July 16, 2013 | By:

The Pillars of Successful Social Media Strategy

The Pillars of Successful Social Media Strategy: Building a Community

Imagine having a friend on Facebook who only posts about their home business and updated you only on the new ways in which you could give them money. We’re guessing that your reaction would be similar to ours – delete them or at the least, hide them from your newsfeed (no need to hurt Aunt Mary’s feelings with an unfriending). Are we right? Why, then, does this widely accepted consensus seem to disappear from the consciousness of many brands’ social media strategies?

Let’s be very clear: if you are using your brand’s social media outlets purely as an advertising platform, you are doing it wrong.

When building a social media community around your brand, you can assume the following about what people are looking for:

Facebook

Engaging questions and requests for help in a brand decision, visually impactful statements that resonate with your consumer base, and interesting, sharable industry updates.

Twitter

Quotes, jokes, and links to interesting articles. If you’re not a celebrity, people could care less what your dog is doing.

Instagram

Pictures of things that are actually interesting, visually appealing, or funny…not employees and logos.

If these content qualities sound familiar, it is probably because that is what you like to see from your social media news feeds. It is imperative that brands understand this truth.

But content building is only half of the community aspect of social media strategy. Treating this content as a one-way communication tool is huge mistake. A community expects reciprocating commentary and discussion. Truly engaging posts will be marked by a consistent brand response to both negative and positive feedback.

While all of these efforts are often subjective in nature, every good goal should be measurable. If you’re wanting to see how effective your social media community building is, watch the growth in unsolicited page comments, customer service questions, twitter mentions, and user-generated content. Once this begins to happen on a regular basis, then – and only then – is it a good idea to utilize your newly generated brand-advocacy community to share more posts about new products, ideas, and adventures.

Yes, this gets very complicated, and a bit fuzzy at times. And of course, this is just scratching the surface of a general synopsis of how social media community building can work for brands. Every industry is different and there are always exceptions. If you would like a customized social media plan from an award-winning team, contact us today.

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