rules of the contest in the caption. To be entered in the contest, people needed to

⦁ Follow the account

⦁ Tag their friends in the comments - each comment would represent an entry

⦁ Reshare the post on their story

These types of contests work wonders in expanding reach because each person tagged in the comments and everyone who views the reshares will become aware of the brand, the products, and become incentivized to participate.

Post Share-Worthy Content

Value-added content is original or exclusive information you share that is relevant to your audience (kind of like this blog… we hope!). When you deliver information people are excited about or find valuable on social media, they’re more likely to send it to their friends or share it with their networks. Essentially, content that adds value expands reach, which increases followers.

What kind of social media content do your friends send you? Is it funny Tiktok videos (humour is most definitely a form of added value… who doesn’t want to laugh?), beauty hacks, gym tips, recipes, etc.? When a friend shares content with you, it is because it added value for them, and made them want to send it to you, so that it can also add value to you.

Knowing this, think about what content related to your business/account that would actually be beneficial for your target audience to see. Deliver on that, and they will deliver right back to you by sharing with their friends.

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

As the R&B queen Aaliyah would say, “If at first you don’t succeed, then dust yourself off and try again.”

The simple way to do this: track, analyze, and adjust.

At Third Door, reporting is one of the most important part of our 7-step process.

Social media is hard to do well. If you're feeling overwhelmed trying to learn how to build community online you can hire a Third Door franchise owner to do it for you!

If you prefer doing it yourself, try tracking the analytics of each post to see what type of content resonates best with your audience. See which reach expansion initiative had the most engagement. Then, adjust your new content and reach initiatives to better align with the wants of your audience, and try again.

With enough effort, the followers will eventually come.

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